Surface Water Sports: What Every Beginner Needs to Know

surfing

There’s a wide range of adrenaline-pumping water sports that are perfect for people seeking adventurous activities. Aside from having various health benefits, they’re a great way of having fun with friends and family while giving you a total sense of freedom on the water. For beginners, make sure to take lessons from professionals, prioritize safety and use the proper equipment.

Swimming Is an Essential Skill

Regardless of the kind of water sport you pick, swimming is a necessary skill as there will be times when you’ll get flipped over or wiped out by a wave. Although you can go kayaking or paddleboarding without knowing how to swim, it’s recommended to learn at least basic swimming techniques for your safety.

Aside from being a life-saving skill, learning to swim will also give you the confidence to learn water sports. It also serves as a great workout by strengthening your lungs, heart, and muscles before taking on any adventurous water sport.

Having the Right Gear

You can start with borrowed equipment or boat rentals as you learn a particular water sport. A rental boat includes the proper accessories and enough safety equipment so that you or your group stays safe on the water. As you start to feel at ease with your chosen sport, it will be more practical to have your own equipment for your personal safety and enjoyment.

Top Water Sports for Beginners

Surfing

Have an experienced friend teach you how to surf or get surfing lessons with a professional. Don’t attempt to surf by yourself as you could be injured or put your life in danger. Surf on easy, steady waves to avoid getting overwhelmed and make the learning process go smoothly.

Don’t forget to do some warm-up exercises before getting into the water. Stretching out your muscles will lower the chance of getting muscle cramps and stimulate your reflexes for better control. Warm-ups will also increase your heart rate, deliver more oxygen to your muscles and get you ready for action.

Kayaking

kayaking

Kayaking is one of the most accessible water sports that’s easy to master. One of the first things you need to learn is proper body posture. Sit with your back straight, then place your legs in front of you. Bend your knees against the side of the kayak to give you more stability.

Ensure safety by having a life vest and wearing proper clothing so you can easily move around. If it’s too windy, you might want to reschedule for another day. It’s recommended that first-timers try kayaking on calmer waters to make paddling more manageable. You can also consider joining guided tours for your first trip to be more familiar with the gear and gain more confidence for your next trip.

Wakeboarding 

Wakeboarding seems a bit challenging, but you’ll definitely get hooked once you try it out. It’s somehow easier than surfing, as you don’t have to wait for the perfect wave to come. The motorboat makes the waves for you as it tows you across the water.

During your first attempt, maintain proper body positioning by staying upright but keeping your knees slightly bent to absorb impact from the water. Keep your elbows straight while holding the rope, then keep your head and eyes up. Keep the rope handle close to your hips instead of holding it too high to avoid getting you out of balance.

Paddleboarding

If you feel like you might not have enough lower body strength for surfing, paddleboarding can be a good alternative. It involves standing on a large board with a paddle to propel yourself through the water. It’s a fun way of having a full-body workout while getting a good view of the horizon and things beneath the clear water.

When heading out the water for the first time, choose calmer waters like ponds or lakes to avoid too many obstacles like boats. Make sure there’s little to no wind and go with a friend so you can watch out for each other.

Ensure you’re equipped with essentials like a personal flotation device (PFD), proper clothing like a wetsuit, water sport shoes, and sunscreen. You can also bring a dry bag to keep your things safe from the water.

As long as you have proper body condition and the appropriate equipment, you can try diving into these exciting water sports. Just remember to take safety precautions so you can fully enjoy your time in the water, and remember that dedication, patience, and hard work will let you master your sport of choice.

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