HOT SPOTS: Now is the time for extreme summer sports

The sun is shining, summer’s here at last, so why not step out of the shadows of your ordinary comfort zone and into something a little more adventurous? Here are a trio of cool possibilities for you to try, or maybe just admire. They’re exciting to watch, too.


  • 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, La Jolla
  • (858) 452-9858

Tandem flights available daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., wind permitting.
If you’ve always dreamed of flying, here’s a great way to start.

You take a running leap off the edge of the cliffs and whoosh! You’re gliding through the air, 330 feet over the gorgeous Torrey Pines coastline. Sit in front of a paragliding pro, or hang with a hang glider — either way, the 20-minute tandem flight is likely to be the time of your life.

It’s first come, first served, but call before you go to check wind conditions. There are no age limits, but there is a lot of paperwork to sign. Then it’s up, up, and away! And afterwards, maybe lunch at the Cliff Hanger Cafe.


  • 3125 Ocean Front Walk, Belmont Park, Mission Beach
  • (858) 228-9304
  • Open at 11 a.m. daily

Since 2005, Wave House has been a gathering spot for board-sport pros and wannabes, come to tackle the wave known as Bruticus Maximus.
Designed more than 20 years ago by local Tom Lochtefeld, who grew up in La Jolla, surfed at WindanSea, and had the bright idea of taking board-surfing beyond the beach, this man-made wave offers a thrilling experience more like wet skateboarding than open-ocean surfing.

Beginners start with the smaller Flowrider, and then — with the right combo of luck, balance, and timing — graduate to the Big One.

Join them if you dare, or just get your kicks as a spectator, with a front-row seat and a cold drink on the patio of the Wave House Bar & Grill.


  • 10373 Roselle St., Suite 120, Sorrento Valley
  • (858) 622-9696
  • Free introductory classes at 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays

If you want a break from the great outdoors, here’s the perfect indoor adventure — fencing.
This is your chance to play Cyrano ... or Cyranette. Come to a free class and owner/head coach Tedd Padgitt will soon have you thrusting and parrying as if you’d been born with a sword in your hand.

Actually, it’s not quite that simple, and the gear’s a lot weightier than you might imagine, but it is fun, and Padgitt, who has been fencing since he was 12, is a terrific instructor.

A longtime La Jollan who graduated from La Jolla High and UCSD, he loved acting in Shakespearean plays when he was a kid, and thought he’d get better parts if he learned how to fence.

“I took classes at a fencing center on El Cajon Boulevard and really got into it,” he said. “And now I’ve got my own club!”

The best part about fencing, Padgitt says, is: anyone can do it. He teaches kids and adults of all ages, and specializes in disabled fencing for vision-impaired or wheelchair-bound folks. And this is a great spot for birthday parties and special events.