Summer is a beautiful season — it’s full of long days, warm nights, and fragrant air. Though, of course, it does bring with it a lot more heat and sweaty days. That’s why joining in on water sports or activities is the perfect way to cool off, freshen up, and have a whole lot of fun in the meantime. If you are looking for the best water sports and activities for your summer inspiration, keep scrolling. Whether you’re in for an adrenaline kick with kitesurfing or flyboarding, or you prefer something more chill such as yachting or snorkeling, there’s sure to be the perfect activity for everyone.
Surfing is one of the most iconic summer water sports. Starting with an early-morning surf is a wonderful way to ease into the day, as is closing out the afternoon on the waves. With so many incredible breaks and surfing conditions around the country, it’s also a very accessible sport. If you’ve never surfed before, there are plenty of companies in many coastal towns that offer lessons so that you can learn the basics. Once you have them down, you’ll be hitting the waves in no time. Keep in mind, there are three main types of breaks, which affect the conditions and waves. These are reef, point, and beach breaks, and each suits different levels of skill and experience.
Take your surfing to another level with a hydrofoil board. It’s designed with a foil attached to the bottom that, with the right conditions, provides lift out of the water by using the kinetic energy of waves. As such, you feel like you’re flying and can reach much higher speeds. You can get boards that just have the foil or that have an electric motor attached meaning they work in calm conditions such as lakes and bays. The engine provides the energy and movement that creates the lift. Ideally, you want to have experience surfing before trying a hydrofoil, as it can be more challenging to master and comes with more risks. However, it can be a lot more fun too! Hydrofoiling is not limited to surfing; you can get foil boards for windsurfing and wakeboarding as well.
Harness the power of the wind for the ultimate water sports rush. In this extreme sport, you have a board strapped to your feet, and a large kite strapped to your waist. You then use the kite’s handles to control it as it catches the wind and propels you across the water. With experience, you’ll be able to reach incredible speeds and performs tricks such as jumps and flips. For beginners, it’s suggested that you take lessons. These will generally cover flying the kite on the ground, followed by in the water, then getting up and riding the board. Most schools will have the essential equipment to learn with, so you don’t need to invest a lot of money before you even start. Once you have it down pat, it’s a thrilling sport that is sure to get the adrenaline surging.
If luxury water activities are more your vibe, then look no further than yachting. There are various yacht styles, including sailing and motor vessels that vary in size from relatively small to superyachts. Beyond befriending a millionaire to get an invite to their superyacht, there’s a couple of ways to get out on the water. This includes booking a day trip or even a multi-night trip to explore different reefs and ports. You’ll be able to relax on deck, enjoy snorkeling off the sides, and explore a variety of anchorage spots. Some companies will even let you help sail the boat, depending on the conditions. Another great option is a sail-yourself tour, where you get a group of friends and skipper the yacht yourself. You do need sailing experience and a captain with a boat license; however, this can be an enjoyable and flexible experience.
Partake in a more laidback water activity with stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). The large boards make it easy to balance while you use the oar to paddle your way around. As such, it’s popular with all age ranges, fitness levels and is perfect for the whole family. Plus, you get the benefit of calm, incidental exercise that particularly works your core muscles. Beginners are best to start on flat waters such as rivers and lakes. However, if you want more of a challenge, you can always take your SUPing to another level — try hitting the surf or practicing yoga on your board.
Kayaking is another relatively easy, low-impact water sport that’s great for everyone. A kayak is a small, narrow watercraft that fits one or two people and is propelled by double-bladed paddle power. It’s brilliant for exploring calmer waters including protected coastlines, lagoons, and rivers. The small size and low height to the water mean you can get closer to the scenery than other vessels such as boats. Plus, it’s an excellent workout session. Paddling uses your arms, back, and shoulders while balancing engages your core. Join in a kayaking tour to get in-depth knowledge of the environment around you, or hire one for a few hours to explore independently. Once you’re a confident paddler, you can try tackling the surf or river rapids or throw a fishing line in from your kayak.
Get the blood pumping with a more extreme water sport — wakeboarding. Your feet get strapped onto a board, and you hold onto a rope attached to the back of a boat. Then, as you’re pulled along behind it, you ride the wake, enjoying the thrill and eventually learning tricks such as jumps and flips. There are boats specifically designed for water sports like this, so they have the correct rigging and engine power to create perfect waves. If you don’t have access to a boat, you can also visit a wake park. These are often man-made bodies of water that have built-in cabling to pull you around and through a series of obstacles and jumps. It’s also the perfect place to learn in a safe and controlled environment with friendly coaches.
8. Scuba Diving
Discover the depths of the ocean more closely with scuba diving. In Australia, you need to be certified before you can start recreationally diving; however, the course itself is fun and educational, and the certification is often valid for life. Learning to dive generally involves a couple of days of theory and pool work before putting your new knowledge to the test in the open water. Once you’re certified, you’ll be able to join day tours doing recreational dives or even opt for a liveaboard trip that sees you spend a few days out on the ocean exploring. Of course, Australia is blessed with two incredible barrier reefs, as well as many wrecks and man-made reefs that are teeming with exciting wildlife and colorful coral.
Snorkeling is an excellent activity for the whole family, and a fantastic way to see the world under the sea. Plus, it’s easy to learn, even if you have no experience. All you need is to know how to swim and adjust your breathing slightly with the mask and snorkel. Reefs and wrecks are the best places to explore sea life, such as coral, fish, stingrays, and even turtles. Depending on your location, there could be reefs accessible from the beach. Alternatively, you can take a boat trip out to deeper reef systems or even a permanent reef platform. Just remember to be sun-safe, and apply plenty of sunscreen to your back, legs, and butt — there’s nothing worse than a sunburnt booty!
Windsurfing is another sport that embraces the power of the wind for the ultimate thrills. It essentially combines surfing and sailing by attaching a large sail to a board and strapping you on. It’s great because you can do it on most bodies of water such as the ocean, lakes, bays, and rivers, so long as the wind conditions are right. Ideally, you will need lessons when starting to learn how to stand on the board, control the sail, and not get injured. It is a higher risk sport, so you do need a relatively good level of fitness and be able to swim confidently. However, once you’re well practiced, it can lead to some excellent times on the water.
11. Jet Skiing
Enjoy an unforgettable experience with a jet ski safari. These powerful watercraft will get the wind in your hair and sea spray on your face. Many hire locations around the coast will do guided experiences that could see you tearing it up on an adventure tour or taking a more leisurely pace to explore. The minimum age for driving applies; however, it can still be a great family activity with kids riding tandem with an adult. Depending on where you are, you might need a boat license for general hire, but you often won’t need one if you’re joining a guided tour. Make sure to check the requirements before booking.
Get a birds’-eye view of the world from a parasail. It’s an exhilarating experience that sees you launched off the back of a high-speed boat while attached to a large parasail. You sit comfortably in a harness while enjoying the sea breeze and brilliant views. Plus, you won’t necessarily have to get wet. Once your flight time is over, you’ll be gently guided back to the boat for landing. It’s a great activity for most of the family, although there is generally minimum age and weight restrictions. However, paragliding can also be a great option for people with disabilities.
Sailing can take many forms, meaning it’s a great water activity that suits various skill and experience levels. Choose to go sailing on a large yacht and have the crew take care of the hard work while you relax in the sunshine. Alternatively, you can get a regatta experience by joining the crew on a sailing boat to learn the ins and outs of being on the water. If large vessels aren’t your preference, sailing in a small boat or Hobie cat is another wonderful way to learn and dip your toes in the sport. Of course, if you find you love the experience, you can always become a member of a sailing club for more regular involvement and to increase your experience without having to buy a boat of your own.
Fly high with a fun and thrilling flyboarding experience. It’s a relatively new water sport that uses high-powered propulsion to launch the participant high above the water, reaching heights of up to 80-feet. You’ll be attached to a board that has a hose connected to another watercraft, such as a jet ski. This second vessel is what provides the propulsion through the board. Best of all, it’s quick to learn, generally taking less than 10 minutes to master the basics. You can scoop, swoop, flip, dive, and fly, feeling like a superhero and total badass.
If you were that kid in the pool who used to hold their breath for as long as possible, freediving might be the perfect water sport for you. It’s a form of underwater diving that doesn’t use any breathing apparatus — you just hold your breath. It’s a risky sport that pushes you to your absolute limits, requiring as much mental control as physical. It takes a lot of practice to be able to do it safely. You’ll need to start by learning how to breathe and hold properly and learn to slow your pulse. Taking a training course is the best way to develop these techniques and gain the knowledge to free dive safely. Experienced and professional freedivers can hold their breath for up to 10 minutes and reach ocean depths of 650 feet.
16. Jet Surfing
Get your adrenaline flowing with a jet surfing experience. Essentially, it’s a surfboard with an engine attached, meaning you can create your own momentum without the need for waves. As such, it’s great for flat, calm waters such as rivers, lakes, and bays. You hold on with a handle containing the controls, and your feet are strapped into stirrups, so you don’t fall off. The experience is like a combination of surfing, wakeboarding, and electric hydro-foiling (except without the lift). You can even reach speeds of up to an incredible 35mph!
Truly immerse yourself in nature with a canyoning adventure. It’s a sport where you traverse ancient waterways that have cut deep canyons and ravines through mountains and rocks over the course of millions of years. You’ll often head deep into the forests and hills to begin your journey, following the water through narrow gorges, down steep cliff faces, and over waterfalls. It’s a chance to discover pure, untouched nature that you wouldn’t ordinarily get to see. However, it’s not for everyone, as some of the passageways can be very narrow, which isn’t ideal if you have claustrophobia. Of course, safety is paramount, and depending on the location you’ll be provided with wetsuits, helmets, life jackets, and other equipment for this unique and inspiring activity.
18. White Water Rafting
Cool off and enjoy adrenaline hit all at the same time with white water rafting. You’ll traverse river rapids in an inflatable raft as your guide navigates around rocks, trees, and waterfalls. If it all sounds a bit too exciting, there are different grades of rapids. These range from Class I and II that are pretty gentle and easygoing, up to Class VI, which is extreme and for professionals only. Most commercial rafting trips will vary between Class II and IV, and you’ll get all the required safety gear. Similar to canyoning, it’s a wonderful and fun way to immerse yourself in nature and experience scenery and views that wouldn’t usually be accessible.
Fishing is another very accessible water activity that’s perfect for the whole family and different levels of skill and experience. It can be as simple as throwing a line in off the beach or as full-on as heading out of a five-day offshore adventure. As such, it can be incredibly peaceful and calm or action-packed. Why not hire a boat on a quiet river and spend a day on the water, or head down to the local jetty for an evening fish after school or work? It doesn’t require a lot of equipment or an expensive setup. Plus, between bites is a great opportunity to take a few deep breathes, appreciate the serenity of being by the water, and perhaps indulge in a sneaky beer.
20. Cage Diving
Face your fears and learn about the creatures of the deep with a cage diving adventure. Most commonly, cage diving takes you out to the deep to come face to face with sharks, including Great Whites. It’s a chance to see some of nature’s largest predators in their natural environment and learn more about these incredible animals. You’re submerged in a steel cage, so you’re entirely protected but still able to get up close. Plus, you don’t necessarily need a scuba license or diving experience to participate. Just make sure to select a business with the best interest of the sharks at heart — any experience with animals should not be at the cost of their well being.
What are the water activities?
Water activities are simply activities that take place in, on, or around water. This could include the ocean, rivers, lakes, bays, and lagoons. It includes surfing, hydrofoil, kitesurfing, yachting, SUP, kayaking, wakeboarding, scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, jet skiing, parasailing, sailing, flyboarding, freediving, jet surfing, canyoning, white water rafting, fishing, and cage diving.
What is the most popular water sport?
Some of the most popular water sports include snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, wakeboarding, SUP, flyboarding, and fishing.
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