This Friday, I will be flying, or falling, through the air yet again, but this time I will be strapped to a chair at least. I’m going to ride the Sling-Shot at the amusement park in Virginia Beach. As soon as I mentioned the possibility of the experience, readers prompted me to video tape the adventure, reminding me of our video archives of countless extreme “falls”. As a lead up to my “fall” or “sling-shot” on Friday, I’ll share a few other extreme videos. Continue reading
Aviation, in all of its forms, has been on the top of my 2012 bucket list. Seeing LA from a helicopter was breathtakingly beautiful, but piloting a helicopter over LA during my first helicopter pilot lesson was even more spectacular. Similarly, piloting an airplane was exhilarating, but piloting an open-cockpit biplane that is purposely stalled over the ocean to spiral to what seems to be an imminent death is the most invigorating, adrenaline pumping adventure of a lifetime. Flying a jetpack opened my eyes to the limitless possibilities of flight while proving that anything truly is possible. I set the sky as the limit and soared through one adventure to the next. I only had one aviation bucket list adventure left on my 2012 list: piloting a glider. I made it happen with Southern California Soaring Academy. Darren and I, along with Darren’s Brother, Kevin, learned to fly by learning to soar. Continue reading
Before leaving California, we returned to Sea World, San Diego for one last day of sea life and adventures. Manta, Sea World’s new mega-attraction, soars, dives, and twists like a ray while seamlessly transitioning you from the awe of watching rays in underwater flight to the sensation of actually being one.
Featuring a unique “launch station,” we started our Manta experience enclosed in a launch tunnel with larger-than-life images of rays projected on a 270-degree enveloping screen. This state-of-the-art projection system is the first of its kind in the United States. Continue reading
Featured writer: Darren Carter
Exerting all of your energy while trying to paddle out, falling off of the board, and enduring the constant crash of waves on top of you may not sound like a great day, but the exhilarating feeling of catching your first wave and learning a new sport is California’s most awesome adventure. It wouldn’t be a proper visit to California without surfing. When I heard that my brother, Kevin, was going to visit, I knew the number one thing on his California Bucket List would be a surf lesson. Banzai Surf School is a family run business and one of the few NSSIA accredited surf schools in Huntington Beach. Open year-round, they provide experienced instructors, surfboards, wetsuits, and all the sand you can eat. Our lesson wasn’t without its falls and frustrations but our determination and drive got us up on the board again and again. Continue reading
There is a commercial, I don’t even know what it’s advertising, that has Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno; I think it’s a car commercial. Do you know which one I’m talking about? In this commercial, a jetpack is used as the most bizarre, ultimate bargaining chip, winning out over a private zip line over New York City. Jetpacks, after all, are a thing of the future and would only really be used in the movies or commercials, right? That’s what I thought until I was searching the internet one day for extreme, unique experiences in southern California and low and behold a jetpack adventure popped up with Jetlev Southwest. Continue reading
In a land of limitless possibilities, it almost makes it difficult to plan events. When I found out that Darren’s brother was coming to stay with us for 10 days, I wanted to organize the best activities that southern California has to offer, but where to start? What things did Darren and I like the most? What new events would we like to try? What would quench Kev’s thirst for sun, sand, and outdoors? Choices, choices, choices. The line up included a glider lesson with Soaring Academy, kiteboarding with SoCal Kiteboarding, surfing with Banzai Surf School, and a trip to Sea World. Each activity offered something new and exciting, but kiteboarding was the one activity that Kev wanted to try the most. Living in the mountains of Banff National Park, Canada, he was hoping to take the skills that he learned from kiteboarding on water and apply them to the snowy slopes of British Columbia and Alberta; his lesson with SoCal Kites certainly didn’t disappoint!
Biplane Fun gave me the most extreme adventure yet! Combining my love for the sky with my passion for adventure was a dream come true.
With summer just around the corner, I have camping and hiking on the brain. Although I’ve transitioned to more local/car camping trips, I still look forward to quality gear that is easy to set up and ultra light weight. I’ve found the best of the best and I can’t wait to take Athena on her first official camping weekend.
Big Agnes’s Copper Spur UL3 is just right in almost every camping situation. At 3lb 14oz and plenty of space, it beats out the competition where it matters most. The Big Agnes Copper Spur Ultralight 3-Person 3-Season Tent gives you enough room to move at night without adding too much weight to your pack. Thanks to gram-saving poles and a silicone-treated, ultralight nylon rainfly, it offers 44 sq. ft. of space at an ultralight weight. The lightweight hubs, featherlite pole system with press fit connectors, color-coded rainfly attachments, and curved clips make the Copper Spur quick and easy to pitch, while abundant mesh, two roof vents, and good cross-ventilation kept warm nights cool and cold nights condensation-free ($499.95; www.bigagnes.com/). Continue reading
When it comes to adventure, rolling, spinning, flipping, and diving at 4,000 feet off the ground is hard to beat. Add an open-air cockpit and a beautifully restored 1943 WWII Stearman biplane and you have a day you’ll never forget. Biplane Fun took me on a roller coaster in the sky where adventure lingered around every cloud. This 360 degree experience was over some of the most beautiful scenery in America, and the aggressive maneuvers provided the most adrenaline-filled rush of my life. Continue reading