While most people consider water sports a fun, recreational activity, there are competitions for nearly all water sports these days. Some events even qualify for an Olympic entry.
Everyone is fascinated by water in some way or the other. Some like calm and tranquil blue water, whereas others enjoy turbulent and roiling currents. This makes it an ideal sporting medium, and today there are a wide range of water sports to choose from.
Water sports are adventurous, fun-filled, action packed, and exciting. Both, physical exertion and mental stimulation can be attained in water sports. They offer a visual treat, motivation, and an elated feeling. Water sports can be played in, on, or under water. Given below are some water sports that you can try your hand at.
Competitive Water Sports
Competitive water sports can either be individual or team-based. There are World Championships, Olympics, and many other renowned competitions that test athletes in different types of sports.
Individual Water Sports
This is defined as an individual performance that brings out the best in each contender. It requires great physical strength, perseverance, determination, positive attitude, and a burning desire to excel.
One of the most popular water sports, swimming has been around for centuries. It has evolved to become one of the most common recreational activities as well. Swimming competitions are many, out of which the World Aquatics Championships and the Olympics are the most prestigious, and are governed by the Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA). Swimming is a sport that tests your fitness and stamina.
Surfing is riding a surfboard on the forward face of a wave, which mostly carries you towards the shore. There are different types of surfing that depend on the length of the surfboard, its design, the form of the wave that is ridden, and the style of riding. Balance plays a critical role in maintaining the posture on the various equipment that can be used for surfing. These include surfboards, surf mats, long-boards, stand up paddle boards, wave-skis, knee-boards, or skim-boards.
The radical technique of surfing, combined with sailing know-how and skill, is what windsurfing is all about. The equipment used here is a surfboard with a sail fixed on a movable mast. The windsurfer has to move with the waves to control the board, and at the same time manage the sail according to the winds. This is a surface water sport, and there are a lot of competitions, both local and international, as well as an Olympic event for this sport.
Jet skiing is basically racing over a body of water on a one-man watercraft machine. Fancy stunts and tricks, like flipping and jumping over a ramp, can be done with freestyle jet skiing. Competitive racing is also done between 10-20 racers over a set course. Though it is yet to be recognized as an Olympic event, it was included in the Asian Beach Games recently.
Imagine surfing while being towed along by a high-speed boat. That's wakeboarding in a nutshell. The board here is a specifically designed board with fins and weights, to allow the rider to manipulate it with his/her feet. This sport is partially inspired by snowboarding, and is often performed in smaller water bodies like lakes. World Wakeboard Championships are held for wakeboarding, and it has been a part of the X Games and World Games as well.
Another water surface sport, water skiing is basically skiing on water. An individual uses 2 skis or a single ski to skim or glide along the surface of water, and is pulled along by a high-speed powerboat with the help of a ski cable or rope. On a competitive basis, show water skiing and slalom skiing are followed, along with standard dual skiing. Water skiing has been a part of all major water sports championships including the Olympics, World Games, and World Championships.
Triathlon is a type of race that popularly involves swimming, cycling, and running various distances in immediate succession. It is a highly popular sport and was recently included in the Olympics. The Ironman series and World Cup Championships are organized every year. It is a test of your physical fitness, and stamina.
Kitesurfing uses a small surfboard or wakeboard which is pulled by a kite. You will need to go through some training in order to understand the movement and direction control of the kite. There are a few rules and regulations to follow. If you stick to them, this is a sport which is fun-filled and you will thoroughly enjoy it.