It’s almost summer and after 2 years of the pandemic, we are finally free to travel again without restrictions.
Whether you are an adventurous person who enjoys all sorts of extreme sports or if you are just searching for a new hobby, water sports are the perfect way to have fun, get your adrenaline spiking, connect with nature and hang out with your friends.
We wanted to find out what are the most exciting water sports that people prefer so we reached out to 40 water sports bloggers and asked them the following question:
Table of Contents
What is your favorite water sport and what is the essential equipment for it?
Keep reading to see what they had to say.
Alisha Postma – Dive Buddies 4 Life
Our favorite water sport is scuba diving. Together Joey and I have been enjoying this water sport for the better part of eleven years and even still, we can never get enough of it!
There is nothing quite like exploring and photographing life below the waterline. Our recent project Canadian Splash is a testament to the beauty, wonder, and fragility hidden below the surface in our home country.
As a sport scuba diving is pretty demanding in terms of capability and gear. To become a certified, prospective diver must complete a course combining theoretical and practical scuba diving components.
Where gear is concerned, a very basic diving kit consists of a bathing suit, mask, fins, regulator, weights, BCD, and cylinder. Bear in mind that this is a very, very basic scuba ensemble.
There are also additional comfort items and equipment preferences based on locality and water temperature. For instance, you wouldn’t go diving in ice-cold water without adequate thermal protection.
Some additional equipment includes; a wetsuit/semi-dry/drysuit, neoprene/dry gloves, neoprene hood, flashlight, dive computer, reel, snorkel, surface buoy, heated vest, compass, dive slate, reef stick, reef-safe sunscreen.
On top of the basic scuba kit, most divers will have one or more of these additional items.
Scuba diving is a fast-growing hobby that has captivated the hearts of many. With seventy percent of the planet resting underwater, you’ve got to dive in to truly see what the world has to offer.
Excited to try scuba diving, but not sure if it is the right fit for you?
A great place to start is to try snorkeling. Snorkeling involves moving along the surface of the water with your face submerged. It’s fun, does not require any special training and almost anyone can do it.
Jay Wink – Oceansports
My favourite water sport is Scuba diving. Essential equipment for scuba diving includes a mask, fins, wetsuit, snorkel, and a regulator.
Mask: For obvious reasons, a scuba mask is absolutely essential. The importance of the mask in diving cannot be overstated. A good quality mask can ensure clarity and visibility of up to 20 feet underwater
Fins: a pair of fins that fit snugly around the foot helps you to move through the water easily and quickly. They are made of hard rubber and plastic materials which allow you to swim with minimum effort, while their shape allows divers to propel themselves through the water.
The fins are also an important safety device, as they can be easily thrown away in case of an emergency.
Wetsuit: A wetsuit is worn to keep the body warm and protect it from scrapes and bruises. Most scuba diving suits are made of neoprene which is an insulation material that retains heat well. It has no stretch but it is thick enough to keep a diver warm in cold water.
Snorkel: A snorkel helps you to breathe easily when swimming on the surface by providing air from above the water, rather than from the surrounding water. It is a tube with a mouthpiece at one end and a float at the other.
Regulator: The regulator is an essential piece of diving equipment that controls the air supply to the diver and regulates the pressure of the air.
Julius Launhardt – Social Diving
As a dive instructor myself, my favorite watersport is scuba diving.
Exploring the underwater world while floating weightlessly like a fish is an incredible feeling. You can also watch sharks, whales, and other marine animals up close. How cool is that?
Therefore, if you are new to diving, I highly recommend you try it out!
Getting started is simple as all you need to do is find a dive center close by and take a diving course. You don’t even need any scuba gear to get started, as most dive schools will have plenty of rental equipment.
After you got your Open Water Diver certification, you can dive anywhere in the world down to 20 meters / 65ft depth.
Once you are a scuba diver, you can start looking for dive equipment for beginners.
It consists of:
- Scuba mask, snorkel & fins to see and swim underwater
- Dive boots to protect your feet
- Wetsuit (3-7mm thickness) to keep you warm on your dives
- Dive computer to show you depth, time, and other useful information
- Scuba regulator to breathe from the tank
- Buoyancy Compensator to help you float effortlessly underwater
These are the essentials, but of course, there is more to it. For example, you can buy an underwater camera to take photos and videos of your explorations and get a so-called drysuit to dive in very cold water.
You don’t have to buy the most expensive dive equipment right away or all at once. You can buy what you need the most and rent the rest wherever you go.
Visit our site to find more free guides and scuba training.
Now I hope you can go out and explore the underwater world! ☺
Bryan Horne – Dive Curaçao
Scuba diving is not just my favorite water sport activity, it is my life’s passion! Since discovering our underwater world many years ago and the ability to safely immerse myself in it for an extended period without holding my breath, I have not looked back.
In fact, I have only dived deeper into the world of scuba diving by leveraging my passion against an obsession to put the Dutch Caribbean Island of Curaçao on the map as a world-class dive and vacation destination, by creating Dive Curaçao.
Together, with my trusted DiveRite backplate/harness setup, Atomic Reg Set, and propelled by my sturdy Scubapro Jet Fins, I have been very fortunate to experience many bucket list diving adventures. From the Galapagos Islands to wreck diving in Canada, my trusted gear has never once let me down!
Today, my gear and I are largely dedicated to scuba diving over 70 world-class sites in Curaçao and helping the global dive community to appreciate why Curaçao should be on their radar as a dive vacation destination. So, visit us at Dive Curaçao and let us guide you down for an ultimate diving vacation!
Olly Gaspar – We Seek Travel
In my opinion, the best water sport, especially for travelers, is scuba diving. I’ve worked as a Dive Master in South-East Asia.
In terms of gear, this will depend highly on whether you’re an avid diver or a beginner. If you are simply a beginner, you technically won’t need to purchase any gear, since all reputable dive shops will provide the basics.
However, I’d advise anyone who would like to get into diving to purchase their own mask.
That’s because standard “shop” masks aren’t always going to fit your face. This leads to discomfort and sometimes even a leaky mask, which you constantly need to clear when diving (not fun).
For those looking to get more serious, I’d advise buying your own fins, BCD, and regulator. Remember to do your research before making a purchase.
The best brands to look out for are Scuba Pro, Cressi, and Aqua Lung.
Austin Tuwiner – Scuba Otter
Of course, scuba diving is my favorite water sport! From adventure dives to drift dives, scuba allows you to fully explore an alien world where there is always something more to see.
If I had to pick one piece of gear to own for scuba diving it would be my dive computer – my favorite being the SUUNTO D5 – but there is an extensive range of computers for anyone’s needs and budget.
Your dive computer is what will keep you safe by allowing you to track and record your personal limits. Everything else can be rented or borrowed from a dive center.
My favorite watersport is stand up paddleboarding (SUP), the fastest-growing paddle sport in North America.
Of course, whitewater kayaking used to be my favorite watersport. But the versatility of the SUP is hands-down better than kayaking.
You can SUP on calm lake water, the moving waters of a river and surf a river just like you can surf an ocean wave.
The essential SUP gear is:
- Water shoes that lace up.
- Stand up paddleboard, Leash, SUP paddle.
- Personal Flotation Device (PFD).
*Notice it is not called a “life jacket” anymore because it does not save lives; it just makes you more floaty until you can rescue yourself or be rescued by someone.
- Quick-dry or sun shirt
- Board shorts or swimsuit bottoms
- Helmet (for river stand up paddle and surfing)
- A wet suit in cool water
- A drysuit in cold water.
JJ – JJ’s Paddleboards
My favorite water sport is stand-up paddleboarding. I also have a seasonal side hustle renting inflatable paddleboards out of my garage, which people can book through my website.
Stand-up paddleboarding is a great water sport because it’s easy to learn and anyone can do it!
There are three types of paddleboards – epoxy or hard-top boards, composite or soft-top boards, and inflatable boards.
Hard-top boards are made for performance users and are great for riding waves on the ocean. Soft-top boards are cheaper and more versatile, which is good for entry-level riders.
But the most popular and the one we recommend is the inflatable paddleboard. You can buy a good board from Costco or Amazon for under $400 and it comes with almost everything you need – the board, paddle, and pump.
You’ll need to buy a life jacket separately, which is a must even if you’re an experienced swimmer!
Inflatable paddleboards are great because they fold down to about the size of a large suitcase and can fit in any trunk, so you don’t need a truck or roof rack to haul them wherever you’re going.
And they’re made of PVC, so when they’re fully inflated they’re durable and rigid.
Whether you’re going for a solo ride or a parent taking a kid or two along with you, inflatable paddleboards are great for having fun out on lakes, rivers, oceans, or anything in between.
As a child growing up in the Netherlands, I had the opportunity to be surrounded by water everywhere I looked. Lakes, rivers and the sea shaped my reality and I fell in love with stand-up paddleboarding.
There’s something about being out on the water, away from everything. A true adventure and peace of mind.
For everyone that wants to start, I advise safety comes first! With me, I always carry my restube to keep me safe yet it allows me to move very freely.
Furthermore, good gear always helps me get the most out of paddleboarding. I use my Shark II electric pump. It quickly inflates my board without me breaking a sweat! In case I don’t have my car with me, I take the Whale Pump, a rechargeable pump that inflates 5 boards on one charge. This really helps me enjoy my SUP time.
The most important part of my gear is my paddle board. I mostly use my Bluefin Cruise and it really gives me the best experience on the water.
This love for paddle boarding gave me the base to start my blog standuppaddleboardworld.com where I recommend the best SUP equipment and educate people on paddleboarding the right way.
Allison Sicking – Viva La Travelista
As a Playa del Carmen, Mexico-based travel blogger, my favorite water sport is standup paddleboarding (SUP).
After I first moved to Mexico, I joined a standup paddleboarding club, which includes a monthly membership package with unlimited paddleboarding on the ocean and direct access right off the beach.
What I love about the sport is that it can be done in so many different places around the world whether you are traveling to a beach destination, a lake, or a lagoon.
Standup paddleboarding is a fun water sport that provides a low-intensity workout by challenging your core, upper body strength, balance, and stability.
It’s also a fun and unique way to meet new people while traveling if you choose to join a group session.
Essential equipment required for paddleboarding includes the board, paddle, and leash which are usually supplied by the operator.
For more serious paddleboarders, solid or inflatable boards can also be purchased for ease of travel. You’ll also want to wear a rash guard, sun hat, and sunglasses depending on the water temperature.
Erin Moreland – Super Simple Salty Life
Living in Florida, we’ve tried almost every water sport you can think of! Our favorite is stand up paddleboarding, it’s such a versatile way to explore all of our different waterways.
Florida has beautiful oceans, rivers, lakes, mangrove water trails, and crystal clear springs- and paddleboarding is an easy way to see them all!
Beginners can sit or kneel while they get comfortable on the water using the paddleboard (or SUP for short).
Most also have hooks you can strap a kayak seat on top and use the SUP as a kayak too!
We have a pair of paddleboards that are inflatable, so they are extremely portable while traveling.
You just grab the bag they pack up in and head to the water! The bags hold the paddles and the pump as well.
Also, having an electric pump that attaches to the car makes setting up and putting the boards away when you’re done for the day super easy.
Paddleboarding is our favorite way to get outside in the fresh air, get some exercise, and see nature all at the same time!
JJ Lilley – Glyde Paddle Boards
Our favourite water sport is paddleboarding as it is a relaxing and enjoyable activity that’s super easy to get into and relatively cheap compared to other water sports.
It’s a great activity to take part in with family and friends and is suitable for a wide range of ages and fitness levels.
The only essential pieces of kit that you need are the board itself, an attachment device called a paddleboard leash which is worn around your ankle to keep you connected to the board as well as a paddle and a life jacket.
These will help keep you safe in case you fall off the board or are paddleboarding in tricky conditions. Other useful items include a towel, a hand pump, and a water bottle.
Julian – Green Water Sports
Our favourite water sport is stand up paddle boarding!
It’s a super accessible, low-impact sport available to all. We can enjoy cruising down a river on a warm summer’s day, or charging in large waves – and everything in between.
Essential items are board, paddle, leash, and PFD. Plus a few cold drinks and some snacks for an awesome day outdoors!
Nick Lyons – Is Up Reviews
Stand Up Paddle Boarding is my favorite water sport because it offers freedom, enjoyment, and good exercise with a minimal amount of essential equipment to get started.
Beginners need very little instruction to get on the water and have fun with friends, but it can be a lifelong sport of continuous challenge and improvement.
Additionally, it’s a water sport that can be done on almost any type of water from a lake or reservoir to the ocean or river.
Beyond the basic paddling, there are also specific categories of paddle boarding like yoga, fishing, racing & long-distance touring.
The essential equipment for paddle boarding is a paddle board and a paddle, although a life jacket and ankle leash are also important.
Getting a paddle board setup has gotten very easy and affordable with drop-stitch inflatable board technology in the past few years.
You can now purchase an entire setup of value-priced, new equipment for as little as $250 – $300 and a top-of-the-line setup for $500 – $1,000. These kits usually include a board, paddle, pump, leash, and storage/carry backpack.
I’m definitely biased, but if you want an affordable and fun way to enjoy a sunny day on the water with your friends – check out stand up paddle boarding!
Scott Knorp – Glide Outdoors
My favorite water sport is stand up paddle boarding because it gives me a full-body workout and gets me out in nature.
Equipment required: stand up paddle board (either rigid or inflatable), SUP paddle, PFD, leash, whistle, dry bag (for phone, keys, etc). Quick-drying attire is a must as well.
For transporting a hard SUP board, you will want either a hard or soft rack for the roof of your vehicle.
This isn’t necessarily required for an inflatable SUP as it fits in a backpack when deflated and can then be inflated once you reach the waterway.
Kris & Steve Morrow – Paddle About
My favorite water sport is kayaking. Nothing beats a great day on the water. The essential equipment you need for kayaking is a kayak (of course), a paddle, and a life jacket.
Kayaks come in various shapes and sizes, so choosing one that fits you is essential. For beginners, I recommend a recreational or touring kayak. These kayaks are stable and easy to maneuverable, ideal for beginner paddlers.
You’ll also need a paddle. You can’t get very far in a kayak without a paddle. When choosing a paddle, you’ll need to consider the type of kayaking you’ll be doing (e.g., a calm lake, a slow-moving river, or whitewater), your height, the kayak’s width, and your level of experience.
Finally, always wear a life jacket when paddling. Even if you’re a skilled kayaker, you can still get into trouble, and it’s essential to prepare for the worst. Make sure your life jacket is comfortable and fits well, so you’ll wear it when paddling.
Heather Hart – Hart Adventure Racing
My favorite sport is flatwater kayaking. Essential equipment for this sport, in my opinion, includes the following:
The obvious essential will be a kayak! What type you get (sit-in, sit on top, material, width, length, etc.) will depend on where you intend to paddle, what you want to do with the boat (Fish? Casual float? Race?), and how comfortable you are getting in and out of the boat
A high back PFD that fits well and doesn’t inhibit your paddle stroke. The high back is integral as it lets you sit normally in the kayak seat without unnecessary forward lean.
A paddle that fits appropriately for you. When I first started kayaking, I used a cheap paddle we already had laying around. It was too long for me, and the shaft diameter too large for my small hands.
When I transitioned to a shorter paddle with a smaller diameter shaft, it was a whole different experience!
I felt far more efficient, was able to paddle faster, and didn’t fatigue as quickly, especially in my grip and shoulders.
My absolute favorite accessory I’ve found so far is the Splash Deck spray skirt by Seals. It’s not as constricting as a true kayak skirt, but still keeps you warm and dry. Plus it has a zippered pocket for storing items I don’t want rolling around the cockpit of the kayak.
Alan Greenfield – Gorp
My favorite water sport is definitely kayaking. It is a great way to explore the water and is much more maneuverable than a canoe and more stable than a stand-up paddleboard.
Kayaks are probably the most efficient way to zip around a lake or shoreline. For kayaking, you obviously need a kayak and paddle, but there are lots of options.
Many are going the route of inflatable kayaks which are easier to transport and store, and are surprisingly durable, but typically they are made of a harder material or plastic.
It is imperative that you have a lifejacket, and I recommend getting one that is made for canoeing or kayaking because it is way more comfortable and allows for a nice, full paddle stroke.
Finally, you will want a good supply of sunscreen and a good hat. Be sure the hat has a strap because you often want the hat to hang around your neck when your hands are full with the paddle.
Mike Jones – Ten Digit Grid
My wife and I love to go Kayak Camping on multi-day paddling adventures. Out on the water, it’s key to have to correct gear to stay safe and Keep your gear dry. Here is a list of our favorite trustworthy gear:
- Nite Ize RunOff Waterproof Packing Cubes – Waterproof containers in different sizes. Has a waterproof zipper which allows for quick access to your gear.
- Kalleq Greenland Style Paddle – Greenland style paddles are very different compared to the typical style Euro blade paddles that most kayakers are used too. Greenland style paddles are thinner and better for long-distance paddling.
- NRS Kayak Bilge Pump – Bilge pumps are a critical safety item when Kayaking. They allow you to pump out water from the kayak.
- HMG GOAT Tote – This tote comes in three sizes, 20L, 30L, and 70L. The 70L is a fantastic way to carry all your kayak gear. My wife and I fit our kayak skirts, two life vests, water bottles, GoPro gear, and more!
Marc Bromhall – Beginner Surf Gear
Well, this is an easy one – it’s surfing.
To surf, you need a surfboard, leash, fins, surf wax, and a wetsuit. If you’re surfing in the tropics then you won’t need a wetsuit, just a rash vest.
If you haven’t ever surfed before it’s advisable to take surfing lessons, as it’s one of the more challenging water sports to learn.
We also advise that when learning to surf you rent a soft-top board – this board will be easier to learn on and also safer for those in the water around you.
Keera Belviy – Vital Surf Gear
Surfing, for a tall woman like myself, it is vital to have proper fitting wetsuit attire.
Being active constantly and not wanting to worry about the sun or cold waters, I feel good in a Vital Wetsuit, geared for women like me.
Surfing is a sport that once you try it, you truly never get rid of it, you will always get back on a board again one day and say ‘Why haven’t I been doing this more often?”.
Having essential surf gear is key to a worry-free session.
Janelle Axton – Make The Trip Matter
My favorite water sport is surfing. Surfing is an incredible water sport for any person at any age and fitness level.
The thrill you get from catching a wave and the calming feeling of being in the ocean is unbeatable.
It is easy for most people to pick up as you don’t need much equipment, and the equipment you do need is affordable and long-lasting.
For surfing, you really just need a surfboard! Beginner surfers will want to start on a board that is bigger (for more stability) and has a foam top.
You can find an 8’ beginner board at Costco for under $200. If you live somewhere with colder weather and water, you will also likely need a wetsuit (unless you plan on exclusively surfing in the summer).
Depending on the temperature of your water and the quality of the suit, you will be able to find a wetsuit starting around $50-$200+.
Mary Holland – Hornet Watersports
My favorite water sport has to be windsurfing since it combines sailing and surfing. It’s super fun but has a bit of a learning curve, but it’s totally worth it.
Not only that but windsurfing is an excellent sport to keep you in shape, as it’s incredibly demanding on your body.
If you get good at it, you can go to a ton of competitions and race against other windsurfers, travel to exotic surf spots around the world, and all the cool perks that come along with it!
Michael Pagano – Boat Goals
My favorite water sport is wakesurfing for a multitude of reasons. Wakesurfing is a sport that is easy to learn, but you can continue to challenge yourself to learn new tricks (360’s, shuv-its, and for experts only the “sushi roll”).
While only traveling 10-12 mph behind a boat, when you inevitably fall, wakesurfing is much easier on your body than its cousin wakeboarding. I’ve seen small kids as young as 4 years old wakesurf as well as people in their 80’s.
Getting the right board for what you are looking to accomplish is important which is why you want to start with a great beginner board and once you get the hang of that, the sky’s the limit.
Whether it be a skimboard (best board for carving and tricks), surf-style (best for coasting and cruising), or hybrid board (a little bit of skim and surf style), testing them out and seeing what kind of rider you are is important.
Playing around with the fin setup also changes the feel of the board so that is also an important piece of the puzzle. Once you have your surf boat, life vest, wakesurf rope, and wakesurf board you are good to hit the water and shred it.
David Morgan – Snorkel Mart
My favorite water sport is snorkeling. It has served as a passion and highly important activity in life for several years now.
Any water sports blogger would know that snorkeling is one of the most exciting activities one can do in the water, deep or shallow.
While some may consider it dangerous, all you have to know is to swim and feel comfortable in the water to maintain a level-headed approach.
It often serves as a recreational activity and helps me relax in challenging situations, the ocean view, in particular, is all made possible through snorkeling. The water sport has opened me up to new experiences in life.
The essential equipment needed to conduct snorkeling is as follows:
- A mask
- A snorkel
This is the basic equipment that you need to swim around and explore the sea when snorkeling.
The mask and snorkel act as a safety device while the fins are used to help in swimming, especially when facing tidal waves and maintaining balance in the water.
I would advise beginners to definitely wear fins when snorkeling as it allows for a safer experience.
Carrie Ann Karstunen – Should Be Cruising
My favorite water sport is snorkeling, and I always pack my snorkel equipment whenever I travel.
It’s an easy sport to learn, and you can snorkel just about anywhere you can swim—in the ocean as well as in ponds and lakes.
All you need to get started is basic swimming ability and some simple gear, including a mask and snorkel. Fins are optional, but they do help propel you through the water.
Although I snorkeled for decades with a traditional mask and separate snorkel, for the past several years I’ve been using a full-face snorkel mask with a built-in dry snorkel.
They’re fairly inexpensive, and I love that I can breathe normally with this kind of mask (instead of through the mouth with a traditional snorkel).
The visibility is also much better with these all-in-one masks.
If you’d like to start snorkeling, you might also consider purchasing some safety equipment. A brightly-colored inflatable snorkel vest will give you more visibility in the water, and also act as a personal floatation device.
A surface buoy with a flag is also essential if you’re snorkeling in open water to alert boats that you’re there.
Taren Geselln – MōTTIV
My favorite water sport is simply open water swimming. It’s a fantastic low impact workout that has an almost meditative quality to it, you become one with the water when you’re swimming and breathing gently in open water.
The great thing is that you don’t require much equipment to swim in open water.
- If the water is 75 degrees or warmer you just need a tight-fitting swimsuit to reduce drag, a pair of mirrored swim goggles to reduce glare on the water, and a silicone swim cap.
- If the water is between 60-75 degrees you should add a triathlon wetsuit to keep you warm and buoyant.
- If the water is colder than 60 degrees you can add a neoprene cap, booties, and gloves.
Jason Bryce – Williamstown Open Water Swim Coaching
I have plenty of gear for when I am on a board, kayak, or boat but you only need a pair of bathers to participate in swimming. There are plenty of other items to buy, use and own (and I sell a lot of OWS merchandise) but the basic gear is a swimsuit.
I wear tinted Open Water Swimming goggles, a silicon OWS cap plus the speedos to swim in the sea year-round, winter and summer in Port Phillip Bay.
I also have a couple of OWS wetsuits – sleeveless and full-sleeved for when I want to stay in cold water for long periods of time or participate in an event.
I have a dry robe – a long parka – that I can wear over wet swimwear as soon as I get out of the water. I usually carry an insulated drink bottle that keeps my tea hot in winter (or my drink cold in summer).
I try to get down to the beach and complete 2km before going to work in the morning. If I don’t get my swim in I don’t feel as positive about the day. This is an exercise that combines cardio, strength, and aerobic workouts and the cool water brings your circulation and mood alive.
Open Water Swimming is a serious (Olympic) sport but for most, it’s a largely non-competitive social activity.
Pools have been closed regularly during lockdowns in 2021 and 2020 and many swimmers have discovered a love of jumping into the ocean instead.
This used to be a ‘side-hustle’ for me but coaching and supporting people learning to swim and swimming in the sea has become my main source of income.
Emily and Adam – Two Get Lost
For our favourite water sport, sailing, the obvious essential equipment needed is a sailboat! But in reality, you need a lot more gear.
Safety is always a top priority when sailing, especially when you’re sailing offshore. Lifejackets and tethers are essential, but you’ll also want decent communication equipment such as a VHF radio and an EPIRB. You will need flares, a life sling in case of a man overboard situation, and a life raft.
To stay comfortable on board no matter the weather you’ll also want a decent sailing jacket, a protective shirt or rash vest, sunglasses, and a sun hat. It’s not always easy to find shade on a sailboat and long watches in the sun can be tough without the right gear!
Sailboats are constantly exposed to sun and saltwater, and if something is going to break then it will happen when you’re several miles offshore!
It’s essential you carry some basic tools and a few key spares when you’re sailing so that you have the ability to fix things while at sea. Engines love to fail just as the wind dies or you’re coming into port!
Another piece of essential equipment for sailing is a mask and snorkel.
Even if you don’t love diving into the water to see what’s around when you arrive at a new anchorage, you’re bound to have to inspect your hull at some point.
Whether it’s pulling a plastic bag out of your propeller or scrubbing the bottom of your boat, you’ll be thankful for a mask and snorkel!
Our favourite water sport, without a doubt, would have to be sailing. Not only is our yacht out home, but our 40-foot boat, named Polar Seal, is also our form of transport, delivering us safely around the world.
To be able to travel by the power of the wind and navigate our way safely to foreign lands is one of the greatest feelings in the world.
Sailing is like a form of mindfulness. When we’re at sea, we feel truly at one with mother nature and the ocean. There are no outside distractions and nowhere else we need to be.
Sailing has allowed us to experience the most incredible sunsets and sunrises and encounter many different forms of wildlife.
I will never forget the time we were sailing on a moonless night and the bioluminescence in the oily black water was so prevalent, it looked like we were sailing through a sea of glitter.
Sailing has also allowed us to meet many interesting and inspiring people and the constant challenges and hardships of the sailing life have helped us grow as individuals and as a couple.
Sailing is a water sport that allows you to feel alive and in the moment. You are totally responsible, not only for your well-being but for your survival. There really is nothing else quite like it!
The essential equipment is a boat and a can-do attitude. Everything else can be figured out along the way!
You can start small, with a dinghy or trailer sailer, and work your way up to a larger boat as you become more proficient at sailing. However many go straight to a 40+ foot yacht and do just fine.
Rick Wallace – Tackle Village
Not surprisingly for someone who founded a popular fishing site, fishing is my favourite sport – specifically, fly fishing.
Fly fishing is a great way to spend time on a variety of waterways – tropical sand flats, freestone rivers and alpine lakes to name a few.
It’s exciting, demanding, and a great way to escape the pressures of everyday life and experience some pure relaxation.
The main equipment required is a fly rod and reel, line, flies, leader material, tippet, and wading shoes and waders (if fishing cold water).
It is a gear-heavy sport, but once you have your kit it will last a decade or more and is a great investment in terms of peace of mind and enjoyment.
Tyler Brady – A Fellow Fisherman
My favorite water sport is fishing. I have done it since an early age and now make a living taking people on charters along the NC coast.
Fishing is a wonderful opportunity to relax and enjoy nature.. It is also a challenging sport that requires skill and patience. I love the satisfaction of reeling in a big fish, especially when it’s a fight to the finish.
No matter what type of fishing you enjoy, there is nothing like spending a day out on the water. It’s the perfect way to relax and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
The required gear comes down to a rod, reel, line, bait/lures, a hook and that is it. There are obviously many nuances to which type of rod, reel, line, and lure to select.
Pete Robbins – Half Past First Cast
My wife and I lead fishing trips all over the globe — most frequently to Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Panama, and Alaska –for novice and advanced anglers alike.
While fishing is our passion, the side benefits are that we meet great people, see exotic destinations, and try incredible foods.
We own a garage full of fishing rods, reels, and lures and constantly need more to take on new destinations, although clothing is just as important — what you wear in the blazing sun of the equator is very different from the necessary garb for a 60mph boat run on a cold, rainy day.
We pride ourselves on helping our readers be prepared for any and all situations they might encounter with unbiased, non-compensated reviews.
Mikaela – Voyageur Tripper
Whitewater canoeing is my favorite water sport for a few reasons.
First, whitewater canoeing takes you through exciting, adrenaline-inducing rapids. Some rapids are narrow and technical, requiring specific strokes at precise moments. Other rapids are wide and voluminous with big drops and water rushing around you on all sides.
Second, with each rapid, you learn new skills and grow your confidence for paddling bigger and tougher rapids the next time around. There’s so much technique to learn and new places to paddle.
Finally, whitewater canoeing can bring you to some of the most remote destinations in North America. Take the Seal River through the heart of Boreal Forest to the Arctic Ocean.
Paddle the Coppermine River under the midnight sun and north of the arctic circle. Stay closer to home but still get a wilderness experience by paddling one of the many rivers near major cities like Toronto, Montreal, Seattle, and more.
The equipment for whitewater canoeing is generally as followed:
- Whitewater canoe outfitted with knee pads and thigh straps
- Helmet and PFD
- Canoe paddle
- Throw ropes, air bags and bailers
- If paddling large volumes of water: spray deck
Due to the high-risk nature of whitewater canoeing and the level of skill required, I recommend you start with a whitewater paddling course or a guided trip. These will teach out how to read rapids and paddle in moving water.
Parasailing is something that I recommend to everyone. You get to sit in a small plastic vessel, strapped in as if you’re about to ride a car.
The vessel is then attached to the back of a powerful boat through a retractable line on a wrench. As the boat takes off, a big parachute behind your vessel starts catching the wind and starts lifting you in the air.
My parasailing experience was sensational, I got to soar through the sky, hundreds of feet above the water, allowing me a breathtaking view of the world below that I wouldn’t get otherwise.
The boats on the water looked like grains of rice on a blue tablecloth.
The overall experience was exhilarating but not scary. It was gentle, and everything happened fairly slowly. I came down in a much calmer state than before I got up.
Debbie Fettback – World Adventurists
Flyboarding is one of the newest and most popular water sports. It involves strapping yourself into a board that is connected to a jet ski by a long hose. The jet ski provides power to the board, which propels you up out of the water.
You can then fly high into the air, and with a lot of practice, you can perform flips and other tricks, and even dive down into the water like a dolphin. Flyboarding is so exhilarating and freeing.
There is nothing quite like soaring through the air above the water. It is also great exercise, as you are constantly using your lower body to balance on the board.
While it may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, flyboarding is quite easy to learn with the right equipment. In addition to the jetpack, when flyboarding you need a personal floatation device, a helmet, and a wetsuit.
The floatation device is essential for keeping riders safe in case they fall off the board, while the helmet protects against head injuries.
The wetsuit helps to keep riders warm in cooler water temperatures and provides some additional protection if they happen to fall.
Jenny Ly – Go Wanderly
Anyone who has eventually climbed up on waterskis understands the sense of accomplishment and adrenaline that comes with it.
From grasping the tow rope to keeping your legs underneath you, water skiing is a full-body workout.
Standing at eye level, with your skis cutting through the water as it zips beneath you, is a unique pleasure.
It’s worth it to attempt dropping a ski and slaloming once you’ve mastered your balance on two skis. The idea is to keep your skis directly in front of you and your knees tucked up against your chest.
The more your knees are extended, the more difficult it is to rise. Staying in a crouching position allows you to get out of the water faster and with less effort.
Waterskiing requires a tow rope, skis, life jacket, gloves, boat, and bindings.
Nirupam Nigam – Underwater Photography Guide
My favorite water sport is underwater photography.
Underwater photography has given me the opportunity to get face to face with some of the world’s most unique creatures – from a momma humpback whale taking care of her calf to the world’s weirdest fish, the spiny pacific lumpsucker.
Every day is an adventure.
Of course, you need scuba diving equipment for this sport.
The essentials include a regulator to breathe from, a BCD to keep you buoyant, a dive computer to tell you how long you can stay underwater, an SPG to tell you how much air you have left, and, of course, a tank full of compressed air.
Once you get underwater, any camera can get you great shots. You will need an underwater housing that will allow you to bring your camera as deep as 200ft and an underwater strobe (flash) so that you can bring colors back into your photos.
A wide-angle lens like a fisheye lens can be great for taking photos of large subjects and a macro lens is great for taking photos of small subjects.
It’s also a good idea to carry an arm and clamp system so that you can keep your strobe attached to your camera as well as any additional lighting like underwater video lights or focus lights.
Whitewater Rafting River Expeditions
Walker Mackay – Colorado River & Trail Expeditions
My favorite water sport is whitewater rafting river expeditions in the Grand Canyon.
I have worked as a rafting guide for over 25 years and spent over 4 years of my life sleeping under the stars.
The one essential piece of equipment is a properly fitted life jacket.
My personal favorite manufacturer is Kokatat.
Sea Stack Climbing
Iain Miller – Unique Ascent
My favorite water sport is climbing sea stacks. Sea stack climbing is a little-known sport of climbing the towers of rock that stick out of the world’s oceans.
These towers are usually found at the bases of huge rotting sea cliffs in very inaccessible nautical locations.
A day of sea stack climbing will typically involve sea kayaking, swimming, rock climbing, and rappelling.
It, of course, involves having an enormous amount of fun whilst playing in incredibly beautiful and remote marine seascapes.
My favorite piece of equipment is my Ortlieb X- plorer hybrid drybag. This drybag has straps the same as any standard backpack and is designed to be worn and carried in the same manner. It is made of very hard-wearing cloth strengthened PVC.
Why this is my favorite piece of equipment is because of its hard-wearing properties and its multitude of practical uses. This bag can be used and stowed on a sea kayak as a standard rolled storage bag.
Once we arrive at the base of our sea stack and transition to rock climbing. This bag is then used to carry the kit on my back whilst we climb the stack.
It is hard-wearing enough that it can resist most punctures from the very sharp volcanic rock found on some of the sea stacks.
I have used this bag several times as a make-shift buoyancy aid by having it under my arms as I swim in the sea. Most bags struggle to perform this task well as it requires a very strong neck seal to prevent deflation under load.
In summary, a very practical piece of kit that is very well designed and made. On average they last approx 30 % longer than the many other drybags I have previously used.
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