Water Sports 101
Oct 01, 2017
The cold weather might be biting at your heels, but at Spice we always have on eye of fairer horizons. At the moment, we are in the planning stages of our adventure holidays for 2018, which is helping us imagine being on a sunny beach in Malta instead of the dreary English rain! On top of our usual Ski trips and northern lights expeditions, we are planning a number of exciting water sports adventure holidays for 2018. To get you in the mood, we’ve put together a guide to introduce you to the world of water sports and how to make the most out of, even if you’re a beginner.
Possibly one of the most well-known water sports, surfing is a fantastic sport for the body and the mind. It brings you great physical benefits – like strengthening your core stability, shoulders and back – and gets a rush of positive endorphins pumping through you every time your crest a wave. But beyond that, many people have said that riding the waves helps them to reduce stress and improve their mental wellbeing by feeling at one with the water. You start out with your body flat on the board and paddling out into the water, before hopping up to stand on your board and ride on top of the waves. Our top tips for beginner surfers are to practice your ‘pop’ (going form lying down to standing on your board) on dry land first, and bend your knees, not your back. When you are steady on your feet, there is nothing quite like standing on top of the sea waves as they carry you along. Not to mention the fact that it’s totally radical dude!
Windsurfing is one of those odd combinations of sports that created something magical. In windsurfing, you essentially ride along the water on a surfboard with a sail attached. This means you can control the direction you surf in with the sail, and are less likely to lose your balance and fall in right away! The culture of windsurfing is completely laid back, and it can be easily picked up by people of any ability. Our top tips for starting out would be to make sure you understand your gear, relax, use your body weight more than your arm strength and always make sure your sail is facing downwind.
White Water Rafting
Pop on your helmet and life jacket, sit yourself down in an inflatable raft and set off on a thrilling (if slightly violent) adventure! White water rafting involves a team sitting in an inflatable raft, battling fierce currents and rapids with nothing but paddles and their own strength. It can be a challenge just to stay upright when white water rafting, but the adrenalin it sends coursing through your system makes it one of the more exciting water sports out there. Our tips include: make sure you’re wearing clothes that can get wet (because you will) and make sure you choose the right difficulty level for your ability, or you could get into trouble!
Strap on your skis (one, two or even none)– but instead of shooting down a mountain, skim the surface of the waves as you’re pulled along by a motorboat at speeds of up to 25 mph. This is not only exhilarating, it’s a great way to get into water sports and gives you a full body workout
Wakeboarding is what happens when you combine surfing, water skiing and snowboarding into one sport. These sessions will see you rising a wakeboard (which is like a surfboard) that you’re attached to (like a snowboard) over the surface of the water while being towed behind a motorboat (like water skiing). This is a great introduction to water sports, as all it requires is a good grip and good balance. Our advice for beginners would be to let the boat do the work, keep your weight on your front foot and make sure you’re comfortable with which foot you have forward when you start, as this will be your anchor point.
If you like the idea of coasting along the waves but don’t fancy the pressure of surfing, paddle boarding might be for you. Take to a slightly longer board, get your balance and simply paddle your way to your destination. Paddle boarding involves standing on a long, wide board and paddling through the water, but don’t be fooled! It takes strength and balance, and paddle board racing is still pretty intense! Our tips for this are all about balance – make sure you plant your feet properly and don’t shift around too much, or risk falling in!
At Spice, we run events for all of these activates, and many more besides! Whether you just want a weekend away surfing along the coast or a week in the crystal clear waters of Malta learning how to water ski like a pro – Spice has the adrenalin boost you’re looking for. To find an event that suit you, visit our events page here or get in touch with your Spice co-ordinator.