Where to Learn a New Sport in the Greater Sacramento Area
It’s not surprising that nearly a year into a global pandemic, with on-again, off-again quarantines and shutdowns, things are getting a bit … stale. Pandemic boredom is a real thing, and now that the novelty of being home with excess free time has worn off, many people are starting to feel a bit restless.
If you’re tired of baking sourdough and you’re burnt out on jigsaw puzzles, now may be the time to start thinking about getting outside. Taking long walks is fine, but why not take advantage of this time and learn a new sport? Many outdoor activities naturally lend themselves to social distancing. Even better, some places are capitalizing on this fact and offering lessons, so you can hone your skills while you wait for the rest of the world to re-open. Following are some options.
Snowshoeing & Cross-Country Skiing
If you love hiking but can’t wait til spring to hit the trails, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing may be for you. Both allow you to explore the backcountry on foot, taking in the peaceful winter wonderland of the Sierra. Beginners can take lessons at nearby ski resorts, including Royal Gorge Cross-Country Resort and Tahoe-Donner Cross Country Ski Center, which has a program just for kids. REI holds private snowshoe tours of Donner Pass and Echo Summit.
If you’re an aspiring dinker, check out the outdoor pickleball class offered by the Mission Oaks Recreation and Park District in Carmichael. You can learn all about pickleball (a paddle sport that’s a mashup of badminton, ping pong and tennis) such as serving, dinks, volleys, forehands, backhands, overheads and lobs. Basic strategy and rules are also covered! Lessons are also available at Del Norte Fitness Club in the Arden Arcade area for both members and non-members.
Hit the links this year by starting off with lessons at one of the many golf courses in the greater Sacramento area. The City of Sacramento operates a “Golf in the City” program, which offers lessons for both kids and adults at several public courses, including William Land Golf Course, Haggin Oaks, Bing Maloney and Bartley Cavanaugh. Timber Creek Golf Course in Roseville and Davis Golf Course also offer lessons.
By its very nature, tennis is one of the most socially-distanced sports out there. If you’ve never picked up a racket but want to learn all about volleys, drop shots and lobs, there are several options out there. The City of Sacramento offers tennis lessons for both adults and kids at courts throughout the region. The city of Rocklin also has tennis lessons, as does Folsom.
Ever wondered what it’s like to glide across the water, the wind in your face, powered by nothing but your own strength? Thanks to its many lakes and rivers (not to mention its proximity to the coast), kayaking is one of the most popular water sports in the Sacramento area. REI offers several kayaking classes, including a beginner’s class, intermediate class and coastal kayaking class. The Sacramento State Aquatic Center at Lake Natoma also offers classes in kayaking, as well as sailing and stand-up paddle boarding. You can even take a private stand-up paddle board yoga class!
If you’re tired of the same old urban bike routes and are craving a taste of the outdoors, mountain biking may be the sport for you! Sierra College Continuing Education and REI offer on-location courses in riding techniques, including shifting, braking, climbing, descending and cornering.