Water Sports

Water sports include; swimming, surfing, kite surfing, parasailing, knee boarding, water skiing, water polo, fishing, boating, yachting, boat racing, cliff diving, scuba diving, snorkeling, white water rafting, kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, rowing, windsurfing, paddle boarding, sailing and more.

What exactly does it mean to be a Waterhead? A Waterhead is a person who loves the water and everything to do with it – a person who can’t get enough of the countless activities to enjoy on, in and around the water. At Waterhead.com, we keep you up to date on the latest trends, products, activities and destinations in the world of water!

For Waterheads all over the over world, H2O + Sporting Activity = Optimal FUN. It’s a formula that would have made Einstein jealous, and one that has been put to the test in destinations around the world for generation after pleasure-seeking generation. Luckily if it’s not currently water sport weather season wherever you happen to be, you can always travel to where it is! (Oh, and wetsuits).

Since we couldn’t possibly break down every single awesome water sport that we love, instead we put together a list of our top ten water sports and activities and paired them with as much fun and helpful information and resources as we could. You’ll find tips on the best locations for awesome activities like surfing and deep-sea fishing and must-have gear items for swimming and kayaking. We’ll also leave with you some important safety tips to keep in mind for all of the activities listed below. It’s all here, so let’s dive right in!

Swimming

swimming
Swimming is a great way to burn calories and stay fit.

Every year when summer rolls around people begin to seek the relief of a cool plunge, whether into the swimming pool, the surf, or a freshwater lake. Swimming is the ultimate summer water sport and it’s no mistake that kids and adults alike never grow tired of this fun, refreshing and healthy activity. You can easily while away whole afternoons just lying by the pool or on the beach and enjoying swimming breaks to both refresh and revitalize your energy.

Swimming gets us out into the sun and back into nature. There are so many different possibilities for enjoying swimming, that it ultimately settles on the personal preference of the individual when it comes down to the details. For many, the invigorating feeling of swimming along the coursing waves in the ocean is an unparalleled experience that just can’t be touched by what a swimming pool can offer. Still for many others, the respite of a nice, cool, temperature-controlled pool is exactly where it’s at. There’s no wrong and there’s no right, there’s only fun.

We personally have an affinity for both, but we’re going to leave the work of locating the perfect-fit pool to you. Instead, we’ll focus on a handful of the very best areas in the world where you can enjoy swimming and access to all kinds of other water sports as well.

Hawaii

Snorkeling Bay Oahu Hawaii
Snorkeling Bay Oahu Hawaii

Hawaii is known for its idyllic, paradise-like beaches, pristine blue water, and breathtaking vistas. It is home to some of the best surfing beaches in the world, but many people travel to the islands of Hawaii simply to enjoy the relaxation and tranquility it affords and to take in relaxing activities such as swimming and sunbathing. The best beaches in Hawaii are spread out amongst the islands. From Waimea Bay Beach Park and Waikiki on Oahu to Hanalei Bay on Kauai and Wailea Beach on Maui, you truly cannot go wrong.

In this magical island paradise, swimming often crosses over to include activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving, giving people the opportunity to explore the fascinating coral reefs and marine life which are abundant around the Hawaiian Islands. If you have not had the opportunity to visit Hawaii yet, it is definitely a bucket-worthy location to get checked off your list.

The Caribbean

Antigua Bay
Antigua Bay

The Caribbean has long been a preferred travel destination for people the world over seeking the glorious climate and atmosphere this part of the world offers. The sheer diversity of destinations in the Caribbean can make it difficult to select where to spend your vacation time, but rest assured, it is difficult to imagine anyone being disappointed with any of them, given the right planning and preparation. If you’re focused on enjoying time lapping through the waves, you will find perfect beaches made for just such a thing in virtually every locale.

The U.S. Virgin Islands is known for incredible, aqua-marine waters, welcoming sand and breathtaking corals. Dream spots like Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas are absolute must-sees. Antigua and Barbuda boast shimmering, white-sand beaches, clear water for swimming, and breathtaking, dense palm forests. The Bahamas… well, the Bahamas is just awesome, too. Not only is the swimming amazing, the eco-tourism and access to adventures and activities make it an ideal destination for families seeking out Caribbean beach spots. And before we move on, don’t forget about the likes of Jamaica, Turks and Caicos, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Antigua, and that’s not even half the list. If swimming is on your radar for your upcoming trip, you will not be disappointed with any of these Caribbean hot spots.

Coronado Beach San Diego
Coronado Beach San Diego

Southern California, U.S.A.

Sure, there are incredible beaches all over the world, and we love them, too! We could list beach destinations for days and not get to all of the amazing places we love to go swimming, in places like Southeast Asia, Australia, and South America. But we just couldn’t help ourselves from chiming in about some of our personal favorite beach destinations in Southern California.

Coronado Beach is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful of our favorite SoCal spots. Point Dume and Zuma Beach in Malibu offer wide beaches and fun swimming, but beware of peak busy hours, oftentimes during the summer and on the weekends. For a less-busy experience on those days, head down the Pacific Coast Highway a few miles to the south to either Santa Monica or Venice Beach. There are miles of wide, expansive beaches suitable for swimming and the people watching and access to beach rentals, cool restaurants, and activities are a big bonus.

SAFETY TIPS: When you are swimming at the beach, always be aware of signage around the area. For some of the areas we listed, high tide can come in quickly and lifeguards will advise of potentially dangerous conditions. Don’t test the water if the sign says not to!

GEAR TIPS: No matter what kind of swimming you plan to do, be sure you have your gear needs covered. For some, swim goggles and swim caps are a necessity. If you’re snorkeling, you’ll need goggles, swim fins and a snorkel to get you started. There are virtually unlimited varieties to suit the particular needs of every person, so make the most out of your swimming experience and make sure you check all of your gear needs off your list.

Surfing

Check out this tunnel wave!
Check out this tunnel wave!

Ahh, surfing. What could be more exhilarating than paddling out through the surf, skimming atop the waves, arms and legs coursing through the currents, popping up on your board, catching a killer wave, and riding it all the way in? The short answer: Nothing.

Surfers the world over often find themselves turning this hobby into a lifestyle for good reason. When you visit some of the world’s best surfing destinations, you’ll see surfers of all ages fully taking it in. Oftentimes they get going before sunset and many people keep it rocking in the surf all day long. True surfing enthusiasts go where the waves are, and as long as they’re good, it’s usually tough to drag them back onto dry land.

If you’re not an experienced surfer, or even if you’ve never surfed before in your life, never fear. An important thing to keep in mind is that one of the best parts of surfing is learning to surf. This is truly one of the activities that is more than worth the effort and learning period. Beginning surfers find that, although it can be strenuous and challenging, the reward of even getting up on the board in a balanced fashion can provide an immensely rewarding experience. And learning to surf builds on the incremental confidence you develop as you learn some of these critical, early lessons. The best part of learning how to surf is that, once you have the basics down, you can “forget” about all of the thinking and let your instincts take over.

If you’ve always dreamed about surfing, don’t think that you can’t also take part in this amazing water sport. Sure, there’s a learning curve, but that’s how it is with just about everything. The difference is that not everything is nearly as fun as surfing, and once you’ve got it, you’ve got it.

If you are planning an upcoming vacation or live nearby an area where surfing is available, take the plunge and you’ll never look back.

SAFETY TIPS: If you have never surfed before, be sure to take the time necessary to develop the fundamental skills. There are lessons available in many of the most popular beach destinations around the world, as well as access to rentals, where you will also be able to find all of the necessary gear.

GEAR TIPS: Always have all of the gear you need to surf safely. The main gear items include the surfboard, the fins, the leash, surf earplugs, a wetsuit (not always necessary), and boardshorts. DO NOT forget about sunscreen, especially if you’re going to be out in the sun for an extended period of time. Be liberal with it and stay safe. You may also consider a wet/dry bag. It will make your experience over the course of the day more pleasant.

Deep Sea Fishing
Deep Sea Fishing

Fishing

Just when you thought the fun and adventure couldn’t get any better… I mean, come on, surfing? How can you beat that? Ok, we’re not saying fishing is any better than surfing. It’s just that it’s equally awesome. Just as you can enjoy surfing in tons of different locations, and thereby have many different kinds of experiences, so it is with fishing.

It may seem obvious, but the reason there are as many options within the world of fishing is because there exists a seemingly countless number of locations where you can find fish, from the Great Lakes to the deep sea of our oceans, to local waterways and fishing holes like rivers, lakes, creeks and ponds. The experience of fly fishing in a coursing river is completely different than leisurely casting off the side of a boat on a calm lake. In the same way, deep-sea fishing provides a completely different rush as compared to reeling in a fighting bass out of a big freshwater lake.

For the adrenaline junkie water sports lover, it’s difficult to top the thrill of fishing on the open sea. Deep sea fishing is an adventure of the first order and is best enjoyed with a group of equally excited friends or family. Depending on the setup and what you’re fishing for, you’ll typically have rods set up in holsters along the perimeter of the boat. At any given time, one of those lines can catch, and when it does, the person who is up next in line better be ready to put down their beverage and jump to life. There are some big fish to pull out of the oceans, and so you’ll likely throw a holster on around your waist, lock in the base of the rod, and start cranking. The rush of pulling a real fighter out of the deep blue is a feeling that anyone who’s done it before will tell you is hard to compare to anything else. In the world of sport fishing, the deep-sea variety is arguably the most thrilling and unforgettable experience.

TIP:  If you’re planning a deep-sea fishing trip, there’s more to enjoy than just snaring the big catch. Keep your eyes open as you’ll often be surprised with sightings of dolphins, whales, or sometimes even ancient sea turtles paddling atop the surface.

SAFETY TIPS: As with all other water sports, safety is paramount. Even expert fishermen will tell you that safety is important, especially when fishing with other people. If you are deep-sea fishing, you will likely be chartering a boat with a captain and first mate, unless that is you are a seasoned pro. Listen to their advice and you may find yourself the captain of your own vessel sooner than you think!

GEAR TIPS: Take advantage of the experts at your local gear and tackle shop. Most of these people also have a passion for fishing, so tap it, and make sure you have the optimal gear for your personal fishing needs.

Kayaker
Kayaker

Kayaking

The world of water sports just wouldn’t be complete without the amazing activities available to us on our wild and magnificent rivers, lakes and other waterways. What better way to spend a leisurely afternoon (and also get a little exercise) than kayaking? People can enjoy kayaking just about anywhere. You don’t have to have access to a big river system.

Many folks enjoy kayaking on local lakes and smaller bodies of waters, and even large metropolitan areas like New York City offer a plethora of opportunities to break out the kayak and paddles and get out onto the water.

If you’re a Waterhead, then you find the water. That’s just the way it works.

One of the great things about kayaking is that it is an activity that the whole family can enjoy. There are a variety of different sizes of kayaks to suit anyone’s needs, and it is not such a strenuous activity that you can’t also get the kids out there to enjoy and get some exercise as well.

SAFETY TIPS: Always be sure to wear a life vest when out on the water on any craft. Even on calm waters, conditions are subject to change, and it is always better to err on the side of caution. Wear your life vests.

GEAR TIPS: Buy or rent for the needs of your group. Take advantage of expert advice at local gear shops. Be sure you have all of the basic needs in check, including: kayak, one paddle per person, one life vest per person, a bilge pump, a headlamp or powerful flashlight, a wet/dry bag and a signal whistle in the event you need to call for assistance.

Kayaking the Pacific Northwest
Kayaking the Pacific Northwest