Outdoor Water Activities
Let’s face it, today’s hectic lifestyles leave little room for fun. Most people work hard all week and for exceedingly long hours. When the weekend finally arrives we’re ready to leave the rat race behind us for some outdoor activities. Having fun outdoors is great for the mind, body, and soul. We get a well-deserved break from working all week, we engage in some physical activities that are beneficial for our overall wellbeing, and because we enjoy these activities we generally feel fantastic afterward.
Outdoor activities are a great way to unwind on the weekend and there is definitely no shortage of activities to choose from. When it comes to activities we can do on the water, well that’s a whole new level of fun and excitement. Humans have always enjoyed being near water and have invented a variety of ways to enjoy the many rivers, lakes, and beaches around the world. If you’re thinking of heading out for some aquatic fun this weekend, here are 10 outdoor activities you can do on the water, you are sure to enjoy.
There is something magically soothing about being on the water. That is why so many people enjoy sailing. Gliding on the water with the wind in the sails is a great way to spend a warm afternoon with good friends. Bring along a basket of food and a good bottle of wine or a six pack of beer and you can literally satisfy all of your senses. The beautiful thing about sailing is that you can enjoy this activity on any body of water that is deep enough. You don’t necessarily need to buy a sailboat and the boat doesn’t actually need to have sails. It’s just about getting a group of friends together and enjoying life.
If you want to take sailing to the next level you can always book into a chartered cruise. Most organized cruises provide food and beverages and such cruises usually involve sightseeing a particular coastline or a city along a river. You can take a day trip or enjoy an entire weekend of life on the water. So put on your boat shoes and start your water adventure.
Kayaking has been around for several millennia. The first kayaks were put together by driftwood and possibly the skeleton of a whale. The original purpose of the kayak was as a hunting and fishing vessel for Eskimos. These days, kayaking is very much a popular water activity. Kayaking is great for those who like a little physical activity on the water. It takes a great deal of fitness and upper body strength to maneuver a kayak through the water. You can take kayaking to the extreme on a wild ride on a river. This is a great activity because anyone can enjoy it regardless of their fitness levels. Beginners can enjoy kayaking on the calmer waters of a lake or tranquil river and extreme kayakers can hit the river rapids for an exhilarating rush. Kayaking also appeals to those who care about the environment. It is man powered and requires no pollution-causing energy source. It is also less likely to cause any damage or harm to aquatic creatures or plants. If you love kayaking, check out our guide to the best places in the world to kayak.
3. Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
Technically speaking, scuba diving and snorkeling are not activities you can do on the water, but rather, they take you under the water. Even so, they are both great water activities. Both these activities will take you beneath the surface and give you an amazing view of aquatic life we don’t get to see on the surface. Snorkeling is relatively simple. You put on a snorkel mask with a breathing tube or snorkel, and you basically swim along the surface of the water while you viewing life under the surface. Snorkeling is cheap and easy. You don’t need deep water and you can take your diving mask and snorkeling fins and snorkel almost anywhere with you.
Scuba diving, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. Firstly, you need a considerable amount of equipment. You also need to take lessons and receive scuba diver certification, plus you will definitely need to be given a clean bill of health from a medical professional. If that doesn’t deter you then you won’t be disappointed by the world deep beneath the surface of the water. There are countless sea creatures to interact with … or avoid. If you are lucky enough to be able to explore a coral reef then you’ll see an underwater world that is beyond spectacular.
What better way to start a weekend than to grab a pole and go fishing. Fishing is pretty simple. You set up your fishing rod, add bait (a fishing lure) and cast. It doesn’t matter if you prefer lakes, rivers or seas, if you have a little bit of knowledge and patience, you’re bound to come home with dinner. Fishing is a relatively relaxing activity for the most part and there are many benefits of fishing. Once you’ve cast your line, you simply relax and wait for the telltale signs of a bending rod to signify that the fish are biting. While you’re waiting for this event, you are free to let your mind wander or simply enjoy the scenery.
If you want to make a real sport out of fishing, get on a boat and head for the deep seas. This is where the bigger fish are and if you’re lucky enough to a have a big fish chomp over your hook, you’re in for the ultimate battle of man versus beast. Some of the bigger fish like tuna can range from around 10 kg to a challenging weight of a couple hundred kilograms. Then there is every fisherman’s dream come true, landing a marlin. The big fish will put up an enormous fight and you may find yourself trying to reel them in for hours. For the avid fisherman, this is the ultimate test of endurance and willpower.
Huge curling waves are a magnificent force of nature and man has enjoyed the thrill of riding these monsters for hundreds of years. Surfing isn’t just a water activity or a sport. It has its own little culture going worldwide. There are beaches all over the world that a famous for attracting surfers and many surfing hotspots are now running annual competitions for pro-surfers.
Maybe you’re not in the pro category, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying this great pastime. Surfboards come in a range of different styles and price ranges so even a beginner can give surfing a try. If you don’t want to buy your own board, many popular beaches have boards you can rent for a few hours. The main thing to remember is to learn at your own pace and tackle smaller waves until you learn how to keep your balance on the board. Once you master the smaller waves you can work your way up to bigger ones. Or you can just sit on your board and let the waves take you where they will.
Quite often, combining two activities is a bit of a hit and miss. The same could not be said for windsurfing. This thrilling water activity combines surfing with added elements of sailing. In essence, you take a surfboard, add sails and carve your way through the water. The exhilarating thing about windsurfing is that in many ways, you are not gliding on the water. You can also fly over waves. Of course, this will take quite a lot of skill and a lot of practice. Or you can simply navigate your way around and simply enjoy being on the water.
Windsurfing is no longer just a fun past time. In 1984 it made its first appearance at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. It has since gained in popularity and is now a great activity for all ages.
7. White Water Rafting
There is rafting, and then there is white water rafting. Rafting is relatively tame and involved an inflatable boat, or raft, and a gentle pace on a quiet river. White water rafting is rafting on steroids. The flow of the river is considerably more volatile and often there are rocks sprouting from the middle of the waters. The bubbly energy and constant splashing is what gives the surface of the water a white appearance and hence the name, white water.
Some people may consider this exciting activity as dangerous, but it is no more so than many other sports and activities. Most places that offer white water rafting have experts who know the rivers and how to keep rafters safe. With the addition of safety equipment like helmets and life vests, there is very little to worry about except hanging on and enjoying the ride.
8. Jet Skiing
There is another fun way of riding the waves and it involves a personal watercraft, more commonly known as a jet ski or a wave runner. Jet skis are a whole lot of fun. This activity can be done on any body of water but the real fun starts when you ride the Jet Ski over waves. Maneuvering your way around, over and through waves takes a considerable amount of skill and endurance. It can also give you a good workout as this bobbing and weaving through the waters can get quite physical.
Jet Skiing is fun for all ages and skill levels. Novices tend to take it easy, but seasoned pros love to show off their skills. If you have a group of friends who all like to Jet Ski you can engage in races. Just remember to give each other adequate space to avoid crashing. One this is for sure, it’s really easy to lose track of time when you’re on a Jet Ski. Apart from being a lot of fun, they are also pretty exciting crafts due to speeds you can reach.
If you like the idea of flying, you’ll love parasailing. This exhilarating activity involves you being strapped into a harness and attached to a parachute. The harness is attached to a motorboat by a long rope and as the boat picks up speed you are lifted into the air and dragged along by the boat.
The best points about parasailing are that you don’t necessarily need any skills to enjoy this great water activity. That makes it fun for everyone. You get to enjoy some pretty impressive views thanks to the heights you can reach and if you happen to fall, you’re above water. Like all water activities, there is always an element of risk, but for the most part, parasailing is relatively safe and, once you try it, you’ll want to get up in the air over and over again.
10. Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Stand Up Paddle Boarding involves standing on a board with long paddles. The board is quite similar to a surfboard, but usually a little thicker. The aim of this activity is to stand on the board and navigate your way around the water with the use of paddles. It sounds simple enough, but it takes quite a bit of practice and skills to stay on the board at first. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is better suited for lakes and where sea waves are not too aggressive. This is particularly important for beginners. If you are a novice, your first few times out should be on sunny days with little or no wind. Once you get the hang of staying on your board, you can try for more challenging conditions. This is a great, relaxing activity. You’ll be out on the water and you can paddle at your own leisure pace.
Whatever outdoor activities you choose to participate in on the water, always remember to make safety your first priority. Whenever appropriate, wear the relevant safety gear and be aware of your surroundings so that you and other aquatic enthusiasts stay safe. The safer you are, the more you’ll enjoy these fantastic outdoor activities you can do on the water, and the only difficulty you’ll encounter is staying out of the water.