A Beginner’s Guide to Surface Watersports
For anyone that likes adrenaline-fuelled, thrilling activities that are as exhilarating as they are exhausting, the wonderful world of surface water sports might be a good place to start. Whether you’re following the powerful lead of a kite or you’re manipulating your own body to ride waves, there’s something to suit all wants, needs and desires when you opt to learn a surface water sport. But what counts as a surface water sport? We’ve listed all of the most popular surface water sports, alongside a brief introduction to each one, so whether you’re a dab hand at one, looking to try something different or you’re completely new to water sports, this guide will inform you of the wealth of options that are out there.
A bodyboard is a small, rectangular piece of equipment which, much like the name suggests, is ridden with your body lying flat on the surface. Bodyboards jump with the wave in order to ‘get on’ and enjoy the ride from swell to white water, before heading back out time and time again. An unmistakable thrill, some opt to wear flippers to help them ride the wave from deeper water in a larger swell. A family-favourite that, conditions and supervision permitted, can be enjoyed by both children and adults.
Perhaps more of an art than a sport, bodysurfing involves riding the waves without the assistance of a surfboard, bodyboard or any other buoyant device. Bodysurfers will usually don wetsuits flippers and goggles before heading out into the swell to freestyle their way along the waves. Benefits of this include the lack of equipment, which means minimal expense and maintenance, but also the undeniable natural high of soaring through the waves using just your body. Those who choose to go ocean swimming regularly will be familiar with bodysurfing, often using the waves to assist them in reaching the shore.
A sport we like to think we know a thing or two about here at F-One, kitesurfing involves using the power of a kite to pull the rider across a body of water, whilst they remain upright on a small surfboard. Kitesurfing kites are renowned for their power and all-but guarantee an elating ride. This sport requires a certain level of commitment, but once you’ve picked up the basics it’ll be difficult to imagine life without a kite attached to your torso – trust us! If you’re looking to start kitesurfing but are unsure of where to start, check out our recent blog post, Beginner’s Guide to Kitesurfing.
A fantastic sport that has grown from strength to strength in terms of popularity in recent years, SUP involves standing on a large board and using a paddle to propel yourself through the water. A fantastic exercise for your core and arm muscles, paddleboarding is by no means easy and is a lot more physically exerting than it looks. However, whether paddling through waves, down rivers or across lakes, paddleboarding is a fantastic sport that virtually anyone can get involved with – even dogs! The therapeutic nature of gliding through the water will do wonders for your wellbeing and most will jump at the chance of a rare period of peacefulness and tranquillity amidst the bustling nature of 21st-century life.
An effortlessly ‘cool’ sport that attracts many across the globe, surfing involves using the momentum of the waves to stand up and ride your board. Board size varies depending on your ability, with the more experienced who are looking to perform tricks generally opting for the shorter variety. All that is required is a board of some kind and some swell, although those surfing in UK waters are advised to wear a wetsuit for warmth. Surfing is one of the only sports where you gain not only a new hobby, but also a lifestyle within a community of friendly surfers. These can provide fun opportunities such as hanging out at the beach or enjoying a post-session drink or two. If you’re keen to start surfing but feel intimidated by the jargon you hear, fear not, for we have created A Beginner’s Guide to Surfing Terminology, so you can understand and perhaps even join in with the conversations at your local surfing haunt.
Probably the shallowest of all the surface water sports, skimboarding involves hurling a small board across shallow waters, before running and jumping on top of it and continuing to ‘skim’ across the shallows – what could go wrong? You may recognise this sport from the wealth of ‘Fail’ videos available on YouTube, but you’ll have to trust us that once you get this sport right, there’s nothing quite like skimming your way through the paddlers at the beach. Bails can be slightly more painful without the cushion of deep water, but that’s all part of the fun!
Perhaps last practised on your most recent holiday, tubing is also known as ‘doughnuting’ or ‘biscuiting’ and involves being towed behind a boat on a large circular rubber tube at rapid speeds. While you don’t need to master many skills to engage in and enjoy this sport, the main objective is to hold on to the tube for as long as possible without falling off as a result of the boats sharp twists and turns. Tubing is great fun and is sure to be a highlight of any holiday, but the downside is you are likely to require your own boat to continue to enjoy it at home.
Again, a sport that requires the use of a boat, but there are hundreds of wakeboarding parks appearing all over the UK in response to the increasing popularity of the sport. It involves riding a wake while being towed at fast speeds by a motorboat, in a similar vein to waterskiing, which is also a surface water spot. As your confidence grows, the aim changes from being able to stay in an upright position to mastering all kinds of jumps and tricks, making it a fantastic sport for progression.
A sport that involves travelling across a body of water using a large board that is powered by the wind produced from a single sail. Somewhat of a combination of sailing and surfing, windsurfing is great fun as well as a brilliant workout for your entire body – chances are your limbs will be aching by the end of your first session!
That concludes our guide to just some of the most popular surface water sports for you to try out this summer! We hope we have provided enough information, but if you have any further questions or queries, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the friendly team here at F-One who will be more than happy to help. We also have an extensive range of watersport equipment to cater for all abilities, so browse our website today to find the perfect gear for your next hobby!