Video by Ashley Murray with contributions from
Heather Mull, Carlo Leo, Rebecca Nuttall and Ryan Deto
Test your wave-riding skills on the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers with Surf Pittsburgh, the city’s first recreation experience of its kind. The Surf Pittsburgh crew takes thrill seekers out on a 25-foot Centurion Enzo surfboat that is weighted on either side to create waves. The patient and experienced team will show you the ropes as you test your balance on one of its Hyperlite surfboards. Surfers are towed behind the boat until they get used to the swells, but once the boat has created a steady wake, it’s time to let go and ride the waves. The cost is $125 an hour for two people, and up to 10 people can join in the fun for $25 each.
The Wheel Mill
6815 Hamilton Ave., Homewood. www.thewheelmill.com
In the past several years, Pittsburgh has worked to become more of a bike-friendly city with bike shares and dedicated bike lanes. And those things are great for getting from point A to point B. But what if you want to kick it up a notch? The Wheel Mill in Homewood is the city’s first indoor bike park, and it caters to both BMX riders and mountain bikers. Prices range from $10 for kids under 7 to $16 for adults. Professional BMX rider Chris Doyle, a Pittsburgher with four X Games medals, shared with us some of the more advanced uses of the park.
10301 Pearce Mill Road, Allison Park. www.goape.com
With sites in a dozen cities around the country, the Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course first came to Pittsburgh in 2013. The outdoor adventure challenges participants with five different ropes courses where they must traverse a set of obstacles before reaching the ultimate payoff: zip-lining through the trees. Make your way across a set of swinging steps or fly into a spiderweb-like net via a Tarzan swing. Adventurers are given a 30-minute safety tutorial and equipped with harnesses, pulleys and carabiners before being let loose. And leave your fear of heights on the ground. At the highest point, adventurers will find themselves 40 feet in the air. Prices range from $35 for kids 15-and-under to $55 for adults and older teens.
496 Old Ash Road, Mercer. 1-800-909-JUMP or www.skydivepa.com
If skydiving is on your bucket list, Skydive Pennsylvania — which operates out of the Grove City Airport about an hour north of the city — makes it easy for first-timers. With about an hour’s worth of instruction, you can perform a tandem jump with an instructor for $239. That gets you what Andonios Kouninis of New Hampshire, who jumped on the day City Paper visited, calls the biggest thrill of all: “Man’s not really supposed to fall out of an airplane, so I thought I’d give it a try.”
Pittsburgh Dance Center
4765 Liberty Ave., floor 2, Bloomfield. 412-681-0111or www.pittsburghaerialsilks.com
Ever dream of flying through the air with the greatest of ease? At the Pittsburgh Dance Center, that dream can become a reality. Part fitness, part performance, the center’s aerial-silk classes include a mix of acrobatics and strength training to increase flexibility and tone muscle. Inspired by acts in the contemporary circus Cirque du Soleil, students learn how to climb and manipulate silk fabric by wrapping it around parts of their body to suspend and propel themselves through the air. The center also offers aerial yoga classes where students practice yoga poses while suspended above the ground. Students can buy a 10-class pass for $200 or drop in for $23.
Bellevue Skate Plaza
34 N. Balph Ave., Bellevue
With more than 20 skateparks spread throughout the Pittsburgh region, skateboarding has maintained a solid following with Pittsburghers over the past few decades. City Paper didn’t have to go far to find an avid skateboarder — CP Interactive Multimedia Manager Carlo Leo, who has been skateboarding for 18 years and helped start up the Plank Eye Board Shop in Bellevue. Leo says he sees more and more people skating around Downtown and other neighborhoods. “Skateboarding is pretty big right now,” he says, “especially with all the new parks being built.” One of the newer parks, the Bellevue Skate Plaza, at Bayne Park, in Bellevue, opened in 2012 and has been consistently popular with skaters of all skill levels since. The best part? Most skateparks are free. All you need is a deck and a helmet.