For the adrenaline junkie, extreme sports have a lot of appeal. Often combining speed, danger and skills, extreme sports typically don't have teams or very many rules. Still, every extreme-sport athlete has to start somewhere. In Florida, a number of companies teach extreme sports to beginners, particularly for surfing, rock climbing, skateboarding and BMX.
Would-be surfers looking to take advantage of Florida's beaches have many options throughout the state. Florida Surf Lessons (floridasurflessons.com) offers extensive surf instruction. The company hosts surf clinics and camps across the state, even offering a complete training package that comes with all surfing equipment and private lessons. The company also trains just about anybody, from children through adults. For those who prefer a tamer training experience, Disney World's Typhoon Lagoon (disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/typhoon-lagoon/) water park also offers lessons for groups of up to 12. Taught within the safety of the park's wave pool, students in the class can still expect to catch waves as high as six feet.
Florida also has opportunities for those seeking to get into the sport of rock climbing. Typically, indoor facilities offer instruction to beginners, ensuring safety and security in a monitored environment. In northern Florida, Coral Cliffs Rock Climbing Gym (coralcliffs.com) in Ft. Lauderdale has introductory classes that teach basic abilities such as tying knots and belaying safety. Students must be at least 14 years of age to participate. Extreme Rock Climbing (x-tremerock.com) in Miami features classes that teach the transition from indoor to outdoor climbing as well as standard introductory courses.
An extreme sport that has exploded in popularity in recent years, skateboarding instruction is available to beginners across the state. In the St. Petersburg area, 688 Skate Shop (688skateshop.net) hosts skateboard camps and clinics all summer. Skaters of all ages and abilities are welcome and can expect to learn such basics as board position, stance, pushing, turning and stopping. Kona Skate Park, in Jacksonville, is another place for beginners to turn. Available for both boys and girls, ages 6 and up, Kona has private lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced skaters.
Similar to skateboarding, BMX takes regular bicycling and adds danger, tricks, and height. 688 Skate Shop also offers a Florida BMX summer camp designed to teach freestyle BMX skills to beginners and those at an intermediate level. 688 has camps in Clearwater and St. Petersburg. Cape Coral BMX (capecoralbmx.org) offers a different way for beginners to learn. The track has skills clinics once a month that offer instruction from experienced riders. Beyond that, the track welcomes beginners to simply get a bike and start experimenting.
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