7 Best Adventure Water Sports

Adventure lovers unite! From surfing the big waves and paddling wild river rapids to straddling a boat’s wake on a small board, we’ve put together our favourite adventure water sports for you to try.

Kite Surfing

Kite boarding is a popular and thrilling surface water sport that harnesses the power of the wind using a large kite. It takes elements from surfing. wake boarding and paragliding and turns it into one extreme sport.

Kite surfing in particular is a special type of kite boarding and is a mixture of kite flying and surfing with a standard surf board without any bindings. The art of kite surfing is therefore more about surfing the waves than by how high you can jump.

For adventure enthusiasts there are different types of kite boarding that will allow for learning tricks – from hitting massive air jumps to doing somersaults. The best spots for kite surfing is on open stretches of water and It’s relatively easy to find the right conditions – kite surfing can be done in shallow or deep water, smooth or large waves. The ideal wind levels are between eight and 50 knots.

White Water Rafting

White water rafting or river rafting is one of the most exciting adventure water sports yet. This recreational outdoor sport is usually done in a river with big or small rapids, depending on your level of experience.

Don your life jacket and helmet and climb into an inflatable raft and paddle down the river negotiating the rapids along the way. As you will have to navigate the rapids together, it’s definitely a team sport and lack of communication and working together may result in your boat capsizing but the adrenaline hit makes it all worth it.

The best places to enjoy white water rafting adventures are in a river with rocks and other natural features that provide a challenge. River rapids come in grades from one (flat) to five (adventure) so make sure you pick the water scenario that’s right for you.

Wake Boarding

If you’ve grown up near any body of water, be it a lake, dam or river, it’s likely you may have tried water-skiing. This popular water sport combines the elements of surfing and snowboarding and involves riding a specially designed wakeboard on the waves behind a speeding motorboat.

The main challenge of wake boarding is the initial pulling up of your body from the water as the boat starts and then the fun begins – you’ll have to focus on staying upright as you travel left and right over the wakes. Ideal wake boarding conditions are done when a boat travels at speeds up to 25 miles per hour.

For those who haven’t tried wake boarding before, perhaps starting with cable wake boarding may be easier where you simply have to hold onto a pole suspended out of the side of the boat. It allows you to get the hang of balancing on the board.

Water Skiing

Similar to wake boarding, water skiing combines the elements of surfing and snow skiing in one adventurous water sport. Strapping your feet into either two skis or one (slalom) you’ll pull yourself out of the water and focus on balancing on the waves.

The hardest part of the sport is getting up and revolves fairly good core muscles to stay upright. Beginners may also prefer to try cable water skiing to start with. Water skiing is done best at speeds up to 25 miles per hour but a short burst of speed is required to clear the water.

For beginners, it’s recommended to wear gloves so your hands don’t suffer any rope burn.

Scuba Diving

The ultimate underwater adventure, scuba diving is a thrilling water sport that allows you to explore marine life and scenery underneath the waves.

SCUBA is an abbreviation for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus and a course is required for beginners that will teach you how to use your air tank and breathing apparatus so you’ll be able to spend as much time as you like underwater. In the importance of safety, make sure you never swim too deep too quickly and always ensure you go diving with at least one other person.

Various training courses are available all over the world and you’ll be able to pick from one day short courses (going out with an instructor) to several-day courses that will allow you to obtain your scuba diving license so you can explore as often as you like.


The ultimate adventure water sport that’s been popular for hundreds of years, surfing requires the art of balance in order to ride the waves out towards the shore. Surfers usually start out by paddling out from the beach towards the open water where the waves break where they will stand up and ride the breaks for as long as possible.

It’s a great way to strengthen your core muscles and has been known even to help with stress relief by releasing endorphins, known as happy hormones. The best conditions for surfing are in the open ocean where there are large waves and offshore winds.

Wind Surfing

Wind surfing is one of the more complicated sports – and one that can be frustrating if you don’t know what you are doing. Taking elements from surfing and kite boarding, wind surfing is done on special long surf boards and riders will ride the big waves using the wind harnessed through a tall sail.

The best spots for wind surfing is anywhere where there is a relatively large area of water open to the wind, such as a lake, river, ocean or dam.

There are plenty of exciting adventure water sports out there. Which one will you try next?



About the Author:

Lauren Morling
Lauren Morling is a South African freelance writer living in London. She has a passion for digital marketing and has been published in The Touristin, a Luxury Travel Blog, Life As a Human and the Daily Mail. Lauren works in digital marketing and has a journalism degree from the University of Cape Town.

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