Cedar Grove Equestrian Center’s experienced instructors corral up to five budding riders for one-hour introductory lessons, held seven days a week. Learn to brush, tack, and ride an equine within the center’s spacious, covered arena, surrounded by lush, verdant scenery and gangs of spying rodeo clowns. Cedar Grove’s friendly steeds help beginners gain confidence and perfect their horse dialect, and the center’s small class sizes allow for personalized feedback. Helmets and boots are provided at no charge.
A group of rowers founded Sammamish Rowing Association (SRA) in 1996, meeting at Idylwood Beach Park in Redmond before each of their journeys across the water. Eager to grow SRA, it wasn’t long before the crew took notice of an abandoned boathouse in Marymoor Park, languishing on the banks of Lake Sammamish. Its ceiling was rotting away, and its oar racks were emptier than a child's pockets after a candy-shop spending spree—but that didn’t deter the passionate rowers or their vision. They put in a bid for the building, formed a strong subsequent partnership with King County Parks and Recreation, and set to work renovating the vintage structure to make it fit for public use.
Ever since, SRA has introduced adults and youth to the benefits of rowing. The sport's fluid, low-impact motions tone muscles all over the body, and the collaborative nature of the sport nurtures sportsmanship and camaraderie. The association's future is bright: members are building a new boathouse scheduled to open in the summer of 2013.
Together, the KAF Adventures guides are dedicated to helping others experience the thrills of climbing, mountaineering, ice climbing, and other outdoor escapades. Whether they're teaching beginners to rock climb during group lessons, imparting lifelong skills as private mountaineering guides, or leading international climbing trips, the guides help their students learn new skills and appreciate their surrounding environment. Yoga and backpacking hikes introduce hikers to wilderness vistas as they learn to channel their own breathing, and backcountry skiing and boarding guidance readies students to hit the slopes or speed through snowy department-store displays.
In 1987, indoor climbing was as unpopular in the Seattle area as breeding labradoodles. But Vertical World––a pioneer indoor climbing gym––introduced the city to the up-and-coming sport of rock climbing in a controlled environment. Since its inception, the gym has expanded to three other locations in Everett, Tacoma, and Redmond, the latter hosting eastside climbers for more than 20 years.
A team of experienced route creators challenges climbers with more than 200 bouldering, lead, or top-rope routes in a wide variety of difficulty levels. The gym hosts competitive youth teams that have gone on to national or world tournaments. The gym's staff of climbers and guides also leads outdoor excursions that build confidence and teach novices how to identify a rock wall in the wild.
At Redwood Golf Center, club-swinging cadets send range balls flying from personal mats housed within their cozy, covered stalls. After first selecting a bucket size – large buckets contain 85 balls while small buckets have 34 – golfers then set to practicing their 2-iron stingers, wedge game accuracy, and triple pump-fake drives off the tee. Frequent visitors can also take advantage of the per-bucket discounts found within the center’s punch cards, which are redeemable for 9, 25, or 50 buckets over the course of a year.
NorthWest Players Academy’s resident golf instructors proffer club-wrangling wisdom to aspiring aces from the climate-controlled Redwood Golf Center. Runaway swings gain traction in private lessons with professional golf instructors, who tailor curriculum to individual abilities and needs, helping solidify sound backswings, ball flight, and the ability to drive a ball 300 yards with a swimming noodle. Short-game lessons help shore up proficiency from within 100 yards of the green by covering pitching and putting techniques. Conducted at a nearby golf course, nine-hole playing lessons let pupils consult their golf sensei about swing mechanics as well as course-management quandaries, such as when to lay-up, when to go for the green, and how to earn the trust of territorial flagsticks. The academy augments its swing-honing advice with a bevy of club-fitting and repair services, helping players select the right equipment.
One of just 23 TaylorMade Performance Labs in the world, the location at Willows Run Golf Club uses modern swing technology to gather data about golfers’ games, resulting in club recommendations that are uniquely suited to each player. A certified TaylorMade Club-Fitting Professional guides athletes through the entire experience. While the client swings inside a golf simulator, the pro helms the Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade, an apparatus comprised of six high-speed cameras. These cameras turn the golfer into a three-dimensional digital rendering, similar to the process used by video-game developers. Whether a customer opts for fitting with all 14 clubs in his or her bag or a single category—such as irons, woods, putters, or wedges—the technology captures their mechanics down to a tenth of a degree, revealing optimal club parameters ranging from loft angle to shaft flex.