Professional BMX rider Daniel Dhers tests out the indoor skate park. // © 2017 Samantha Davis-Friedman
Feature image (above): Hotel guests can sign up for drop-in sessions at Woodward Riviera Maya. // © 2017 Samantha Davis-Friedman
Camp Woodward is already well-known for its action sports camps in the U.S., but now, the Woodward brand has joined forces with all-inclusive accommodation option Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya to bring the extreme sports experience to Mexico at Woodward Riviera Maya.
“This is a different model for Woodward in that it’s open for resort guests — with half-day and full-day programs, rather than a one-week camp,” said Neal Hendrix, brand manager for Woodward and a professional skateboarder who has won five X Games medals.
Woodward Riviera Maya, a 29,000-square-foot indoor sports facility and the first Woodward event space outside the U.S., is an exciting — and unexpected — addition to a part of Mexico that is primarily known for sun and sand.
According to Ash Tembe, vice president of global field sales for AIC Hotel Group (parent company to Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya), the mantra for potential partnerships is that “if everyone is going one way, we’re going to go the other way.”
It’s this out-of-the-box thinking that made the Woodward Riviera Maya venue a perfect partner for the Hard Rock brand.
At Woodward Riviera Maya, Hard Rock guests ages 7 and up can try out various action sports, such as skateboarding or BMX biking within the indoor skate park or dryland skiing and snowboarding on the ParkBoard and ParkSki ramps.
Plus, anyone taller than 3 feet can channel their inner ninja warrior on the Wrecktangle, an outdoor ninja-style, timed obstacle course. The Wrecktangle pushes participants to the limit on 11 physically demanding challenges that include a rope swing, a cargo crawl, a zipline, hanging rings and swinging punching bags.
Guests can drop in for two-hour open sessions to try out any — or all — of the activities, or they can sign up for private lessons with expert instructors in indoor skateboarding, BMX biking, dryland snowboarding and skiing, trampolining and tumbling, parkour and more. Woodward also offers daily morning Micro Sessions for kids ages 3 to 7 (parent participation is required).
“When people come to Hard Rock on vacation and have the option to rent a skateboard or a bike, I think it is going to be super joyful for anyone who wants to try something new,” said Kevin Peraza, an extreme sports athlete from the U.S. who won two X Games gold medals in BMX biking categories.
Tony Hawk, legendary skateboard icon and pioneer of modern vertical skateboarding, also weighed in on the partnership. Within two hours of arriving at the facility with his daughter, he said, she had already asked when they were coming back.
“I enjoy seeing how much fun my kids are having,” he said. “And I get double the pleasure, because I get to watch them explore, and I get to do what I love doing.”
Resort guests are welcome to bring their own equipment if it’s approved by Woodward staff, but skateboards, BMX bikes and scooters are also available for rent, as well as safety gear such as kneepads, elbow pads and helmets (which are required when using any type of wheeled equipment).
Additionally, indoor snowboards and skis are included in the cost of admission for clients participating in ParkBoard and ParkSki ramps. GoPro cameras can be borrowed at no charge, and guests have access to computer stations and software to edit their videos in the on-site Digital Media Lab.
The Woodward Riviera Maya facility is open daily from noon to 10 p.m., and the Micro Sessions are available from 10 a.m. to noon.
Guests of Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya can sign up on a first-come, first-served basis for Woodward activities, and the venue is also open to the public.
The cost of a two-hour drop-in session is $69, which includes a mandatory 45-minute instructor-led introductory session followed by an hour of free play.
The Double Stack package, on the other hand, begins at a rate of $129 and includes the two-hour drop-in session, plus two additional hours to enjoy any activity. Private sessions start at $150 for groups of six to 10 people. Resort credit or cash can be used to pay.
A grand-opening special offers up to two free sessions for guests who book a minimum of three nights by Dec. 22 for travel through March 15, 2018. Clients can save up to 35 percent and receive a free room upgrade by using the promo code “Woodward” at booking.