Get on board
Remember that scene in “Apocalypse Now” where the American soldiers are surfing on the beaches of Vietnam in the midst of napalm smoke? Well if you thought that was a jarring image of cultures clashing, how about SUP (stand-up-paddle) surfing along the Moscow River? Nestled away on the island of Serebrany Bor, on the eastern side of Moscow, is SUP Center on beach #3, where SUP-surfing veterans and rookies alike can either rent boards by the day or take part in the special SUP safari lesson program. Daily rentals go for 3,500 rubles ($60) on weekdays and are offered with a generous 1,000-ruble discount on weekends. For beginners, or for those unfamiliar with the surroundings of the island, the center offers a 2.5-hour lesson for 1,500 rubles. The beach is located in a remote and scenic part of Moscow, where the gentle sways of the river aren’t drowned out by the city commotion.
Outdoor Tai Chi
Keep calm amid the chaos
Moscow is a bustling city, and if you don’t keep your chakras in balance you can find yourself feeling oppressed by the overwhelming commotion and imposing architecture. Master Chen Sian, who hails from Beijing, can teach you just the right techniques to keep your stress levels to a minimum. At his school Tai Hexie Sian and his apprentices combine two ancient Chinese martial arts— Qigong and Tai Chi—and offer both individual and group lessons. All levels are welcome, and the rigor of the lessons is appropriately adjusted to fit participants’ skill level. For that little extra boost of solar energy, the lessons take place outdoors in the spring and summer seasons.
You want to ride their bicycles
One of the most popular biking retreats in the U.S. happens to be a town in Idaho called Moscow. Although the Russian Moscow lacks the geography to offer a comparable biking scene, all is not lost. The Titan bicycle club offers bike rentals, sales, and repairs. For the adventurous, Titan also offers “Velo-Tourism,” from organized single-day rides to camping expeditions. You can also propose your own destination — so if you fancy a bike journey over the Altai Mountains or from Moscow to Baikal, now is your chance!
Practice your strokes on the Moscow Canal
Where there’s a river, there’s a kayaking club. Russia is often stereotyped as a country that adopts global trends quite late, but kayaking has somehow managed to make its way upstream. A people that have a history of being so intertwined with the Scandinavian Viking societies have to have some sort of boating culture. Kayak-n-Roll is Moscow’s largest kayaking club, and offers options for both enthusiasts and beginners. Single training sessions are offered for 1,200 rubles ($20), as well as monthly passes ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 rubles.
Glide around town on eight wheels
Already miss the exhilarating feeling of sliding around on the ice-covered pavement in the dead of winter? SportProkat offers rollerblade rentals in five different locations across Moscow. Their main center is located at Moscow State University, where you can strap on your rollerblades and feel young and free again as you dash around the campus or down by the river. The prices go for 200 rubles ($3.5) for one hour, 400 rubles for three, and 600 rubles for a full day’s rental.
You’ll Never Run Alone
Running is perhaps the one activity that everyone across the world experiences difficulties when trying to motivate themselves. One of the best antidotes can be the support of others, and this is where running groups come in. Moscow has several to offer, but one in particular is the Moskva River Runners. The club attracts non-competitive, casual runners. You’ll never run alone again!
Rope Course Skytown Pro
Release your inner Tarzan
Heights are a common trope in Russian culture – from Putin’s “Power Vertical” political system, to the classic Soviet sports drama “Vertical” with Russia’s beloved musician and actor Vladimir Vysotsky (whose name coincidentally has the root word “vysota” which translates to “height”), to putting the first man in space. Join in on Russia’s favorite pastime by heading over to Skytown Pro, the highest rope course in all of Russia. For the true daredevils, there’s even a 14-meter-high tightrope. Prices start at 600 rubles ($10) for children and 900 rubles for adults.