Our summer intern highlights thrilling outdoor activities and shares her own first-hand experiences.By Brigitte Rec
Riding My First Wave
SACRED SURF SCHOOL
Based in Eastham, Sacred Surf School welcomes surfers of all ages. With surf aficionados running the shop, the school hires experienced college students who are CPR certified and work well with children.
The school offers two-hour group lessons called “ocean classrooms” and private one-on-one lessons.
Inspired to put my skills to the test, I signed up for the “ocean classroom” and met the instructors at Marconi Beach in Wellfleet, where they distributed wetsuits and surfboards to participants. Converging at the shoreline, the two instructors taught us what to do in case of a rip current, visually explained the surfing environment of Marconi Beach and demonstrated how to properly stand up on a surfboard. After the 30-minute briefing, it was time to take to the water.
As the students and I lay on our boards waiting for a wave worth riding, the instructors answered questions and prepared to help us stand up on our boards. When the perfect wave arrived, an instructor grabbed the end of my surfboard, gave me a little push and I began paddling. After a few seconds, I felt the wave on the back of my board. When the instructors shouted, “Stand up!” I wiped out. I fell off my board more than half of the time, however, after learning how to properly distribute my weight, standing up became much easier. The achievement of riding my first wave was thrilling and well worth my previous failed attempts.
Welcoming everyone from 5-year-olds to 70-year-old enthusiasts, Sacred Surf School creates a safe and friendly environment that encourages students to learn the basics while enjoying the excitement of the ocean.
Sacred Surf School, 4900 State Highway, Eastham, 508-514-1555
THE ADVENTURE PARK
The Adventure Park at Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich gives summer thrillseekers the opportunity to “branch out” of their comfort zone by soaring 10 to 40-feet high in the trees while exploring some of Sandwich’s beautiful flora and fauna. The park provides climbers with 1,368 linear feet of aerial trails and five levels of challenge courses. With aerial courses offered for ages seven and up, there are also trails to explore beneath the trees, making the park a perfect family and group outing.
Beginning my adventure, I went through a 20-minute safety briefing that taught me and other climbers how to properly put on and take off a safety harness, what to do in case of an emergency, and most importantly, how to operate the state-of-the-art safety clips that allowed me to move from cable to cable in the trees. The two clips attached to me were designed to “communicate with each other,” which made it impossible to disconnect both clips at the same time. After the safety briefing, I was free to explore the courses.
Given two-and-a-half hours in my harness, I was required to start on a beginner course before venturing off to other challenging courses. Full of shaky tightropes, hanging wooden bridges and a 65-foot zip line, my balancing skills came in handy.
A “choose your challenge” themed park, The Adventure Park is a perfect playground in the trees, where all ages can monkey around for a day while enjoying nature.
Heritage Museums & Gardens, 67 Grove St., Sandwich, 508-866-0199
Flyboarding, Windsurfing and Jet Skiing
CAPE COD WINDSURFING
Summer adventures continue in Falmouth at Cape Cod Windsurfing, where visitors can choose from a variety of activities, including flyboarding, jet skiing, stand-up paddle boarding, and of course, windsurfing.
Offering two-hour courses through the end of August, the private or group lessons teach customers how to sail through light and choppy winds, overcome obstacles on the water and progressively learn the basics of the sport. At their location on Old Silver Beach, the mentors look out for the students by sailing them in safe conditions and providing encouragement.
More family-friendly water activities are offered at Cape Cod Windsurfing: Flyboarding has been introduced for the 2017 summer and is sure to bring many thrill enthusiasts and spectators to Falmouth. The new sport consists of water jets strapped to the feet of a participant with a strong fire hose attached to the jets. Water is sucked through the hose and forced out of the jets attached to the feet. The pressure from the force of the water allows the participant to fly above the water.
For those looking for a tamer activity, the Maui Mat is also a popular at Cape Cod Windsurfing. Used for relaxation or for playful activities, the 20- to 22-foot foam pad acts as a flotation device that groups of all sizes can stand, jump, flip and use as a diving platform. With endless opportunities for the most adventurous of daredevils, Cape Cod Windsurfing encourages outdoor participation by putting a spin on ocean activities and making the Atlantic a playground for everyone to enjoy.
Cape Cod Windsurfing, 350 Quaker Road, N. Falmouth, 508-801-3329