Best of the Bay 2009: Sports and Outdoors - Page 2

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(415) 863-3719, www.sfgyrotonic.com

BEST YO-YO WHAT'S UP

If we've learned anything from the most recent technological revolution, it's that nerds are way cooler than we thought they were. "I'm a music nerd," people will proudly say, or "I'm an art nerd." Identifying as a nerd grants substantial cultural capital — and not just in a lame hipster sense, like when people wear glasses without lenses or pretend to appreciate B-movies. Skateboarders, cyclists, and gamers are good examples of this phenomenon, but none of these subcultures has a more nonconformist, fuck-you attitude than that of the gonzo yo-yo enthusiast. It's true that yo-yo champion David Capurro and the other members of his local club, the Spin Doctors, probably spend their weekends practicing barrel rolls and smashers instead of drinking, dancing, and posing. But, well, come on, that shit's for nerds. Cool people have better things to do ... like winning tournaments, inventing new tricks, and traveling the world to battle other crews.

www.spindox.org

BEST WAY TO GET BLOWN AWAY

Perhaps you've seen kiteboarders skimming across the water like wakeboarders and flittering aloft, gliding like skydivers. If you've yearned to partake in the strange but intriguing sport of kiteboarding, but didn't know where to start, look no further than Boardsports School and Shop. With three locations and plenty of certified instructors, it's the most facilitative wind and board shop on the bay. Whether it's kitesurfing, windsurfing, kiteboarding on land, or even stand-up paddle boarding, the staff can help you find what you're after (don't be put off by the dude-bro locutions) and teach you how to catch some major air safely. Boardsports has exclusive teaching rights in two of the bay's best beginner spots, Alameda's Crown Beach and Coyote Point in San Mateo, and offers lessons for first-time kite flyers or can arrange pro instruction for experienced boarders looking to push their skills to the next level. Boardsports also offers tidy deals on kite packages and equipment to help you lift off without lifting your wallet.

(415) 385-1224, www.boardsportsschool.com

BEST WET PUCKS

The Brits have started some internationally contagious sports, like football (soccer) and cricket. Now underwater hockey, which English divers created in the 1950s, is grabbing Americans' attention. Locals are quickly jumping into the game with the San Francisco Underwater Hockey club. If you like swimming, dip your toes in new water and give it a shot. Sean Avent of the San Francisco Sea Lions club team explains its appeal: "Holding your breath, wearing a Speedo, and swimming after a lead puck on the bottom of a swimming pool is no more obtuse than trying to pummel a guy who is carrying a pigskin ball and armored in high-tech plastic. People, in general, are just more familiar with the latter of the two obtuse sports. And the first is just way more fun." Pay $4 at the door of one of the games to try it out, or join the club and play in the Presidio or Bayview pools at a low cost.

www.underwater-society.org/uwhockey/sanfran

BEST YOGA WITH THE FISHES

Million Fishes Gallery, one of our favorite artist collectives in San Francisco, isn't just an awesome place to see great exhibits by a revolving door of local artists and to catch raging late-night shows featuring bands like Jonas Reinhardt, Erase Errata, Tussle, and Lemonade. It also provides an effective and inexpensive way to get your rejuvenating twice-weekly yoga fix.