EXTREMES: MOTO MADNESS
More than 40 of the world's top extreme athletes — skateboarders, BMX riders and freestyle motocross maniacs — will catch big air at the inaugural St. Pete Action Sports event on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. at Al Lang Stadium, St. Petersburg. Top board riders include 27-time X Games medalist Bob Burnquist; 23-time X Games medalist Andy MacDonald; 10-time X Games gold medalist Bucky Lasek and nine-time X Games gold medalist Pierre-Luc Gagnon. Action sports fans will love the Big Air Triples, which features BMX riders doing three consecutive jumps on a 200-foot-long by 32-foot-high ramp. The Freestyle Motocross show will also feature some big names such as Adam Jones, Mike Mason, Taka Higoshino and Javier Villegas. Single-day tickets: general admission $30; child (ages 3-12) $20. Two-day tickets: general admission $50; child (ages 3-12) $40. General admission student tickets (with valid student ID) are $20. stpeteactionsports.com.
CAtch a wave: GULF SURFING
The west coast of Florida has two surf seasons: summer and winter. Lots of surfers converge on local beaches when a stray tropical storm swings by. But from late October to early April, the Suncoast typically endures a dozen good cold fronts, each one kicking up two or three days of rideable surf. Only die-hard youngsters and veteran board riders, a.k.a. the "gray beards" and "silver backs," venture into surf in 60-degree water temperatures. But with a little insider knowledge and the right attitude you can ride some waves in the coming months without driving across the state to the east coast. Check out the new website, surfingthegulf.com. It's sponsoring a photo contest, so bring your digital camera in a dry box when you head out and see if your surf pic makes the cut.
Look and dream: BOAT SHOW
If you are looking for a little more laid-back fun, check out the St. Petersburg Power & Sailboat Show, the largest in-water boat show on Florida's Gulf Coast, which runs today through Sunday at the Duke Energy Center for the Arts — Mahaffey Theater Yacht Basin and Albert Whitted Park. Entering its 37th year, the show offers fun-filled days for families, boaters and marine enthusiasts of all ages and will feature an impressive display of powerboats, sailboats, marine electronics and products. To learn more, go to showmanagement.com.
GREAT GIFT IDEA: Cool sunglasses
Costa del Mar's new Rooster style won Best Eyewear in the 2015 ICAST (International Convention of Sportfishing Trades) New Product Showcase in Orlando last summer. The new style offers a large-fit design and features built-in side shields to block incoming glare, as well as vents to alleviate lens fogging, a big plus when you are fishing the Florida flats. These sunglasses make an ideal gift for your favorite angler or water sport enthusiast. List price: $249. www.costadelmar.com