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The 5 Best Types of Boating Sports for Families

There are more types of boating sports today than ever before! Many water sports involve a rider that is towed behind a motorized boat with a tow rope and a specially-designed board or tube. The goal of these sports is for a rider to cruise behind the boat using the boat’s wake as an incline for jumps and tricks. If you’re looking for a fun, energizing activity to get the family outside and on the water, check out this list of top boating sports for families of all ages.

1. Tubing

Tubing behind a boat requires a specially-designed towable tube. An inflatable PVC tube is wrapped with a durable nylon covering that allows the tube to glide over the water easily. Riders aren’t required to hold a handle as the tow rope connects directly to the tube. Riders can glide along leisurely or launch over the boat wake for a high-flying adventure.

2. Kneeboarding

Kneeboarding is a great entry-level activity to the world of boating sports. The rider is positioned on their knees in a molded pad that’s secured to the top of the board. The rider grips a handle that is connected to the boat with a rope and can cruise along the water.

3. Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding is a more advanced sport that requires a specialized board with boots secured to it. The rider begins in-water with their feet in the boots and must rise up when the boat accelerates, turning the board into a cruising position. Riders criss-cross the wake and can learn all types of jumps, grabs, and tricks.

4. Wakeskating

Wakeskating is similar to wakeboarding except without the restriction of the boots. A wakeskate has a grip-tape surface like a skateboard and riders typically wear special skate-style shoes for grip.

5. Wakesurfing

A huge craze for all ages, wakesurfing is a popular sport that requires a small surfboard and a big wake. The rider starts behind the boat holding a tow rope and surfs the wake until they can let go of the rope and ride the wake freely on the board.

Water sports make for a fun day of boating. Use our interactive map to find the best places for boating near you. You can also find critical boating safety resources such as emergency protocol, safety equipment checklist, and safety courses. Get the family outside and enjoy!


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Alycia Downs

Alycia Downs

Alycia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid sportsman who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and outdoors. Alycia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is actively involved with conservation and fishing non-profit organizations. Visit her personal blog at tideandtale.com or on Instagram @tideandtale.