Until 1970, Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer ran one of hundreds of Australian surf shops vying for attention in a highly competitive market. Both avid surfers, they realized that too many companies supplied boards while too few manufactured wetsuits. So they bought a small house and a pre-World War II sewing machine, then cut up rubber from the floor to weave into prototype designs that they test-piloted themselves. Rip Curl was founded on the principles that, "Rip Curl is a company for, and about, the Crew on The Search." The company bases its foundation on the guiding concepts that the products they make, the events they run, the riders they support and "the people they reach globally are all part of the Search that Rip Curl is on" .
Now made with the duo's own Elastomax and SlickSkin technology, the wetsuits are one of many Rip Curl items designed and distributed in more than 60 countries around the world. Though products such as handcrafted custom boards and tide-tracking wristwatches retain the company's ties to surfing, the business has since expanded to gear and accessories for boardsports that include snow, skate, and wake. Rip Curl also continues to foster the boardsport community with Rip Curl Pro competitions throughout the globe and sponsored teams of top surfing, snowboarding, and wakeboarding athletes.
Stan "The Man" Nicolaides first heard the siren song of the kitchen at his grandmother's table, which hoisted mountains of homemade moussaka and moist, juicy gyros. While his grandmother's Greek cuisine remains the closest food to his heart, Nicolaides also expertly serves up menus consisting of Caribbean fare such as andouille sausage in orange marmalade, urbane American dishes such as shrimp cocktails and crab cakes, and Old-World Italian pastas such as hand-folded mushroom tortellini. Beyond his own restaurant, Greek House Cafe, he's worked at the Four Seasons Biltmore, taught at Roblar Winery, and recipized raw ingredients alongside such celebrity chefs as Julia Child, Jacques Pépen, and David Hasselhoff's talking microwave from Knight Rider.
The sailing aficionados behind Pacific Sailing want as many people as possible to experience the thrills of traveling to untouched islands and docking inside giant wine bottles. That's why they charter sailing tours and eschew the cost of boat ownership with a sailing club, granting members access to boats for a certain number of sailing days each year. Pacific Sailing also trains new captains during one-on-one lessons that cover both basic and advanced techniques.
Its fleet, which includes boats up to 34 feet in length, sails up the coast of Ventura Harbor Village and takes 14-mile trips to Channel Islands National Park. Here, five picturesque islands grant sailors views of lush foliage and wildlife such as blue and humpback whales.
Anytime Fitness, which boasts more than 1,800 clubs in North America, makes it easier for average folks to etch out time for exercise by doing one simple thing: staying open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year. As fitness seekers challenge themselves on cardio and Hammer Strength machines and hoist Iron Grip free weights in clean, well-stocked facilities, security monitoring ensures they’re safe and producing enough sweat to meet official government standards. Members can also ramp up their exercise regimens with the help of Anytime Fitness’s staff of personal trainers, who demonstrate moves and sling motivating tips. After workouts, guests can shower in the private restrooms or hop into one of the tanning booths available 24 hours a day.
It's not all about adrenaline at 4Points Expeditions—although the group's backpacking, kayaking, and stand-up-paddleboard excursions are quite thrilling. The team of experienced adventurers here cares as much about safety as it does about the outdoors, which is why it keeps trained EMTs and Wilderness First Responders among its ranks. The team members share their knowledge of CPR and first aid during detailed classes, whose past students have included members of the National Park Service. When they're not doling out lifesaving tips, the guides are leading groups through California's most beautiful natural treasures in Ojai, Ventura and Malibu.