The easy way to see the sea without the scuba training is snorkelling, which has come a long way since the small face mask and u-bend tube. These days it’s all about full-face masks such as the ‘Easybreath Surface’ by Subea, which have revolutionised snorkelling with their panoramic field of vision and ability to breath through your nose rather than mouth. It makes snorkelling a lot simpler and a lot more fun.
Best water sports activities to do in the summer
Bored of beach games? Want a bit more than an inflatable flamingo and a few hours on a lilo? We round up the best water sports to get you trying something new on the beach.
Going on a beach holiday doesn’t have to mean lying on a towel all day. With a huge range of exciting water sports activities on offer at most resorts, there’s always something new to try everywhere you go. From extreme thrills and high-octane action to trying something new and having a bit of fun in the sun, there’s always a water sport for you.
If you want to go deeper, SCUBA might be for you. Diving is easy to master, but you will need a short training course before you can head out on your own. Luckily, PADI courses are available all over the world – and all beginner lessons come with equipment and suit hire. If you pick an all-inclusive resort scuba diving might even be included in your package.
Some beaches have kayaks for hire if you already know what you’re doing, but instructor guided trips are often available for beginners, which are a great way of getting used to paddling on the water. Similar to a canoe, you steer a kayak facing forwards, using a double-bladed paddle to row from front to back, alternating with each stroke.
Also known as the “water paragliding”, parasailing gives you all the thrill of an extreme sport without any of the worry and training. Available at beaches all over the world – strap on a parachute, tie yourself to a speedboat, and let the professionals toe you through the air while you get the best view of the beach.
Sort of like driving a motorbike on water, jet skiing is fast, fun and surprisingly easy to master. Speed is controlled by a simple twist of the handles, and experienced riders can jump straight on and start skimming over the waves. If you haven’t tried it before, lessons are quick and easy, with age limits varying from country to country.
For a less extreme sport, try paddle boarding. With no training involved, paddle boarding is like surfing with an oar. And no waves. Riders stand on a board and “row” gently across the water using a long paddle to push themselves along at a more graceful pace. If you aren’t great at balancing, you can even lay on your board and paddle with your hands.
The ultimate water board sport, surfing is a way of life for people all over the world. The professionals might make it look easy, but picking it up can be notoriously tricky for first timers – with the sport requiring a lot of balance (and practice) before it starts to click. On the other hand, riding your first big wave will be one of the best moments of your life so it’s well worth signing up for a few lessons at a surf school near your resort.
The great joy of windsurfing is being propelled across the water using just a board, a sail and a good sense of balance, getting you close to the sea while skimming across it at speed. Of course, it will take you a while to master the art of windsurfing (your first few lessons will see you spend more time in the sea than on it) but once you gain confidence, you’ll soon progress onto boards with bigger and faster sails.
Skiing on water? What’s not to like? Strap on a pair of skis, grab hold of the cable, and let a speedboat pull you across the surface of the water at high speed. Barefoot water skiing is also available at some resorts, but the traditional method has been around for almost 100 years now and it’s a must for any water sports holiday.
If you’re having a hard time choosing between surfing and water-skiing, wakeboarding is for you. One of the coolest-looking sports around, riders strap on a short surfboard and hold a tieline attached to a speedboat. Experienced riders can start spinning, flipping and jumping over each wave and the real pros even compete in the X Games.
If you’re after a beach break with a bit of an edge, take a look at our amazing all-inclusive water sports holidays to find the right sport for you.