Thursday, December 20, 2018

Take to the air for new adventures

Ready for a new adventure? Think up—as in zip lining, sky diving, flying on a trapeze, or flyboarding.  Get your thrills—with feet off the ground. 

Zip lining is fun for all ages.

Each of these activities can take you out of your usual comfort zone--with minimum risk by people of average fitness. Just bring a sense of adventure and a willingness to try something new. The best part: You’ll gain self-confidence—and bragging rights--for your accomplishments.

Zip lines: This popular activity can be found in almost any tourist location. Although every zip line offers a little different experience, all guarantee an exciting, rather than scary, ride along a metal cable through outstanding natural landscapes.

Soar over canyons, streams, hills, or lakes or through a forest of old-growth cypress trees or over a national park. Take in scenic panoramas (be sure to look out instead of down) while whizzing along wire cables of various lengths—up to a half mile long. Some zip lines feature an automatic braking system while others require you to apply pressure to the cable for stopping as you approach the landing. Either way, this may be the perfect family adventure if children are at least eight years old (Some have weight restrictions, so check beforehand).

Leaving the airplane to start descent.
Sky diving:  This is the ultimate exhilaration! Many people fear this activity, but it’s more a matter of anticipation and perception than actual danger. For your first time, you’ll go on a tandem skydive, so you can enjoy the flight while leaving technicalities (when to pull the parachute cord, for example) to the expert strapped on your back.

As you flow through cool air above the clouds there’s really no sound; it’s eerily quiet and peaceful.  Although sky divers free fall around 5,000 feet in 40 seconds, there’s little awareness of downward movement.
Exhilaration in the air.

If the outfitter you jump with provides a videographer, as many do, you’ll be distracted by waving at the camera. All too soon, you’ll feel a gentle tug as the jump master deploys the parachute—and you begin drifting slowly to the landing zone. Catch your breath during this relaxing time and survey the open landscape below. If you’re at least age 16, rev up your sense of adventure and go.

Strapping on flyboard boots prior to entering the water
Flyboarding: Strap a board on your feet, and rise on a stream of propelled water in a beautiful lake. Flyboards are platforms with boots, which you put on before being towed by a personal water craft (like a wave runner) from dock out into the lake. The PWC provides propulsion through a long flexible hose attached to the Flyboard jets. The instructor controls the amount of thrust while the rider controls direction that he goes.

From a prone position you must bend at the waist and lift
your body out of the water to ride the stream.
Once you get the knack of lifting your body from a prone position out of the water, you can soar above the surface. Learning how to maneuver turns before plunging back into the water does take a bit of practice. When you’ve mastered that skill, you can start propelling yourself high enough to perform flips and other tricks. There’s no age limit for this brand of fun, but there’s a minimum weight requirement of 80 pounds.

Getting last minute instruction before swinging out on the trapeze.
Trapeze: If you’ve ever admired aerial circus performers flying through the air in their sparkling costumes, you might enjoy sampling the excitement in a trapeze class. There’s no age limit, but some flexibility is helpful. You can go all out and learn some tricks or limit your activity to swinging from the trapeze, if that’s enough excitement.

This was the achievement of my dream!
During a two-hour class you’ll practice first on a floor-anchored bar. Each participant wears a safety belt that is tethered to the apparatus, and there’s a large net into which you’ll drop after performing tricks on the trapeze. The class culminates with participants (some of them, anyway) actually flying from a trapeze and getting caught by a hunky acrobat on another trapeze at the opposite end of the apparatus. What a thrill!







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