Outdoor Recreation and the Beach

The beach fascinates people whenever summertime threatens in various countries. Many people who will go to the beach never have any intention of visiting the water with a good number not being able to swim. There is something about the border between sea and mainland that has captured man’s imagination for a number of years. Some people lie on the beach in order to sun bathe. The popularity of this past time has declined over the years with the greater awareness of the harmful sun’s rays and the risk of skin cancer.

A sandcastle at the US Open

The beach is the home of simple family activities such as those associated with a bucket and spade. For centuries young families have spent hours on the beach digging ditches and creating sand castles, but this pastime has been taken to new heights by the US Open Sandcastle Competition that is held each year on Imperial Beach just south of San Diego. This competition attracts sand carvers of a variety of ages and skills. The very young are able to showcase their creations and they will stand proudly alongside the models that have been produced by professional sand carvers.

People do like to simply relax and read, or even take part in the numerous activities on the beach. Some beaches are famous for certain activities with a good example being the donkey rides on Blackpool Beach. There have been donkey rides on the beach since 1890 and for a donkey to be allowed to work on the beach they have to pass a vet’s medical test. On Hua Hin beach in Thailand horse rides are a regular activity up and down the 3-mile beach. Every day there are around 60 horses available for tourists and locals to take advantage of the rides. The horses come with their own handlers who teach the tourists how to ride the horses.

Beaches are great environments for kit flying.  On Long Beach in Washington each August there is the Washington State International Kite Festival. The competition that has been running since 1981 takes place over 6 days ends with 250 different kites being in the air at the same time. In recent times certain sports have been modified so that that they can take place on the beach. There are now international competitions in beach football, beach rugby and beach volleyball. Beach volleyball has become so popular that it has now been an Olympic event since 1996.

The horses on the beach at Hua Hin

Beach soccer has different tournaments around the world which attract players that have just finished their professional careers. The top players on the circuit are able to earn a decent salary from playing on the sand. A popular event on Hermosa Beach in California is the “7s in the sand” rugby competition. Twenty-four sides compete over 2 days in the competition with 34 games being played in order to find the trophy winner. Rugby 7s is tough enough but playing it on energy sapping sand makes this a very exhausting activity.

Beachcombing is an activity that has been taking place on the world’s beaches for many years. It occurs in the intertidal zone between low tide and high tide. This has been particularly popular in areas where there have been ship wrecks and the sea has delivered treasures on to the shoreline. In recent years the skills of the beach comber have been enhanced with new gadgets such as the metal detector.

The Beach is like a magnet in the summer months pulling people to take part in a wide variety of activities and past times. There is a huge number of different recreations that take place in these areas.