For the uninitiated amongst us, water sports centres can come across as a little daunting. So you may have never donned a wetsuit in your life, can’t tell your snuba from your scuba and can barely hold your breath underwater, but are looking to try something new on holiday and have fun in the process. With water sports comprising everything from synchronised swimming to free diving, the great news is there’s something for everyone – but how do you choose one that’s right for you? We’ve narrowed down our top five water sports and included the best places to try them.
Racing through the waves on a jet ski can make anyone feel like James Bond and experienced drivers will be able to reach speeds of up to 70mph. The great news is the sport is fairly straightforward to learn, and once you’ve attached the engine shut-off clip to your wrist, it’s simply a case of getting to grips with the throttle and mastering those tricky turns. Jet skiing can be found almost everywhere: there are even several schools here in the UK! One of our favourite places to jet ski is Alcudia in Majorca, where you can take a trip out to meet the dolphins.
Does the idea of soaring 400 meters up into the air with ocean waves lapping below send you into anticipation? If so, you may want to try parasailing! This water sport is unusual in that it doesn’t typically involve you getting wet: you both take off and land on the deck of a boat. However, many companies will ask if you want to brave the dip – go for it! You’ll find yourself dragged through the waves in a move that is both refreshing and exhilarating. Take off from San Antonio Bay in Ibiza for unparalleled sunset views.
You don’t need to head to Australia or Bali to catch some waves; there are plenty of decent surf spots here in Europe, though you’ll want to find a good school first so you can learn the basics before you’re let loose. This involves choosing the right kit for you and learning the all-important surf etiquette. Fuerteventura is considered to be Europe’s answer to Hawaii, with large Atlantic swells hitting the north of the island. However, El Cotillo is better suited to beginners.
If you get the chance to try scuba diving on your holiday, take it! There’s nothing more thrilling than discovering a whole new world under the waves and meeting some of the marine life. It can certainly feel daunting at first as you learn to get to grips with all the apparatus – but at a PADI Diving School you’ll find plenty of reassurance. Santorini is a great place for beginners to take their first dive, with a fascinating volcanic caldera to explore, containing a myriad of colourful sponges, groupers, snappers and barracuda.
You’ve probably seen the videos, but dare you try it yourself? Flyboarding is a relatively new water sport that involves strapping a jet-powered hover-board to your feet and either shooting up to 15 meters in the air or diving 2.5m headlong down through the water. This is definitely not an activity for the faint-hearted and as it hasn’t been around long there are only a handful of places offering it at the moment. However, Lanzarote Paracraft on Puerto del Carmen has the kit and helpful English speaking staff that will help put you at ease.