Outdoor Recreation and Water Sports

2017 Optimist Junior World Championships Pattaya, Thailand

There are a vast number of water sports that can be participated in when participating in recreational activities. These can be divided between coastal water sports and river water sports. Although water sports take place in one of the most natural of environments the cost of the activities can be quite high as the equipment needed is quite expensive. The cheapest option is to basically swim. Swimming can either be recreational or as a competitive sport. To compete competitively swimmers generally train swimming pools. Swimming in the sea or in rivers is generally of a recreational nature. The benefits of a swimming are huge. As well as being able to appreciate great waterways and seas swimming has huge health benefits. As well as improving aerobic levels of fitness, it is one of the few exercises that trains all of the major body parts simultaneously. The added bonus is that it is low impact activity which means that injuries are rare.

Sailing is a very popular water based activity on outward recreational courses. The beauty of sailing is that it is highly educational, and all parts of the environment needs to be appreciated. For children to learn they are often taught in Optimist Dinghies. This basic craft teaches children the fundamentals on how to sail a boat. Pupils are taught about the actions and consequences of the wind, and with the activity taking place in such natural settings it really is a sport at one with the environment.

A snorkeler holding her breath underwater

Similar to the skills needed in sailing is windsurfing. The major difference is that the sailor stands on the board and is often thrown into the water when losing control of the sail. This activity is extremely tiring especially during the learning phase. Just getting on and off the board expends a great deal of energy in itself. Both canoeing and kayaking also popular water based recreational sports. The difference between the two is the paddle, with the canoeists using a single blade paddle, while the Kayakers use a double blade one. The beauty of these two activities are the health benefits to the participator. A great amount of strength and endurance is required to propel the boat forward at a decent pace.

Not all water sports need an abundance of physical fitness in order to enjoy them. Snorkelling and Scuba diving are great ways to appreciate the environment under the water as opposed to what is on top of the water. The difference between the two is that the snorkeler uses a mask and snorkel to breath while submerging the face in the water to see what lies beneath the waves. In order to explore the bottom, the snorkeler will dive down, holding their breath and on emerging will spit out the water that has collected in the snorkel. The scuba diver is provided with a mask and breathing apparatus that is connected to an oxygen tank that is attached to the swimmers back. This enables the diver to stay under the water for longer periods of time.

There are numerous other activities that take place on the water. There is river fishing, sea fishing, water skiing, jet skiing, parasailing and rafting. In fact, there are many more, and the wide variety of them gives the users opportunities to appreciate the wilderness as well as at the same time learning new skills.