Who says you can only have exhilarating fun on land? Water sports can provide the same thrills as offroad racing or airsoft. There are numerous activities you can do on water, all of which can be more extreme than most land-based extreme sports.
Physically, water sports demand a lot even from veteran enthusiasts. If you are planning to get wet in unfamiliar territory, you will need to come prepared. Here’s a guide to help you make the most out of watersports.
Do you know how to swim?
Given that you are taking part in water-based activities, it’s important to master requisite skills, chief of which is swimming. Regardless of the water sport you pick, there will always be times when you need to paddle your way to the surface. Getting wiped out by a large wave or flipped over while on a kayak is normal, but it can turn into a disaster if you don’t know basic swimming techniques, especially diving and floating.
You can’t always expect someone like a lifeguard to pull you out of the water, so it’s best to count on yourself for your own survival. Swimming is a life skill. You must hone it so you won’t run into any serious problem as you enter the world of watersports.
Let’s say you already know how to swim. You can hold your breath for long periods and you know exactly what to do when you are battling against a strong current. Even if you have learned such basic skills, it’s still important for you to know if you are physically fit enough for extreme watersports. Everything from freediving to underwater hockey can put your body and spirit to task. Your muscles and bones will also get a very challenging workout, but there are risks to your overall health you might not want to overlook.
In a study featured on IOPScience, the health and safety risks of watersports include decompression sickness, drowning, and getting bitten or stung by venomous aquatic animals. Not only that, but there’s also exposure to pathogens in the water as well as traumatic injuries such fractures, dislocations, and sprains that beginners should watch out for.
Be sure to ask advice from your doctor or fitness trainer to determine the safest water sports you can try. It’s best if you can maintain a healthy lifestyle by exercising and eating the right types of food.
Picking the right watersport for you
If you are cleared to take on water-based activities, you will find a whole variety of extreme sports that will match your need for excitement and not to mention a good way to tone your body.
Here are a few top picks:
Surfing: This is basically the face of extreme water sports, having been practiced for centuries and with an entire culture built around it. Apart from being an activity fit only for the coolest of the cool, surfing also provides a wide range of benefits. It’s a great way to reduce stress and improve stability.
Wakeboarding: If you are into skateboarding and snowboarding, this wouldn’t be much of a problem to you. Wakeboarding is a fast-paced activity that’s great for people transitioning to more extreme water sports. If you have a great balance and a greater tolerance for high-speed action over water, then this would be the best activity for you. It takes time to learn the fundamentals, but you can get better at it with constant practice.
White Water Rafting: The great outdoors is chock-full of activities, one of which is white water rafting. For this extreme watersport, you need to work well with a team and stay active during difficult courses. The adrenaline rush you get is like no other, so you might want to plan next year’s summer getaway by looking for white water rafting attractions around your area.
Kite Surfing: You can see air and water connect through this sport. It has the same stress-relieving benefits as surfing, but the only difference is that it takes you from the surface of the water and into the air where you can perform various twists, flips and other tricks. You can’t think of anything else this extreme, so if you consider yourself a risk-taker with a thirst for doing stunts, then this might be the water sport that’s worth your time and energy. You just have to pick the best location for it.
Hydroflying: While not officially a sport, hydroflying has the potential to become a competitive activity later on. If you are not familiar with it, hydroflying involves having both feet strapped to a board which is connected to a hose. Water is forced through the hose, creating propulsion then lifts the board and the rider to the air. Think about flying like Iron Man minus the armor!
You can try any one of these sports, but there are other activities you can check out for yourself. And while you can’t become an expert in each one of them, it still pays to be persistent. So, never stop learning and keep finding opportunities to become better at a water sport you will end up loving!
Invest in the right gear
Good health and passion can get you anywhere in the world of water sports, but having the right gear is still integral to the experience. You might want to start out renting or borrowing equipment. But as you feel more at-home with a certain watersport, you will find it more practical to purchase your own equipment. Aside from the activity itself, shopping for safety gear, harnesses, and Stryker T-Tops for boats is also a fun part of the experience.
You can start by finding comfortable and durable wetsuits and goggles. From there, you can work your way purchasing the most important tool required in the watersport you picked. The cost can be very hefty at $380 for surfboards and a maximum of $2,000 for a pair of water skis. Nonetheless, paying more for quality is better than taking your chances with cheaper yet flimsy gear.
You are all set
Now that you are in the right condition and you have everything you need, you are now ready to take on extreme water sport lessons. You might need tons of patience, but all your hard work will pay off once you have grown out your novice shell.