The three main acts of baseball—pitching, batting, and catching—all require a firm grip. But that's impossible on The Diamond, a baseball-themed spray deck where cool H2O jets from each ball, bat, and glove. Like the USS Dusty—a replica aircraft carrier equipped with slides and water cannons—The Diamond is one of two play areas that cater to younger kids at Hurricane Alley Waterpark.
Older guests can compete on Storm Chaser, a four-lane racing slide, or plummet down the six-story Cat 5, a winding slide more than 65-feet high. Waves crash across the 12,000-square-foot Storm Surge wave pool, while more gentle waters await those lounging in the park's 750-foot lazy river, the Gulf Stream. For adults, Hurricane Alley even houses a swim-up bar where of-age guests can enjoy a libation while relaxing in the water.
Trainer and fitness guru Justin Bradshaw modeled SGT. H20's CombatSwim after the rigorous training he received as an Army diver. His challenging exercises encourage full-body fitness, using workouts that build stamina, boost metabolism, improve swimming skills, and promote weight loss. Incorporating the best of land-based cross-training systems, CombatSwim includes plenty of high-intensity interval training and pulse-hiking calisthenics. In the pool, water adds extra resistance that amplifies the effects of the exercises, which include swimming sprints, endurance swimming, and treading water with weights. Designed to sharpen the mind as well as the body, CombatSwim leaves exercisers with the same confidence and conditioning as some of the world's elite military warriors.
At Aqua-Tots Swim Schools, experienced instructors strive not only to equip students with water-safety skills but to instill a lifelong passion for swimming. To this end, they limit classes to no more than four swimmers to ensure individual attention, and they divide students into eight swimming levels to keep classes challenging. Once students progress to a more advanced swim level, instructors congratulate them with a ribbon and swim certificate, which students can fold into a paper boat and rescue from sinking. In addition to swim lessons, Aqua-Tots Swim Schools hosts family-friendly events throughout the year, from birthday parties to CPR classes.
Ascuba Venture, a quarter-century-old diving school, rears expert aquanauts using the SSI signature water-training method, an entry-level system whose open-water diving certification is recognized internationally. Through academic, open-water, and pool sessions, students absorb beginning to advanced scuba and snorkeling skills, as well as vital safety fundamentals that include avoiding eye contact with hostile flushed goldfish. Heated to 82¬-84 degrees, Ascuba's indoor pool comfortably cradles amateur divers, who are clad in safe and modern equipment provided by the facility.
Youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility—these are the pillars of the YMCA's mission. It's a mission that's accomplished with community programs and fitness classes like those available daily at YMCA of the Coastal Bend. The gym's new wing features cardio equpiment and newly renovated racquetball courts, while the recently updated class schedule includes high-intensity interval training and morning boot camps. Rounding out the mental and physical health experience are personal-training sessions for adults and a variety of sports programs for children.