Some people go on vacation to relax while some want an adventure of a lifetime. What is it about the great open waters that give travelers the thrill and excitement? It is the variety of fun and challenging water sports activities that raise the adrenaline of every vacationer who wishes to learn the art and discipline behind the sport.
Discover what it feels like to explore the waters or conquer the waves as a group, a couple or as an individual with these top 15 water sports that you should try at least once in your life!
If you are thinking of swimming as a regular pastime in your own pool, think again. This recreational activity can transform into a competitive water sports activity and a head to toe workout for most individuals like gold medallist Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds who grabbed two championship titles in the recent London and Beijing Olympics.
If you want to take swimming to the next level, try out open water swim racing, a popular water sport in triathlons. Open water swimming lets you learn professional swimming skills like:
Sighting: An open water swimmer develops a sharp eye in looking who is ahead of him and the direction he needs to take to finish the race.
Drafting: This is a necessary skill in confirming the direction of where you’re going. Good drafting skills also avoid clashing of legs or arms with another swimmer and swimming across strong water currents.
Swimming straight: If you want to finish strong instead of going beyond the buoys, learning how to swim straight is needed as this increases your speed, thus, less time to complete the race.
Catching the clear ocean waves takes time, and surfing lets you split a second to enjoy standing on water. Surfers describe surfing as a breathtaking experience to be at the right time, at the right pace, and with that perfect wave.
Surfing Legend Laird Hamilton always finds himself discovering the next big thing in surfing after inventing hydrofoil surfing. Surfing has engaged him to do more by taking care of his own body. He hangs around regularly with his 83-year-old friend– Don Wildman who is well and alive as he is. This person also inspired him to eat absolutely no meat and ditch the liquor for a year and counting. Maybe you are looking for that inspiration to stay fit for a lifetime, and you can get that through surfing.
Do you want a faster way to tour around the city or island? Riding a jet ski is the best option for you to get off the traffic jam and explore the landmarks of your chosen destination. Best of all, you don’t need a license to drive a jet ski; just the proper training from jet ski tour guides. Choose a Jet Ski tour agency over a Jet Ski rental so that you can get training, gas, safety gear, and equipment all in one package.
Here are top reasons why travelers need to try jet skiing:
You can have a close encounter with sea creatures: You can get real close to the sea as compared to riding a boat when you go jet skiing. If you do not feel confident swimming with long distances, you can ride a jet ski and have a close encounter with dolphins and other sea creatures.
You can fish for food: Jet Ski Fishing is the new trend for most water sports enthusiasts since it gives them the excitement of catching larger fishes rather than fishing on a boat.
You can navigate with ease: It may be hard to learn Jet Ski at first, but after a few rounds of practice, you can speed up to 55 mph and let your jet ski float in the air within seconds.
Snorkeling means swimming on the surface of saltwater or freshwater with snorkeling gear on. With the right snorkeling equipment like a mask, fins, vest, and swimsuits, you can view underwater creatures and their environment clearly and comfortably.
There are varieties of snorkeling activities to try which include:
Reef Snorkeling: It is a common type of snorkeling that lets travelers explore the coral reefs and interact with small fishes. Reef snorkeling is popular on beaches and islands like in the Philippines and Maldives.
Cage Snorkeling: For those who dare to view larger fishes like sharks and whales, cage snorkeling is an avenue for you to encounter this once in a lifetime experience. You can go cage snorkeling for 30 minutes in the huge aquarium at Dubai Mall.
Sailing and Snorkeling: Some of the best spots for snorkeling are reached by sailing, which is why some snorkel tours include sailing in their package. Sail to beautiful islands like Maldives, and snorkel your way through a school of fish and groups of sea turtles.
Boat Ride Snorkeling: Ride a boat along with your friends and snorkel at different boat stops with this engaging snorkeling activity.
Practice balancing on the water with this amazing water sport. Water skiing is a classic summer sport that does not involve formal training. Water Skiing is for those who want a heavy workout or just want pure and unrestrained sport.
The best part about water skiing is that there is no age limit to it, yet you need to condition your upper and lower body so that you can gain control while holding the tow rope and balancing yourself on water at the same time.
Kayaking is a group activity done in the rapids, streams, lakes, seas or near waterfalls. It is sometimes confused with canoeing. The difference behind kayaking is that it uses two blades for paddling and the design of the boat is narrow and can only fit one or two people.
Kayaking is not just an upper body workout; it utilizes the core muscle and is equal to a hundred sit-ups. The different forms of kayaking include:
White Water Kayaking – If you are up for some wild water adventure down the waterfall or on the riverbanks, this type of kayaking is for you.
Freestyle Kayaking: It involves special tricks like backflips and stand up paddle boarding.
Sea Kayaking: Sea kayaking is for travelers who want to explore caves or islands at a slow pace.
Kayak Touring: If you are going in groups and crossing the other side of the lake together, you can soak up in the sun and have fun with this type of kayaking.
Competitive Kayaking: If you prefer racing to a particular destination, this type of kayaking is a great competitive sport.
Boating or sailing works when the wings of the sail move to the direction of the wind. Before riding the sail, it is essential for aspiring sailors to learn the parts of the sailboat and basic maneuvers in order to navigate well on the waters. Therefore, a credible sailing course is recommended.
Sailing is a favorite sport for some because it enables them to use their cleverness in navigating through the open waters. It also takes guts to sail through different weather conditions.
Diving, specifically scuba diving, is a form of therapy for the mind and soul. It keeps you away from stress because of the pleasant flora and fauna thriving in the deep. Sound from underwater travel five times quicker than above water, so you will not really distinguish sounds while you are scuba diving. Children 8 years and above can also dive depending on how well they can carry the oxygen tank.
This modern water sport is a mix of water skiing, surfing, and snowboarding moves. It strengthens the legs and arms and increases versatility as well as focus and eye coordination.
Rubber bindings are attached to the wakeboard to keep the rider on his feet. Wakeboarding is similar to doing gymnastics, only you perform the moves on water.
Similar to surfing, body boarding enables a surfer to ride a rectangular board made of hydrodynamic foam. Anyone can do body boarding or boogie boarding. Simple techniques for bodyboarding include the stand-up and drop-knee, which can be done by both children and adults.
You will need a good set of fins to match your board so that you can be comfortable doing the sport.
White Water Rafting
Do you want a more adventure-filled version of water skiing? White water rafting is a perfect summer sport for a group of travelers to try because of the teamwork involved in paddling through the rapids. Some refer to this as a dangerous sport, but most of the white water rafters have guides that keep them safe throughout the trip.
Rafting is a calmer type of watersport as compared to white water rafting because it is done on the beach instead of the rapids. You can burn up to 400 calories when you go rafting for an hour. It can also improve your arms’ flexibility.
Kiteboarding is a useful aerobic exercise that tones the body and strengthens the arms and abdomen. It is ideal for girls who want to have fun in the water while shaping up their bodies.
Kiteboarding is a lot easier than water skiing; you can learn the skill in 10 days or less. Kiteboards also cost less.
Windsurfing combines both surfing and sailing because of the winged device called “rig” that is stuck to the surfboard. Windsurfing not only gives you enjoyment, but it can also be an addicting water sport as surfers balance their way through the fierce waves.
It’s important to get professional help in setting up the sail to ensure stirring in the right direction.
Fishing is a sport that enables you to bond with your family. It is also a form of meditation and is proven to reduce anxiety and blood pressure. It also strengthens the body’s joints and muscles and teaches traits like patience and determination. Fishing is usually done on the boat or the river banks.
Health Benefits of Water Sports
Water sports, in general, not only keeps you fit and tan; it also offers multiple health benefits like:
It gives you an appetite for nutritious foods.
Seeing the natural beauty of the bodies of water and the living creatures in it makes you appreciate plant-based diet better. It is also important for water sports hobbyists to stay fit so that they can perform the sports well.
It reduces chronic diseases.
Floating on water in itself exercises the heart and other parts of the body and reduces stress which can lead to chronic diseases.
It is a form of exercise for people with arthritis.
Water sports improve joint and muscle movement in adults. Activities like paddling and rowing can increase bone density in older women. Other water sports like swimming and snorkeling are a form of hydrotherapy that retains muscle flexibility.
It stimulates mental health.
Water sports reduces stress and anxiety and is one way of strengthening relationships among family members. Diving in water relaxes the mind, making one think clearly and put aside negative factors that induce stress.
According to water sports surveys, swimming is the top water sport on the list. This is because swimming can be learned at a young age, and there is no need for costly gear– just your hands and feet, swimwear, and the open water. Second on the list is surfing because of the ideal surfing spots all over the continents. The other water sports that make it to our top five are jet skiing, snorkeling, and water skiing while diving, wakeboarding, and bodyboarding are included in the top 10.
Water sports is indeed an interesting and exciting hobby and recreation. These sports have been a way of life for most people who live or frequently travel in coastal regions. Moreover, most activities done on water are proven to be beneficial to human’s health. So, plan ahead and try these sports for your next vacation getaway!