Top 20 Water Sports to Try At Least Once in Your Life

best water sports

Many people have a bucket list of the things they want to do or places to visit. But how many have a list of water sports they want to try once in their lives? 

Around 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, and plenty of options are available for those who love spending time in the water.

Whether you’re looking for a new thrill or want to spend some time enjoying the water, participating in a water sport is a must for people who love the water.

What are water sports?

Before enumerating the water sports you should try, you should understand what these sports are all about. 

A sport is an activity that involves skill and physical exertion where an individual or team joins a competition. So a water sport is simply a sport that is played on water. 

You can do it in the sea, river, or swimming pools. Each sport has its set of rules, regulations, and goals. Even though many water sports are competitive, you can also enjoy them for leisure.

Now that we have a better understanding of water sports, let’s take a look at some water sports that you should try in your life:

What kind of water sports should I try?

There are a lot of water sports out there for you to explore. Here is a list of water sports to help you decide on the best sport for you.


best water sports surfing
Photo by Alexandre Saraiva Carniato

Surfing is among the most popular summer water sports. A morning surf can help you start your day or close the afternoon on a high note. It is a very accessible sport since there are several surfing areas around the country.

Many companies offer surfing lessons to help you know the basics of surfing. Once you get the hang of it, you can start hitting the waves. But it would help if you remembered to consider the breaks that affect the waves and conditions, including beach, reef, and point breaks.

Scuba Diving

best water sports scuba diving
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi

Another popular water sport is scuba diving. You can explore the ocean’s depths and see things you would never be able to see from the surface. To scuba dive, you need to be certified

However, the process of getting certified is quite fun and educational. Once certified, you can join day tours or even liveaboard trips where you spend a few days exploring the ocean.


If you’re looking for a full-body workout with minimal equipment, you can try your hand at swimming. 

This sport is perfect for those looking to increase their endurance, cardiovascular strength, and lung capacity. Aside from taking a dip in the swimming pool, you can also try your hand at open-water swimming or swimming in lakes, oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water. 

Swimming is also among the pandemic sports that are relatively safe for people to engage in.


best water sports scuba diving
Photo by Uriel Castellanos

If you live close to a river or lake, you can rent a kayak and explore your surroundings in a new way. Kayaking is great exercise, and it’s also a lot of fun. 

This popular water sport is perfect for those who enjoy being outdoors and getting fresh air. When you go kayaking, you can enjoy peace and quiet, as the only sound will be that of your paddles hitting the water. Kayaking is also a sport that the whole family can enjoy.


Snorkeling is a water sport that allows you to explore the underwater world. It is relatively easy and does not require special equipment since you only need a mask, snorkel, and a pair of flippers. 

You can see intricate coral reefs, schools of colorful fish, and other marine life when you go snorkeling. Snorkeling is a wonderful way to bring the whole family to enjoy the fun, especially if you stay in shallow water.


best water sports sailing
Photo by Peter Simmons

Sailing is among the best water activities that are suitable for different skill levels. You can either go for a small boat or a sailboard.

For an adrenaline-pumping experience, you can join a yacht crew and help with the sailing. You can also get a regatta experience by joining the crew on a racing boat. Whichever type of sailing you choose, it is undoubtedly an activity you enjoy.


Harnessing the power of the wind is what windsurfing is all about – and it’s an incredibly exhilarating experience. If you’ve ever dreamed of combining sailing with surfing, windsurfing is the perfect activity.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

best water sports stand up paddle boarding
Photo by Tiana

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) has become one of the most popular water sports in recent years. It’s no wonder SUP is an excellent workout, suitable for all ages and abilities. It’s also a fun way to explore the outdoors. 

You can engage in this sport in rivers, lakes, and the ocean.

Jet Skiing

A jet ski is a powerful watercraft that gives you an unforgettable experience on the water. You can zip around at high speeds or take a leisurely ride and enjoy the scenery. 

Some companies even offer jet ski safaris that take you on an adventure tour of the coast. Make sure to always prioritize safety and do your research before joining any ski safari.


Even though it’s among the newest watersports, flyboarding is quickly becoming one of the most popular. It’s easy to see why – who wouldn’t want to strap on a board and fly high above the water, propelled by nothing but sheer power?

The propulsion for the board comes from a jetski attached to it through a hose. Learning to use the board is relatively easy and mastering the basics can take around 10 minutes. Just make sure you have a good understanding of basic swimming skills before you give it a go.


If you enjoy catching fish, then fishing is a water sport for you. It can be done in freshwater or saltwater, from a boat, on the shore or even beneath the ice. You don’t need much equipment to get started, just a rod, reel, line and bait.

Water Skiing

best water sports water skiing
Photo by Pixabay

Water skiing is an exhilarating sport that provides you with a full-body workout. The sport requires you to grip the tow rope and keep your legs underneath while maintaining your balance on water skis. 

Once you get the hang of it, you can try slaloming or jumping the boat’s wake.

Jet Surfing

If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping water sport, look no further than jet surfing. The equipment is a surfboard with an engine, which allows you to create momentum without the need for waves. 

This makes it perfect for flat, calm waters like rivers, lakes, and bays.

Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater rafting or rafting is among the most dangerous watersports. It is an outdoor activity that uses an inflatable raft to navigate rivers or other bodies of water. 

The sport can be extremely dangerous because of the strong currents and large waves. It is essential to wear a life jacket and helmet while participating in this activity.


If you are looking for a luxury water activity, yachting is perfect for you. You can use several types and sizes of yachts for the sport. 

You can either go on a day trip or explore different places for several days. You can relax on the deck or explore different ports where you’ll dock.

Water Polo

Water polo is a popular team sport that’s played underwater. Many countries around the world play this Olympic sport. 

This sport provides an excellent workout for anyone who plays it. It also allows them to bond with their teammates and the community.


Bodyboarding is similar to surfing since you must catch a wave using a floating board. The sport is also called boogie boarding since the board is made of foam. It is a great activity for those who aren’t ready to surf or when the waves are smaller. To bodyboard, you need to wait for a wave that is about to break and paddle to catch it. Then, you ride the wave all the way to shore.

Barefoot Skiing

You can enjoy skiing even if you do not have skis. If your boat travels at 50km/h, you can ski barefoot off the back. 

The experience is amazing, and it will get your adrenaline pumping. This is a fast and exciting sport that is perfect for people looking for an adventure.

Cage Diving

Another adrenaline-inducing water sport is cage diving. The activity involves getting into a metal cage and being lowered into the ocean’s depths to get up close and personal with some of the most feared creatures in the world – sharks. 

Although it may sound daunting, cage diving is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Cliff Diving

best water sports cliff diving
Photo by beata kowalska

Cliff diving allows you to conquer one of Mother Nature’s massive creations and have an experience you’ll never forget. It’s a rush like no other, and for a brief moment, you feel like you’re flying. 

Cliff diving is daring and thrilling and should be on your bucket list of water sports to try at least once in your life.

Why Should You Try Water Sports?

Participating in water sports is a great way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors. It’s also a perfect opportunity to bond with friends or family. Water sports also offer several health benefits, including:

  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Better flexibility and joint range of motion
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Reduced stress and anxiety levels
  • Lower risk of chronic diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes

Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure or a relaxing day on the water, there’s a water sport out there for everyone. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start exploring.

What is the Best Water Sport?

Water sports offer a wide range of activities, so it depends on what you’re looking for. White water rafting or kitesurfing might be up your alley if you’re seeking thrills. 

Standing-up paddle boarding could be perfect if you’re looking to relax. Swimming offers a full-body workout, while kayaking is a great way to explore the outdoors.

No matter what your preference, there’s a water sport out there for everyone.

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