Outdoor adventures meant to push your limits

Windsports offers hang gliding on the sand dunes at Dockweiler State Beach. Courtesy of Windsports
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As what feels like an eternity in quarantine continues, some feel like they’ve exhausted all the traditional, family-friendly options for fun in the sun this summer. 

But knowing that for many the boredom is setting in, we realized that if it’s time to reach outside of our comfort zones for something to do on the weekends, then we have you covered.

While the summer of 2020 is sure to be unlike any other, you can still make it memorable by planning an adventure.

Skydiving

While jumping out of a plane might not be the first activity to come to mind, it will probably feel unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. 

For some, it’s the adrenaline; for others, it’s the feeling of flying that’s appealing — but many agree, it’s an addictive feeling.

Today’s skydiver is equipped with the latest design and technology that help to mitigate as much risk as possible.

And, if you aren’t ready to take the plunge just yet, you can always try indoor skydiving, where you can get the feel for it by instead simply stepping into a wind chamber.

Windsports offers hang gliding from the top of Kagel Mountain in the Angeles National Forest. Courtesy of Windsports

Hang gliding

If flying is your thing, then hang gliding, which is often described as the closest thing to flying like a bird, is the air sport for you.

While there is no motor involved, not even to get into the air, the glider is fully controllable, allowing pilots to maneuver the glider wherever they’d like. 

With the option to fly tandem with an instructor until you get the hang of it, you can first take in the stunning views before learning how to fly the glider yourself. 

Windsports, based in nearby Sylmar, offers both mountain and beach hang gliding options, ranging from soaring from the top of Kagel Mountain in the Angeles National Forest to lifting off from the sand dunes at Dockweiler State Beach.

Though only the beach location is currently open, Windsports hopes to reopen mountain instruction soon.

In following public health guidelines, equipment is wiped down between uses, the number of students is limited and face coverings are required.

For more information on Windsports, visit windsports.com or call (818) 367-2430.

Metro Creative

Deep sea fishing

Forget taking that fishing pole to the lake, instead take a trip out to the Pacific for a little deep sea fishing. 

“It’s a different feeling when you’re out on the open water with waves as far as the eye can see,” Saugus resident Zach Brown said. “Not only are you chasing bigger fish, which is a pretty cool opportunity in itself, but you also get an ocean boating experience all at once.” 

With miles of coastline, there are plenty of nearby options to choose from, ranging from chartering a boat off the Channel Islands and Santa Barbara, or you could rent one yourself.

Paintballing

With at least two paintball parks in the Santa Clarita Valley, along with more in the surrounding areas, there are plenty of options to fit your style. 

As you race out onto the field, hiding from opponents and try to shoot them before your shot, paintball is a great way to get your adrenaline pumping.

Each paintball park offers a variety of game options and courses, so no matter how long you play, there’s always something new.

“It’s a challenging activity that can be rewarding once you get the hang of it,” Canyon Country resident Thomas Knapp said.

Before the pandemic, Knapp and his friends would go out to the paintball park nearly every weekend, and he said he was extremely excited to return once it reopened. 

“It’s the perfect way to spend time with friends, while social distancing, because you’re always more than 6 feet apart, but you get to interact like you normally would during a game,” Knapp added.

Combat Paintball Park is located at 31050 Charlie Canyon Road in Castaic. Warped Paintball Park is located at 34481 Ridge Route Road in Castaic.

Bungee America offers bungee jumping off of the Bridge to Nowhere in the San Gabriel Mountains. Planning a nearby adventure can be a great way to break up the monotony of the quarantine. PHOTO COURTESY BUNGEE AMERICA

Bungee jumping

Take a hike up along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River on your way to plunge off the Bridge To Nowhere. 

Located on 50 acres of private property, the area is surrounded by the Angeles National Forest and Sheep Mountain Wilderness Area.

The bridge itself was constructed in 1936 and spans the river, however the road leading to and from was washed away in a 1938 flood, leaving the bridge abandoned.

The 10-mile round trip hike features a number of river crossings, with plenty of opportunities to cool off, culminating at the arch-shaped bridge, where brave souls dare jump off its edge.

Bungee America offers jumping every Saturday and Sunday year long, while weekday excursions can be booked by special arrangement.

The Bridge To Nowhere Trailhead is located off Camp Bonita Road in the San Gabriel Mountains, and a wilderness permit is required to access the trailhead.

Signal File Photo

Mountain biking

With 12,000 acres of open space and trails that traverse the Santa Clarita Valley’s hillsides, you don’t have to go far to mountain bike on some great terrain.

And with grading on the city’s new bike park at the Santa Clarita Sports Complex underway, mountain bikers will also have another option that is set to include a track with combination jumps.

Ronaldo Ibarra and his 12-year-old son Jeremy started mountain biking when they moved to Newhall a few years ago.

“Just looking at the hills as you drive through Santa Clarita, we knew we’d have to try it, then before we knew it, we were hooked,” Ibarra said. “We try to go out at least twice a month now, but often end up going more.” 

Like the Ibarras, if you don’t have a bike readily available, there are still bike shops in the SCV, such as Canyon Bicycles and Open Trails E-Bikes, that rent them out, so you can try before you buy.

For more information on biking in Santa Clarita, visit bikesantaclarita.com. 

Bungee America offers bungee jumping off of the Bridge to Nowhere in the San Gabriel Mountains. Planning a nearby adventure can be a great way to break up the monotony of the quarantine. PHOTO COURTESY BUNGEE AMERICA

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