Outdoor sporting culture finds home in New Orleans

New Orleans is a thriving metropolis, bursting at the seams with food, music and culture. One integral part of that culture is sports, be it the Pelicans, the Saints, the Tigers or the Green Wave. But New Orleans has also started to cultivate a community of outdoor sports. There are a surprising number of opportunities to get outside in this city, and as outdoor sports are on the rise, New Orleans makes a compelling place for fostering outdoor culture.

Water sports in particular have become more mainstream in recent years, including the popularization of kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. The bayous of New Orleans may not be the first thing to come to mind in terms of paddling, but rental shops and tour spots have started popping up along the banks, enabling tourists and hardcore paddlers alike to explore the swampy environment that is uniquely New Orleans.

And it is not all water sports. Tulane University alumnus Daniel Bressler and Eli Klarman founded New Orleans Boulder Lounge. In lieu of actual mountains in our flat city, New Orleanians can now have the same experiences as those less sea level-challenged. Bressler and Klarman had difficulties even finding a building that could accommodate the high ceilings needed for a climbing gym, but persevered with the knowledge that New Orleans would benefit from this type of space.

“Eli [Klarman] is passionate about promoting a community space, a physical and productive outlet. We wanted to create something good for you with good people,” Garret Mortenson, general manager of the New Orleans Boulder Lounge, said in an interview with Tulane New Wave.

This is the first climbing gym in New Orleans since the closure of Climb Max after Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans Boulder Lounge also has training areas for beginners, a yoga studio and a café with live music to bring the community even closer together.

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