Summer's made for fun – but that doesn't mean you can't spend some time in school – especially if it's an adventure clinic. Whether you want to paddle or pedal, fly through the air or sink through the water, there's a summer camp out there for you that can help you hone your endorphin-producing skills just a little bit further.
Catch some wind, catch some waves
What: Surfing and windsurfing
The hardest part about learning to ride a wave is being at the right place at the right time for decent waves. Increase those chances by hitting up a surf camp. Surfer and windsurfer Levi Siver loves the Solosports surf and windsurf camp, way off the beaten path in Punta San Carlos, Mexico. It's got consistent surf that ranges from mellow to hair-raising – and a well-placed perch on the point is the perfect spot to get a video camera rolling so you can see yourself in action and fix those mistakes. Bonus? Loads and loads of tacos.
Learn to climb with the master
What: Climbing clinics with Will Gadd
Where: Squamish, Canada
Will Gadd is a world-renowned climber and mountaineer – and at the Squamish Mountain Festival in Canada you can learn from the best during one of his trad climbing clinics. Says Will: “I'll be teaching people how to place gear so they don't die when they fall off rock climbing, how to build solid anchors fast, placing gear on the lead, understanding rope and other gear physics, basically how to climb safely on the 99 percent of the world's climbs that aren't bolted.”
Find out more about the Squamish Mountain Festival and Will's clinics here.
Deep water soloing
What: Bouldering meets sport climbing
If you feel like sending your route, then going swimming, here's the ultimate: deep water solo climbing in Mallorca. You'll climb gear-free on perfect limestone – your only protection being the deep turquoise-blue water below. Says guide and camp leader Amos Whiting: “It's a beach vacation meets bouldering meets sport climbing!” More info here.
Move in the mountains
What: Mountain clinics
Where: Chamonix, France
Whether it's on snow or rock, with gear or without, you can learn it at the Arc'teryx Alpine Academy, a multi-day, on-the-mountain series of clinics put on by outdoor manufacturer Arc'teryx in Chamonix, France. While you just missed this year's camp, which ran in mid-June, that just means you've got plenty of time to sign up for next year's, where you'll work on glacier travel, climbing skills, high altitude cold-weather camping, and more. Learn more on their website.
Drive like a boss
What: Rally driving lessons in the desert
Where: Baja, California
When: On demand
You may have taken your truck through a mud-pit or two or taken your 4x4 for a spin in a farmer's field, but we guarantee it was nothing like this: high-speed, high-risk driving across sparse, rocky and sandy landscapes. If you've ever thought about driving a trophy truck or riding a dirtbike in the Baja 1000, this is probably a good place to start.
Paddle like a pro
What: Learn to drop falls without dropping your pants
If you want to drop big waterfalls and run the wildest rapids, then that canoe class you took as a Scout isn't going to cut it. For serious stuff, you need serious whitewater skills. Rafa Ortiz – who just tagged a bunch of first descents in Mexico – recommends the intermediate and advanced whitewater camps at Otter Bar kayaking school in Northern California, where his pal Rush Sturges grew up paddling. (You can also see Rush in Steve Fisher's Congo.) Four to six day camps will perfect your roll, help you plan your line, and teach you the right way to get out of trouble. Find out more at the Otter Bar website.
What: Learn to freedive with William Trubridge
Where: Dean's Blue Hole, Bahamas and Germany
When: September and December
“Imagine a salt-water swimming pool, with warm, calm waters that run 203m (660ft) deep, populated by snapper, jacks and colourful tropical fish, patrolled by a school of silver-plated tarpon and visited by curious rays, turtles and tiny seahorses – an underwater cathedral festooned with light and life. This will be your classroom, your playground, your sanctuary...” So begins multiple record-breaking freediver Will Trubridge, who runs the Vertical Blue freediving clinics in this magical location. You'll learn how to hold your breath for longer and freedive safely. More info on his website.
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