With the ocean now at the warmest it is going to be all year, it is the perfect time to get wet and try your hand at one of these summer water sports.
Surfing, bodyboarding or SUPing?
- Definitely start with a lesson. Surf schools have the equipment and knowledge and often have adult only or all female classes so you don’t have to be shown up by those pesky eight-year-olds who stand up on their first wave.
- Start with the biggest board possible. It will give you the best chance of catching a wave, getting to your feet and staying on longer.
The ultimate summer beach activity, surfing is becoming more and more accessible. The old stereotype of the agro, guys-only club has been washed out with the tide! Rock up to most beaches now and you’ll see dads pushing kids on waves and your fair share of girls ripping it up and being respected for it.
Check out where to find the best surf spots in Australia >>
Try this if…
- You’re patient and committed. Not only do you have to master the technique of standing up and balancing, you need to get comfortable with your board and become intimately attuned to the surf conditions before you are ripping it up.
- You are reasonably flexible, coordinated and fit. While it isn’t impossible to master, it definitely favours the young and agile… or those who started when they fit that description.
- Don’t try this in a bikini. Not only will you have to deal with a wandering suit, you will get a rash on your stomach from lying on the board.
- Look for waves breaking on a sand bank. That means you should be able to stand where the waves are breaking. You will get a longer ride and there is less chance of getting dumped.
An internationally-recognised competitive sport, bodyboarding is not only a great way to get introduced to the ocean, it can be enjoyed at all ability levels. It is almost impossible to get any closer to the wave and you can experience the immediate thrill and enjoyment of the ocean’s power.
Try this if…
- You and the ocean are still sizing each other up. You can body board close to the shore and inside the red and yellow flags at patrolled beaches so you feel safe.
- You are a weekend warrior. If you just want to enjoy a bit of an adrenaline rush, bodyboarding is the sport to try. The equipment is inexpensive, fits in the car easily and there is a lot less chance of getting hurt than surfing.
Stand-up paddling (SUPing)
- The boards are huge with an average length of 2.5 metres and a weight of up to 30 kilograms, so try to rent one close to the water’s edge.
- This is a super cruisy option when the water is calm and clear but when the wind is blowing a gale it becomes a marathon effort to even move, so pick your time wisely.
A relative new fad in the world of water sports, SUPing is taking over the world. Not confined to the coastline, you can find stand-up-paddlers in rivers, creeks and lakes all around Australia. You can take the cruisy or competitive option with some people even taking yoga classes on their boards.
Check out other hot fitness trends for 2013 >>
Try this if…
- You want more of a leisurely social experience than an adrenaline rush. Instead of walking with a friend, try paddling together. All you need is a bit of common sense, core stability and some calm, flat water. You can work on your sun tan, catch up on all the goss and easily take a dip to cool off at the end.
- You don’t really like getting all sandy. With this option, you hardly have to get wet at all let alone worry about scary marine life and sand in your cozzie.
So there you have it. Surfing, bodyboarding or SUPing… which one will you try this weekend?