Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Extreme sport opportunities in Hillsborough County


As James Beyer nears the floating ramp, he veers toward it, gaining speed. • His wakeboard rushes up the curved ramp, and suddenly, he's airborne. • About 15 miles north, pilot Glen Rushing takes his 500-pound aircraft to the skies. At 900 feet, he shuts off the engine. • Think rural Hillsborough County is boring? Think again. The open spaces allow for grassy paintball fields and archery ranges. There are landing strips for ultralights and a rodeo ring where anyone can ride a bucking bronco.

As Beyer soars through the air, he grabs his wakeboard and leans back. It's known as an indy glide to those who hang out at McCormick's Cable, Wake and Ski Park in Seffner.

The trick looks difficult. And dangerous. But Beyer, who has been wakeboarding for about a year, says it's not.

"The worse you can do is tear a few ligaments," said Beyer, 17, of Clearwater. "That's bad, but it's the very worst scenario."

To assist thrill seekers with airborne adventures, Rushing gives lessons on his light sport aircraft. He has been at it for nearly six years.

Before then, Rushing was an Army helicopter instructor. Now he's retired and teaches out of the Zephyrhills Municipal Airport.

He built the small orange plane from an $18,000 kit. Technically, it's not an ultralight because it's slightly heavier, but Rushing says it handles just like one.

On a cool morning, he circles through the bright blue sky and points out the Tampa skyline in the distance. Then he shuts off the engine.

The noisy propeller stops. The wind jostles the plane. But it doesn't plummet from the sky.

The red, white and blue wings catch the wind as the lightweight plane glides through the sky.

Rushing steers the plane toward the runway. The nose gently leans down, and the hangars no longer look like tiny game board pieces.

The plane's wheels graze the runway.

"See," Rushing says, "I can land smoother than a commercial plane."

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 661-2443.


Doyer's Sawmill Archery, Lithia (813) 633-8609

Bull riding

Remington Rough Stock Co., Tampa, (813) 657-4866,

Mixed martial arts

Earl Harris Karate Academy in Brandon, (813) 661-8505, and Valrico, (813) 657-8800, taught by Michael Pancer,


Battle Zone Paintball, Plant City, (813) 986-8812

Kohn Sports Paintball Park, Wimauma, (813) 404-1667,

Tiki's Paintball of Tampa, Brandon, (813) 571-1300,

Shooting range

Gun Graft Inc., Ruskin, (813) 645-3828

Shoot Straight, Tampa, (813) 627-8550, www.shootstraight

The Indoor Shooting Co., Thonotosassa, (813) 986-5456,


Skydive Tampa Bay, Mulberry, (863) 425-3140,

Ultralight and light sport aircraft flights

Blackwater Creek Ultralight Flightpark, www.blackwater

Zephyrhills Municipal Airport, Glen Rushing, (813) 714-8210

Water skiing and wakeboarding

McCormick's Cable, Wake and Ski Park, Seffner, (813) 681-4441,

Extreme sport opportunities in Hillsborough County 03/05/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 5, 2009 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tiger Woods arrested on DUI charge in Florida

    Public Safety

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a drunken driving charge in Palm Beach County, various media outlets are reporting.

    Tiger Woods has been arrested on a DUI charge in Florida.
  2. Young male hospitalized after shooting in St. Petersburg


    ST. PETERSBURG — A juvenile male was injured Monday morning in a shooting in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S, police said.

    A juvenile was injured in a shooting Monday morning in the 2300 block of 17th Ave S in St. Petersburg. (Zachary Sampson, Tampa Bay Times)
  3. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times
  4. How Hollywood is giving its biggest stars digital facelifts


    LOS ANGELES — Johnny Depp is 53 years old but he doesn't look a day over 26 in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie — at least for a few moments. There was no plastic surgeon involved, heavy makeup or archival footage used to take the actor back to his boyish "Cry Baby" face, however. It's all …

    This combination of photos released by Disney, shows the character Jack Sparrow at two stages of his life in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  Johnny Depp, who portrays the character, is the latest mega-star to get the drastic de-aging treatment on screen
[Disney via Associated Press]
  5. Putin visits France, hopes to mend strained ties with West


    VERSAILLES, France — On a visit likely to shape Russia-France ties for years, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin at the sumptuous Palace of Versailles on Monday for what the newly-elected French leader said would be "demanding" talks on Syria, the Ukrainian crisis and other …

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, is welcomed by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Palace of Versailles, near Paris, France, Monday. Monday's meeting comes in the wake of the Group of Seven's summit over the weekend where relations with Russia were part of the agenda, making Macron the first Western leader to speak to Putin after the talks. [AP photo]