This post was most recently updated on April 29th, 2023
Watersports is an activity practiced primarily by people who live near natural bodies of water on a daily basis. This tradition, however, is increasingly being broken due to the development of infrastructure and increasing access to all kinds of equipment. Check out the types of water sports and the equipment required to practice them.
Types of water sports
They can be divided into three basic types:
- sports practiced in the water
- sports practiced on the surface of the water
- sports practiced underwater
Disciplines, regardless of type, are practiced with a distinction between different bodies of water. The vast majority of them require access to open water and natural reservoirs. However, some of them, such as swimming, water jumping, and water ball, can also be successfully practiced in swimming pools. Types of sports are often adapted to the temperature of individual bodies of water and the prevailing weather conditions. Most water sports require fairly good weather and temperature and good weather conditions. It is for these reasons that year-round outdoor water sports can be challenging in our climate. Fortunately, some sports, especially extreme ones, even require cold weather or high winds. Usually, however, such activities are adapted to natural conditions.
The most popular water sport – not just windsurfing!
In each of the three types, you will find a number of disciplines that require different sophistication and can be practiced in every other condition. Each of them also requires the right equipment, tailored to the level of the athlete. Swimming trunks and swimming goggles are just the basics, but we’ll talk about that later.
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What are the most common water sports?
When it comes to water sports, the most popular are sports such as:
- SUP board swimming;
- open water;
- jumping into the water;
- synchronized swimming;
- water polo;
- aqua aerobics;
- aqua fitness;
- aqua aerobics;
If we want to take advantage of the range of water sports that can be practiced on the water, we can choose, among other things:
- sailing and boating;
- water skiing;
- paragliding with motorboat propulsion;
- motorboat racing.
Underwater sports are not particularly popular in some U.S. states, but more and more people are indulging in this activity while traveling abroad, as are wind sports. What underwater sports are we talking about?
- underwater rugby;
- underwater field hockey.
As you can see, there are so many water activities to choose from that there is something for everyone. It is essential that when you try new water activities, you do so under the guidance of an experienced instructor.
Extreme water sports
Extreme sports practiced in the water were, until recently, primarily associated with windsurfing, where you maneuver between waves caused by strong winds. Occasionally, water-skiing stunts may have also come to mind. However, with the development of technology, sports that use modern equipment and provide real adrenaline rushes, thanks to them, have become popular. On this principle, among others, flyboarding was created, which is based on riding on a board that displaces water under very high pressure and pulls us upwards. This gives us a chance to float above the surface of the water for up to a dozen meters!
Other unusual disciplines, however, which are growing in popularity are:
- amber jet.
What equipment for water sports?
Water sports activities can rarely do without specialized equipment, although the sophistication and cost depend primarily on the sport being practiced.
If you are limited to swimming or jumping into the water, you will primarily need swimming caps and men’s swimming trunks or women’s swimming suits. The moment you decide to go for open water swimming, you should also get more advanced swimming equipment. What are we talking about? When swimming in seas or lakes, a buoy belay will be necessary. Then it’s also a good idea to stock up on swimming fins and good-quality swimming foams to maintain body temperature in the often chilly waters. Most sports practiced on and under the water require specialized and usually quite expensive equipment. However, surfboards, flyboards, or masks for underwater swimming are usually available from companies that organize courses and provide a platform for such activities. Usually, you will start by renting equipment at first, and only after you get hooked on a particular discipline can you go shopping. Then you will also know precisely what equipment you need for the sport.
Water sports – summary
Water sports are an extremely wide and varied field of activity, so there is certainly something for everyone in this group. Many of them simultaneously help to develop contact with nature and give a chance for plenty of outdoor exercises. Importantly, any of the disciplines is sure to be suitable for everyone, regardless of gender, age, fitness, and access to open bodies of water. In the article, we mentioned mainly competitive water sports. However, it is worth remembering that going for a sail or a kayak is also a sport that we practice in the water. The latter, besides water cycling, is the easiest activity to practice on the water. For those less eager for extreme experiences, this type of activity will be far better. It remains to grab a paddle and go on a recreational canoeing trip, among scenic nature trails. You only need basic equipment, and great fun is guaranteed.