Rides that provide thrills on Cape CodBY LAURIE HIGGINS
All of the following businesses were started by sports enthusiasts who are pursuing their own passions and sharing the love of their sport with others.
At Adventure Chatham, owner Justin Labdon has spent the past three years offering stand-up and paddle board sales, rentals, lessons and tours.
“It’s a really cool sport and anyone can do it,” says Labdon, who has taught lessons to kids as young as six and sold boards to adults as old as 80. “People have a lot of fun with it. It’s almost like a bike. If you go very far, very fast, you can get a great workout, or you can go for a leisurely paddle like you would a leisurely bike ride and it’s really not that strenuous.”
Adventure Chatham added six NOCQUA LED lighting systems to their line this summer. The lights attach to the bottom of paddleboards to make the water glow for moonlight paddle tours. It’s a sure way to create a magical memory.
For those on the Upper Cape who want to stand up and paddle, Sailworld Cape Cod in Buzzards Bay offers sales, rentals and lessons. Owner Jim Ballantyne describes the sport as “astoundingly easy” and says it opens up a new venue for people who previously have not been water-oriented or athletic.
Sailworld Cape Cod has also long offered windsurfing lessons and equipment for sale or rent. Windsurfing has been around since the 1960s, and one comprehensive lesson will get you out on the water. It also shares an aspect with golf that is sure to resonate.
“It’s evolved into a sport that only takes a few hours to learn, but then takes a lifetime to master,” Ballantyne says. “Because of that, it’s quite enjoyable. There’s always something to learn and there’s always something to do better. You’re never going to perfect it.”
Land and Sky
For those who want a combination of air and water sports, Gold Coast Parasail & Jet Ski in South Yarmouth offers both. Water lovers can race up to 50 miles per hour on state-of-the-art Yamaha jet skis in a protected riding area in Nantucket Sound or choose between a smooth or bumpy ride on inflatable banana boats.
Parasailing is perfect for those who want a serene ride through the air with an optional dip in the water. You can fly solo, in tandem, or side-by-side, with up to three people. The 1,000-foot line on Gold Coast’s 31-foot Ocean Pro parasail boat allows passengers to float 300-to-500 feet above the water. On a clear day it’s possible to see a 20-mile view that includes both islands and the curve of Cape Cod all the way to Provincetown.
“It’s like these dreams you have when you’re a child where you can actually fly on your own,” says Gold Coast co-owner Arthur Kossmann. “It’s not like a thrill ride in an amusement park or a roller coaster. It’s actually peaceful and quiet and you can enjoy the view like nothing else.”
For a panoramic view of Cape Cod, pilot Chris Siderwicz at Cape Cod Airfield in Marstons Mills gives about 1,500 rides every summer in his Waco YMF-5 Biplane, a modern replica of a late 1930s model. He offers 15-, 20- and 30-minute rides over several routes that afford stunning views of the coastlines, bridges and canal.
“Flying in an open cockpit biplane out of a grass airfield is preserving a piece of history,” he says. “You get to see some of the most beautiful views of the beaches and marshes and dunes and you get to do it in one of the most beautiful airplanes to fly in.”
Thrills and Chills
Skydiving is the ultimate thrill for those brave enough to take the plunge. Skydive Cape Cod operates out of the Chatham Municipal Airport and offers tandem jumps with parachutes built for two. Once the plane reaches 10,000 feet, you jump and free fall for about a mile before the instructor pulls the chute. Then you float gracefully down to earth.
“The climb up to the altitude also doubles as a sightseeing tour,” says Jimmy Mendonca, owner of Skydive Cape Cod. “It’s a 20-minute ride with Cape Cod views. We take them over Monomoy so they get to see the seals and all of Cape Cod, but you may also get to see whales.”