Can building sandcastles and drinking piña coladas no longer satisfy you on your much-awaited beach vacations?
If so, you should consider trying something a little more adventurous the next time you hit the sandy shores, at home or abroad.
Holidaymakers today are more concerned about their health and fitness than ever before. They want to remain active and in good shape, even while they’re on vacation. As a result, the demand for adventure holidays is on the rise across the board.
This trend is reflected in a 2018 report published by the Adventure Travel Trade Association, which states that the international adventure travel market has grown by more than 20 percent in a little over five years. At the time this report was published, the adventure travel sector was valued at a whopping $690 billion USD.
And while the pace of growth may have slowed slightly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there can be no denying the pent-up demand that has been building over the past year. After months of being trapped at home, would-be vacationers are chafing at the bit to get away from the stresses and anxieties of their day-to-day life.
And what better way can there be to try something new – while pushing your fitness limits – than an fascinating beach vacation involving adrenaline-fuelled water games and activities?
Some of the most popular water sports among holidaymakers these days include kayaking, scuba diving, windsurfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. While these activities can be incredibly fun and fulfilling, however, they can also be quite risky if you’re not properly equipped with the right gear.
Essential Water Sports Equipment
Three of the top water sports essentials that you should definitely pack before setting off on your beach adventures have been listed below.
Made from foamed neoprene, wetsuits are designed to provide you with buoyancy and thermal insulation in the water. These garments are worn by divers, surfers, canoeists, and stand-up paddleboarders alike. A high-quality wetsuit will prevent you from catching a cold, even if you happen to fall into the water over the course of the games.
This is doubly essential if you are planning a vacation in one of the colder regions of the world. For instance, if you’d like to explore the open lochs and hidden highland pools of Scotland with your loved ones, a set of well-fitting wetsuits will keep all of you warm and cozy amidst the changeable Scottish weather. A wetsuit will also protect you from the jagged underwater rocks and rubble that might have otherwise caused serious injury.
- Paddles and Boards
Many board-based water sports, such as surfing, bodyboarding, and stand-up paddling are extremely popular among adventure tourists. In particular, stand-up paddleboarding or SUP has gained great popularity in recent years, becoming one of the fastest growing water-based sports in the United States. According to a 2020 report published by the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, participation in SUP had increased by nearly 120 percent over the course of three years.
To enjoy yourself safely and responsibly with these kinds of activities, you will need to invest in high-quality boards and paddles. The type of board you choose will depend on the sport you’re participating in, but in general you can opt for either an inflatable or a hard paddleboard. Hard or rigid paddleboards are usually made from fiberglass, while tough PVC plastic is typically used for inflatable boards.
Experts recommend that inflatable boards should be at least 6 inches thick, for optimum buoyancy and stability. On the other hand, the recommended thickness for traditional, hard paddleboards is 4-4.5 inches. The length and width of the board will vary, depending on the sport for which it is designed. For instance, a length of 11-12 feet is considered ideal for beginners, with the board being no more than 35 inches wide. If a paddle is required, it should be durable, adjustable, and easy to store.
- Personal Floatation Device
A personal floatation device (PFD) is one of the key pieces of equipment that you must have with you when participating in any water sport. It is essentially a life jacket designed to keep you afloat in the water, if you happen to fall off your board during a bout of surfing or paddleboarding.
The type of PFD you’ll need will depend on your weight, body type, as well as what kind of sport you’re participating in. The near-shore buoyancy vest, the offshore life jacket, a floatation aid, and a throwable device are some of the common types of PFD you might have to choose from. Primarily, you should focus on features like flexibility, comfort, buoyancy, and ease of use when choosing a PFD for your upcoming beach vacation.
Now that you’re equipped with all the essential water-sport gear, you can safely head out with your friends and family for the beach vacation of your dreams! Don’t forget to use plenty of sunscreen and remain hydrated during your trip.
For the best results, you should only purchase water sports equipment from a reputed and trusted manufacturer, known for meticulously designing and testing every single product on their (real or virtual) shelves.
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