New To Water Sports? Here's Everything You Need To Know
June 16, 2021

New To Water Sports? Here's Everything You Need To Know

Water Sports

Are you interested in trying out some new water sports this summer? Whether it’s going for a relaxing paddle across a lake or taking an exhilarating ride on a jet ski, summer is filled with lots of exciting water sports for you to try! Trying a new water sport for the first time involves lots of swimming, laughing, falling down, and most importantly, getting back up!

But don’t worry, you don’t have to feel intimidated about getting started with a new water activity, even if it’s your first time. Take a look at these helpful tips on getting started with a new water sport and you’ll be out and enjoying the water in no time!

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  • The right gear makes all the difference

Recreational water sports can be a thrilling way to spend the summer, but not having the right equipment can drag you down. The specialized equipment you’ll need will depend entirely on the water sport you’re going to try but there are a couple of universal items necessary to most water sports:

  • A good life jacket
  • Waterproof sunscreen
  • Goggles
  • A wetsuit

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  • Choose the sport that’s right for you

There are so many different water sports it can be overwhelming trying to decide  which one to try for the first time! Some water sports are practiced alone making them perfect for relaxing while other sports are social and require the participation of others, such as water hockey or yacht sailing. Some activities will allow you to get closer to nature such as snorkeling, while others take place predominantly above the water like paddleboarding and kayaking. The best way to determine which is the right sport for you is to try them all!

  • Practice your swimming

While it’s not necessary, being a strong swimmer will certainly help you with any water sport you choose. Sooner or later when practicing outdoor water sports you’ll encounter some rough water so it’s important to be prepared. A long day of practicing your favorite water sport can quickly cause fatigue if you’re not used to being in the water for long periods of time. What’s the best way to prepare? Swimming laps! Swimming laps at a pool has many great health benefits such as improving your strength, getting you used to spending time in the water and it can even increase your lung capacity!

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  • Practice water safety

Lakes, rivers and oceans are a great place to have fun, but it’s important to follow certain safety guidelines to keep everyone safe. According to the National Safety Council, 10 people drown every day in the US. This terrible tragedy can occur to anyone, not just novice swimmers! Follow these safety tips to ensure your next water activity is fun and safe:

  • Always wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. A Type III vest-style life jacket is the perfect choice since it allows a lot of freedom of movement.
  • Learn the basic watersport hand signals. This is especially important for loud activities like boating where communicating will be difficult due to the noise level.
  • Always have a spotter. This is one person that is designated to keep an eye on the person skikking or riding and ensuring that they are safe.
  • Be careful around consuming alcohol and participating in water sports. Over half of all water accidents and injuries involve alcohol!

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been practicing water sports, these are universal safety tips that apply to both amateurs and professionals alike. Follow these few safety guidelines and your first time out on the water will be nothing but a good time!

  • Make sure to stretch properly

There’s nothing more uncomfortable, and even dangerous, than being hit with a sudden cramp or stitch while you’re in the water. The secret to avoiding cramps before any sport is beginning with a proper stretch. Before you put on your life vest, make sure that you’ve properly stretched your neck, arms, legs, back, and hips. Once you’re out of the water, make sure you stretch again to avoid any after-activity muscle pain and stiffness!