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Five Oddball Outdoor Fitness Options in Toronto

Toronto's size and geography make it a prime spot for getting your fitness on outside. Beaches and parks are rife with disc-throwers and volleyballists, and the waterfront trails and ravine paths see thousands of cyclists and runners every day. But what if you yearn for something edgier; some kind of sport that nudges (or shoves) you out of your comfort zone? Try one of these offbeat pursuits, and make your summertime workouts memorable.



1. Unicycling: To paraphrase George Orwell; four wheels bad, two wheels good, one wheel awesome. Be that guy! That unicycle guy! Hop on your uni and zoom around the city like a one-wheeled boss. The Toronto Unicyclists group is a good place to start; they have handy how-tos and organize meetups so you can get tips on your technique. Unicycling; not just for circus clowns any more.



2. Stand-up Paddleboarding: In the last few years, stand-up paddleboarding—SUP, to its devotees—has become so popular worldwide that it's almost too mainstream for this list. It's still not a huge deal here in Toronto, though, and if you start now you can still feel smug in a couple of years when everyone starts jumping on the SUP bandwagon. The gear's not very expensive, and you can do it on pretty much any body of water. SUPers say the sport is relaxing and contemplative, so if you're looking for a little spiritual recharging mixed with gentle exercise, SUPing might be your thing.



3. Slacklining: You see them in parks around the city, but mostly at Trinity-Bellwoods; they balance on a length of narrow nylon webbing slung between two trees, sometimes doing tricks, always drawing a crowd. The rope's called a slackline, as opposed to a tightrope (which is, well, tight) and walking it takes a whole different set of skills. The T-B sessions are pretty welcoming, so stop by and check it out. There's more info at Tribal Tensions.



4. Longboarding: Skateboarding's generally split into two different styles: shortboarding and longboarding. Shortboards are good for technical tricks, flips and jumps, but longboards are a whole other story; they're more stable, but they're also faster, with a longer turning radius that makes them better for bombing hills or just outright cruising. Find out more at Longboard Haven or Longboard Living..



5. Archery: Sure, it's in danger of being the next hipster hobby, but archery's worldwide popularity and noble roots make it a timeless pursuit. It's also a pretty useful skill to have, since you never know when you'll be on a quest for a magical ring or a missing princess, and suddenly find yourself surrounded by Orcs or White Walkers. Check out Archery Toronto to find a club.

· All Outdoors Week 2014 posts [Curbed Toronto]