March 22nd, 2012

Listomania: Houston’s Extreme Recreation

We suppose you could make any sport “extreme”, but lighting a baseball bat on fire can really mess with a child’s confidence when he’s at the tee. We suggest letting professionals lead the way when you’re seeking your thrills, so we’ve compiled a list of ten recreational activities found in Houston’s back yard that amp up the adrenaline. No mountains. No problem.

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Kayaking
You won’t find any grand rapids in the Bayou City, but you can still get the most out of your trusty, plastic Pelican. We’re still waiting for this year’s regatta to be rescheduled, but the Bayou Adventure Race held its ground (or water- however you want to look at it) this year. If you can get past your fear of Eskimo rolling in a Houston bayou, off the coast of Galveston or in the lakes Conroe and Houston to the north, you’ll never run short on good times.

Bayou Shuttle Service and Rental (Shuttle and Vessel Rentals)
Buffalo Bayou Partnership (Guided Tours, Maps and Regulations)
Southwest Kayak Rentals (Vessel Rentals)
North Lake Conroe Paddling Co. (Tours, Trips and Vessel Rentals)

Fencing
Just the other day, after enjoying a brandy and making a snowman out of money, we were saying to Wadsworth, “Ole boy, I sure wish we could don the white pads again and flail pieces of metal at one another like we used to do with those rapscallion Yalings back in the day”. Turns out, we’re in luck, chaps!

Salle Mauro Fencing Academy (Classes and Competition)
Alliance Fencing Academy (Classes and Competition)
Katy Blades Fencing (Classes and Competition)
Clear Lake Fencing Club (Classes and Competition)

Martial Arts
Every city’s got their Boxing, Karate, Kung Fu and the latest crazes in Mixed Martial Arts and Krav Maga. Finding the right teacher can be a daunting task. Some schools give belts and shirts out with every year’s Girl Scout Cookies, others it takes years of patience and discipline. The fitness intensity, methods and philosophies can be drastically different. So where do I go from here?

Shotokan Karate-Do Center (Japanese Shotokan Karate)
Al Garza’s Premier Martial Arts
(Mixed Martial Arts & Krav Maga)
Shaolin Kung Fu Academy (Shaolin Kung Fu)
Slava Boxing Club (Western Boxing)

Kiteboarding, Landboarding or Kitebuggying
What’s the mounty type to do? Surfing in Galveston (mentioned below)? Those favorable conditions are about as consistent as drivable roads inside the Loop; traversing them is an extreme sport all its own. A kite, a harness, either a waterboard, a landboard or kitebuggy and a belly full o’ tenacious endurance are pretty much all you’ll need. In the case of the landboard and buggy, you’re not bound to water. Strap in…

XLKites (Wind Conditions, Purchases and Lessons)
Kite Houston or Kite Houston on Facebook (Rentals and Lessons)

Skateboarding
Hey, if you can’t keep your balance, it’s always fun to spectate at Lee & Joe Jamail Skatepark while shaking a fist in the air and shouting about those “DAMNED KIDS!” But nothing beats busting a 50-50 on a kink, even if it means getting shralped a few times. We have no idea what that means. But these guys probably do…

Skateboarding Houston (Tour of Houston’s Skate Spots)
Kingpinz (Purchases)
Montrose Skate Shop – not in Montrose (Purchases)
The Source Board Shop (Purchases)

Surfing
On Galveston Beach? The hell you say! The hell we say, indeed. Not exactly Oahu, we get it, but beggars can’t be choosers this far from real waves. The 2012 Galveston Open occurs March 31-April 2 (conditions permitting), so no need to for goin’ back to Cali- get your surfing fix with help from these guys…

Swell Info for Galveston (Surfing Conditions)
C-Sick Surfin’ (Lessons)
Ohana Surf & Skate (Lessons and Purchases)
Strictly Hardcore Surf Specialties (Purchases)

Adventure Runs
I guess walking three blocks to the Hollywood Food Store just wasn’t enough for you sweat-junky, sadist weirdos. You had to start jogging. Then running. Then running, crawling through mud, jumping over flames and climbing things. Austin has even taken to letting the undead chase them (link). Between the Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder and Spartan Race, there are plenty of options for people who really like to vomit…and then drink beer wearing funny hats.

Houston Adventure Racing (Rentals, Purchases, Group Training and Races)
Mudder Dash Houston (Registration and Course)
The Metro Dash (Registration – Closed, keep an eye for next year)
The Warrior Dash (Registration – Closed, keep an eye for next year)
Crossfit Houston (Group Training, Facilities and Races)
Bayou City Crossfit (Group Training and Facilities)
CrossFit North Houston (Group Training and Facilities)

Competitive Eating
“Auto racing, bull-fighting and mountain climbing are the only real sports…all others are games.”

Well, obviously Ernest Hemingway never had the opportunity to meet Kobayashi. The sight of that young man quaffing down hot dogs would have surely inspired. If a t-shirt (that won’t fit post-game), or your photo on a wall (bloated, but surviving) doesn’t trigger an animalistic sense of competition, well, that’s just un-American.

The Little Bitty Burger Barn (The Double Dare)
Pitmasters BBQ (The Bertha Challenge)
Hickory Hollow on Fallbrook Drive (The Rancher Chicken Fried Steak or Four Meat Alamo Platters)
Nick’s Place (The Cablinasian Calzone)
Kenny & Ziggy’s (The Zellagabetsky)

Skydiving
Nothing beats being filmed while you’re strapped to someone in a form-fitting jumpsuit and wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into. Unless, of course, you set the ensuing footage to a Limp Bizkit song. Oh, and sky diving is pretty cool too. Climb aboard…

Skydive Spaceland (Everything You’ll Need)
Extreme Skydiving Houston (Everything You’ll Need)
Skydiving in Houston (Everything You’ll Need)
Houston Skydiving (Everything You’ll Need)

Deep Sea Fishing
It’s not about the catching, it’s about getting outdoors, feeling the salt on your skin with the bright blue sky above and enjoying the art of fishing. Fuck that. If I’m going to ride 50 miles offshore, brave the elements and throw up a six-pack of Budweiser and beef jerky because I forgot my Dramamine, I better put some fish on ice. Snapper. Amberjack. Dorado- hell, I’ll even settle for a few kingfish. In these guys we trust…

Fish-n-Divers (The Knowhow, Boat, and Tackle)
Get Hooked Fishing Charter (The Knowhow, Boat, and Tackle)
Galveston Shark Fishing (The Knowhow, Boat, and Tackle)
Texas Saltwater Adventures (The Knowhow, Boat, and Tackle)

Image of 1868 Houston Provided Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. UH Digital Library.

— The Loop Scoop

Comments

Rebecca — Friday, March 30, 2012 12:31 pm

If you really want a surfing experience, try surfing the tanker waves in Galveston Bay! James from Strictly Hardcore leads expeditions there: http://www.tankersurfcharters.com

Marisol González — Thursday, May 23, 2013 12:01 am

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