At Skydive Space Center, instructors and their clients soar up to 18,000 feet above the ocean. And yet they don't just take in views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River: every skydiving flight also passes over the Kennedy Space Center. As their Beechcraft Turbo King Air 200 plane soars to the drop zone, instructors point out sights such as the center's shuttle launch pads, main assembly building, shuttle Atlantis, and the shuttle landing runway.
Once they've reached the required altitude, instructor-student pairs launch from the plane and into thin air for a pulse-pounding free-fall. In addition to tandem jumps, the center offers an accelerated free-fall program, which includes one-on-one instruction and multiple jumps. Professional-quality photography and videography are available on all jumps upon request.
Walkabout Golf Club's 18-hole, par 72 course unfurls an emerald tapestry of immaculate fairways, dazzling greens, and cerulean waters fit for club-toting artistes of all abilities. Once demystified by former world Top 10 golfer Chris DiMarco—who set the course record with a blistering round of 64—the relatively difficult course can flummox golfers with its tight fairways, fast greens, and landing areas consistently flanked by water, which comes into play on 13 holes and houses a cabal of head-cover-eating waterfowl. Duffers acquaint themselves with the course's obstacles immediately, as the first hole—a par 4 measuring 435 yards from the back tees—features a dramatic dogleg right where any attempt to cut the corner must contend with a serpentine pond and an expansive bunker, perplexing golfers with the first of many risk-reward scenarios characteristic of the course. Five tee options temper the course's lengthy and challenging nature, making it enjoyable for those yet to fully develop their orb-mashing fortitude or players mistakenly wielding a throw pillow for a club head.
The Airpark Golf Academy transforms wobbly swings into ball-smashing swings with personalized lessons and instructional camps. During the 50-minute individual lesson, students get personalized instruction to help them improve club grip, posture, and footwork during post-swing celebratory dances. Using your own set of clubs or a loaner set from the academy, attack driving-range balls (included in the deal) under the tutelage of academy-owner Joe Luthe. More than 150 players of all skill levels and hairstyles have worked with Joe to lower their handicaps and improve their swings.
Towering palm trees rise above the ivory clubhouse at La Cita Country Club, their leaves like natural sentries watching over a realm of genteel social gatherings and athletic recreation. Golfers circle the clubhouse as they hunt pars across the Club’s scenic 18-hole golf course, where water comes into play on all but four holes and attracts white egrets, hawks, eagles, and golf carts longing to see their own reflection. Metronomic rhythms of serves and backhands resonate from the La Cita Racquet Club, which houses six lighted, outdoor Har-Tru—green clay—tennis courts and two air-conditioned racquetball courts.
The Club also encompasses an outdoor pool, where guests can swim laps, work up a sweat in group fitness classes, or run a black market for swimming goggles in the shadows cast by white parasols. Those who prefer to stay dry during a workout can head to the health club, which fosters fitter lifestyles with treadmills, weight machines, and stairmasters.
Owner Mary Myers believes in sharing the gift of movement with everyone. She offers dance and music instruction to students of all abilities and helms sessions specifically catered to autistic and hearing-impaired students. At her family-run studio, students sample different flavors of the diverse class offerings, from the peppy steps of merengue to the honky-tonk struts of line dancing. She also leads a variety of dance-fitness classes to help students carve off calories with sessions such as belly dance and Flamenco Fit. Further fostering patrons' passion for beats, the instructors teach introductory violin lessons and music theory to help students unravel the complexities of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
Every instructor at Calema Windsurfing and Watersports knows his or her stuff, and not just because they all hold U.S. Sailing certifications. Each one has personally trained with Calema's owner Tinho Dornellas, a master instructor who also designed the first surf ski with John Byde, whose father later patented it. Dornellas knows water sports like the back of his hands?which he probably used to make whatever surfboard he's currently riding.
Dornellas started using fiberglass composites to shape his own kayaks, surfboards, and windsurfing boards in the 1970s, and he and his wife Susie (a former windsurfing student) have kept up with advances in the field. Today, for instance, the shop also rents standup paddleboards, riding a resurgence in the Hawaiian sport.
Calema is ideally located for just about any aquatic activity, except maybe kraken-fishing. The Atlantic Ocean stretches to the east, and the Banana River flows right by the store, letting kayaks and standup paddle boards float straight into waters shard by dolphins and manatees. Beyond gear rentals and instruction, Calema also hosts windsurfing races and the annual Calema Midwinters Windsurfing Festival.