Since it first set down roots in Venice in 1995, Boardwalk Skate & Surf has equipped adrenaline junkies and tourists with surfing, skateboarding, and biking gear by top brands. Shoppers can fit themselves up with an Arbor, Penny Nickle, Sector 9, or Z-Flex skateboard with a hip design, and then match their new deck to a pair of skate shoes or sandals. The shop also has a department dedicated to rentals, giving patrons the option to take a surfboard, bicycle, or pair of inline skates out for a spin, so long as they return it before it gets homesick.
Lawn-bowling statistics don't dominate newspaper box scores, but the sport is hardly an unknown phenomenon. The game’s English roots stretch as far back as the 13th century, and today, lawn bowlers can be spotted in locales as distant as South Africa and New Zealand. Primarily a game of finesse, lawn bowling rewards teams of three for their accuracy as they read the manicured terrain and gently heft a three-pound ball toward a small, distant target.
Ever since Holmby Park Lawn Bowling Club was founded in 1927, it has embraced the social aspect of the sport, currently welcoming 120 members from the surrounding community. As the only lawn bowling club in the city of Los Angeles according to Westwood-Century City Patch, the HPLBC organizes matches across two separate playing fields, accommodating as many as 96 players at a time. The club loans equipment to new members so they can get a feel for the game before buying their own supplies, and instructors arrive in the late morning to dole out pointers and help newcomers learn the fundamentals. Plenty of benches and shaded areas allow players to relax in between throws or enjoy a quick refreshment before the next match. Click here for an ATVN feature about the Holmby Park Lawn Bowling Club.
The Rinks offers both inline and ice skating for all ages and all skill levels. The Westminster and Yorba Linda centers boast NHL-size rinks, and Anaheim and Lakewood boast Olympic-size rinks. In addition, Anaheim's league-certified surface is used as the official training facility of the Anaheim Ducks. Skaters can take to the ice for classes on such blade-top pursuits as hockey, figure skating, public skating, curling, broomball, and more. For the ice-averse, The Rinks has three inline-skating centers in Corona, Huntington Beach, and Irvine which play host to youth and adult roller hockey leagues, skating clinics, public skates, and more. Open-skate sessions give aficionados the chance to take a few laps with friends and family, riding atop their own blades or donning a rental pair from the front desk. On Friday and Saturday nights, rinks morph into icy dance clubs, blasting hit music booming through the speakers and projecting music videos onto a jumbo screen. Birthday packages are also available at both locations.
Toyota Sports Center entices skaters of all ages with a trio of glassy rinks smooth enough to be commandeered for official practices by the L.A. Kings. When the pros aren't reigning over the ice, guests can practice axel jumps during skating lessons or show up for public skating sessions to lap the flattened glacier in search of preserved saber-toothed zambonis. Toyota Sports Center also educates aspiring Great Ones with beginners hockey classes, hosts youth and adult leagues, and encourages visitors to bulk up off the ice at the fitness center, which is outfitted with free weights and treadmills for those slowly reconnecting with exercise on solid ground.
Nobody in Santa Monica has a snow-covered slope in their backyard to practice slalom runs. Some think they can just march up a mountain and dominate a black diamond on courage and instinct alone. Instead, they wind up face first in snow, wishing they’d practiced.
In order to prepare skiers and snowboarders for the real deal, and to spare them from slushy, frostbitten shame, two-time world ski champion Bob Salemo devised his innovative Virtual Snow training system. In a controlled indoor environment far away from menacing ski lifts and snowballs tossed by mountain goats, winter-sports enthusiasts perfect their maneuvers in fun training drills led by skilled instructors and the clever teachings of Salemo himself. The faux ski-course simulator, which resembles a large conveyor belt, mimics the smooth surface and wily turns of a downhill slope as its snowy surface rolls beneath the feet of students on skis or snowboards. Future Picabo Streets or Shawn Whites not only expand their abilities to new levels, but they can also practice tricks without bailing out and shake off any bad habits they learned from sleet gangs.
What makes it great: classic family-friendly vibe, 24 synthetic lanes, computerized scoring, automatic bumpers for amateurs, arcade, fully equipped pro shop, ice rink in the adjoining Pickwick Gardens complex