Across four compact, outdoor fields, goggled paintballers stealthily tread behind industrial-sized wooden spools and large inflated obstacles as candy-colored paintballs zip by. Teams of five to seven shooters might start by storming the citadel on Fort Field. After conquering the blockhouse through strategy and persistence, they can advance on the Hyperball field for a fast-paced game that relies more on reaction than strategy and teamwork. The tight quarters of the Spools field surround huge wooden spools left behind by giant seamstresses, whereas the Airball field spreads blue and red inflatables across a large swath of green grass to slow the action down. Teams can find respite between matches under the covered staging areas and refuel with snacks and beverages.
The staffers at Fleet Feet Sports are shoe and foot specialists, and take pride in helping people from all walks, runs, and jogs of life to find the shoe that will suit them best. Using biomechanics, a staff member can evaluate a person's gait and body characteristics to determine the type of footwear that will give them the best support and meet their athletic, recreational, or moonbouncing needs. To that same end, the store offers socks, inserts, and sports bras, all customized to each client, from brands such as Nike, Superfeet, New Balance, Asics, Brooks, Saucony, Balega, and Trigger Point.
Staff Size: 25–50 people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Brands Used: Mizuno, Molten
Pro Tip: Free WiFi
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Club volleyball
Recommended Age Group: Kids
Apart from your business's main attraction, do you offer any "hidden" services or activities that visitors are always delighted to learn about?
ASC offers many sports leagues, from youth to adult, such as volleyball, basketball, futsal, dodgeball, and more. ASC also provides camps and clinics for kids to learn and enhance their athletic skills in volleyball, basketball, and strength and conditioning.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
I've been involved in athletics as a young kid through college, where I started working with kids in multisport camps. I've been fortunate to work with and train people ranging from 5-year-olds to professional athletes in many different sports, and have done so since 2002. After my college football career ended, I've looked forward to every opportunity to help people get healthier and better at their chosen sports.
Have you ever been a patron of your own business? If so, what was the most enjoyable part?
I have been a patron of my own business. Not only do I get to train about 20 staff members in a strength and conditioning program I developed, but I choose to train with them to push them farther than they think they can go.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
Growing up in El Paso near Hueco Tanks led Austin Rock Gym owner Troy Wilson to view rock climbing as a way of life. In order to open his own facility he merged his experience running youth climbing programs and gyms with that of his wife and coowner Erica—a Houston native who has spent years scaling New Mexico's rocky ridges. Specializing in bouldering, belaying, and lead climbing, the duo brings mountain terrain indoors at two Austin area locations. The north Austin gym's 30-foot bouldering wall and colorful climbing routes challenge visitors to traverse steep angles, and its top-rope routes let belayed crag clingers scale to the perfect yodeling height. At the south Austin gym, sculpted, 30-foot textured walls loom over a 10,000-square-foot facility, in which climbers can belay, practice lead climbing, or conquer a bouldering cave.
Veteran climbers at each location teach classes and private lessons for rookie rockers 4 and older. In addition to bouldering, lead climbing, and belaying classes, instructors lead women's only sessions and Powerhouse courses that focus on strengthening the body's core. Troy and Tracy's team of experts also guides groups to outdoor climbing venues and lugs a portable rock wall to construction workers no longer challenged by ladders.
A wide, dusty expanse lies in the center of rugged woods. Its sandy floor occasionally laps up into wind tunnels as desert breezes roll through. The expanse is dotted with large wooden spools and shrubs. Through the eerie silence, a muffled rustling is heard, and suddenly a masked figure appears, a long marker aimed at an opponent.
Within Austin Paintball's nine distinct fields, paint-slinging commandos encounter strategies and scenarios sprawled across 30 acres of dense woodlands and dusty lots. Units march into the Barrels field, which is haphazardly strewn with stacked, splattered barrels, or onto a new tournament area. The Underground and Iwo Jima, two fields marked by deep trenches that force exhilarating combat, re-create famous battles from history or legendary finger-painting skirmishes from kindergarten.
Self-service stations include 3,000 and 4,500 psi compressed-air stations, where players can recharge their air-powered devices or inflate self-brought blimps for paint-based air raids. Pacifists can view the action from the 1,000-square-foot stone patio that overlooks the hill country or take aim at motionless targets at the firing range.