Summer-time – the time of your life! And to anyone who enjoys watersports, summer means even more. Regardless if your thing is kiteboarding, wakeboarding, riverboarding, cliff diving or kneeboarding, parasailing or something else, there are numerous watersports that are growing in popularity around the world—and it’s not uncommon for a completely new sport to take the world by storm.
Water sports can be solo or team activities, and depending on your style, some are way higher on the “extreme” level than others. But if you’ve got guts, drive, grit, and a love of the water, you’ve got endless possibilities when it comes to immersing your life in the world of extreme watersports. Without further ado, let’s dive into it!
Windsurfing, AKA “Sailing the Wind”
Thought this article was on water sports, not air/sky sports? Well, sailboarding/windsurfing is a combo of both water and air, as it uses aerodynamics and speeds across the water, giving you the best of both worlds. Literally. With a surf-like board and a sail attached to it, you’ll be using the power of the wind
Where: Worldwide, off the coasts, larger lakes and reservoirs
Skills needed: Surfing, sailing and swimming basics, at minimum
Equipment: Sailboard and Rig
That art of diving off of cliffs has surged in popularity, mostly in thanks to Red Bull’s Cliff Diving World Series that has taken the world by storm. Artistically jumping off of cliffs dates back hundreds of years, and today, the practice is constantly being developed and the pushing the limits of what is possible.
Where: Global, off of cliff by the sea or lakes and reservoirs
Skills needed: Diving and swimming skills
Equipment: Swim attire
Kitesurfing – similar to windsurfing, you use both the wind and water to extend your skills and deeper your resolve as a watersport athlete. Kitesurfing (or kiteboarding) is when you stand on surf-like board and hold onto a kite and skillfully breeze across the surface of the water, preforming different jumps, flips and tricks—simply put, summer’s never been better than this.
Where: Global, off coasts and beaches
Equipment: Kite, bar, lines, board
Ever wanted to surf, but live too far away from the sea? Then riverboarding is for you. Think surfing but replace the ocean with fast-moving rivers, and you’ve got the general idea. Not as well known as it’s watersports counterparts, riverboarding is a thrilling adventure that will put your surfing skills to the test!
Where: Rivers worldwide
Skills: Surfing, swimming
Equipment: Board, wetsuit
Kneeboarding is a mash-up of surfing and water-skiing, bringing the best both of both sports together into one epic ride. When it comes to kneeboarding, it’s pretty simple -you are kneeling on a board while being pulled behind a speedboat at break neck speeds- but that’s where the simple aspect ends. Insane flips, jumps and spins are just the beginning of what can be down on a knee board, and with new athletes pushing boundaries and developing new aspects of the sport, the best has yet to be seen.
Where: Lakes, reservoirs, seas and bays
Skills: Surfing, swimming, boating
Equipment needed: speedboat, knee board, wetsuit (optional)
Arguably the biggest, `most extreme and popular water sport in the world, surfing -particularly big wave surfing—is the end-all of extreme sports, and one of the most established. Taking place across the world in surfing communities dotted on nearly ever coast, surfing, and surf culture, is one of the largest extreme sports centered on the art of riding waves. Moves, films, albums, decor, clothing, competitions, events, festivals, TV shows and more have focused on the allure of surfing and all the skills and athleticism that comes along with it.
Where: Coasts globally
Skills: Swimming, surfing
Equipment: Surfboard, leash, wetsuit, or other appreciate clothing
Don’t worry, your toes won’t be freezing in the snow if you decide to go barefoot skiing. Why? Because you are skiing on water! Similar to water-skiing, barefoot skiing is where you are pulled behind a boat without skis and just your feet to glide across the water. Sound kinda incredible and thrilling? It is, and you’ll go even faster than normal waterskiing. So it if you’re not into the frigid winter temps but still want to ski, this sport is right up your ally!
Location: Open water, lakes, bays, and water parks
Skills: Swimming, waterskiing, boating
Equipment: Boat, wetsuit
Want to try surfing, but with a twist? Similar to waterskiing and barefoot skiing, wakeboarding is the more well known of the three. Similar to the others where you are pull behind a boat at high speeds, when it comes to wakeboarding you’ll be standing on surf-like board, speeding across the surface of the water, jumping and flipping in the air. It’s a challenging sport, but filled with thrills and excitement for sure.
Where: Lakes and seas
Skills: Surfing, swimming
Equipment: Boat, board, wetsuit or appropriate clothing
Kayaking is a fun and relaxing activity—until it comes to whitewater kayaking. While it’s still loads of fun, whitewater kayaking is for the thrill seekers and adventurers seeking the next hit of adrenaline. Fast-paced rivers are navigated in a decked kayak, with violent, crashing waves and narrow areas adding an extra challenge to the art of kayaking.
Location: Global, happening in rivers of varying grades
Skills: Kayaking, swimming
Equipment: decked Kayak, kayaking gear
Looking to have the best summer ever? Trying out some of these extreme water sports promise a time filled with adventure, speed, thrill, and excitement—everything an extreme sport’s fan is looking for.
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