BlogMay 2023

15 Types of Water Sports Activities

15 Types of Water Sports Activities

By Jeff Bogle

May 12, 2023

There are many ways to enjoy the water this summer. Here are 15 water sport activities, including several new water sports, to try this year.

When it comes to water sport activities, your mind probably and justifiably goes straight to recreational boating. While we obviously love it when people get out on the water for some boating fun, on a pontoon boat or otherwise, there are many different water sports activities to choose from, each with their own endurance level needed and skills required, but the many benefits of water sports activities are undeniable. You'll get exercise, breathe in fresh air, and connect with nature on a whole other level than you do on land. Let's take a look at the types of water sports activities and how to get yourself prepared to have fun with water sports and activities this summer.

If you were to make a list of water sports activities, you'd put down the classics like boating and canoeing, of course, but there are new water sports activities you could try this summer as well. Here are 15 water sport activities to consider as you look for ways to engage with, get in, and float on top of the water this year.

Water skiing and Wakeboarding

For those seeking lake water sports activities that deliver an adrenaline rush, there's water skiing, kneeboarding, parasailing, and wakeboarding, all of which are water sport activities that involve being connected to a moving boat. Not for the timid, these types of water sports activities are some of the most fun you can have on any body of water.

Surfing and Bodyboarding

Here are two more classics of the water sport activities genre, requiring a combination of bravery, skill, and balance, surfing and bodyboarding, also known as boogie boarding, are active ways to play on wavy ocean waters.


A pleasant, often peaceful activity in and on the water, snorkeling can get you up close and personal with the wide, wondrous world that exists just beneath the surface. There are colorful fish and coral to see, seashells to collect, and fun waiting to be had.

Kayaking and Canoeing

You can own equipment to kayak and canoe on rivers and lakes near you, or rent everything you need to have water sport activities to enjoy at home and while traveling to state and national parks for hiking, camping, and fishing vacations.


Pontoon Boating

A relaxing day spent on a pontoon boat with family and friends could be your new summertime tradition. More of an activity than a water sport, once you learn how to drive a pontoon boat, it's a fantastic way to introduce children to the water.

Whitewater Rafting

Nothing spices up a camping weekend more than a journey down a river with rapids! Whitewater rafting tours are a thrilling way to experience the power and beauty of nature's waterways.


Of course, swimming makes a list of water sports activities! Interacting with nature doesn't need to be complicated or planned, sometimes you just need a bathing suit and a towel. Go swimming this summer and enjoy all the benefits of water sports activities.


Some of the new water sports activities catching on across the country include:

Stand-up Paddleboarding and SUP Yoga

On your knees or feet, stand-up paddleboarding is a blissful way to spend time on calm water. Lately, many people take their yoga practice to the water and stretch and pose on a paddleboard. Some people also enjoy fishing from a paddle board!


With a SEABOB, you have a personal underwater rocket that zooms you all over in a thrilling water sport activity you have to try at least once in your life.


This futuristic water sport activity makes you feel and look like you're flying above the water thanks to the kinetic energy from the waves under ideal conditions.

Floating with Manatees

If you ever get the chance, Crystal River in Florida is a great place to do it, putting on a wet suit and floating alongside majestic, mammoth manatees is one of the most surreal types of water sports activities on Earth.


What to Wear for Water Sports Activities

Each of the water sport activities listed above will require specific clothing and protective equipment. Helmets are needed to go whitewater rafting, for example, while wet suits will help keep you safe and warm as you go waterskiing being a boat, swimming with manatees, and cold-water snorkeling.


Check out the best fishing lakes in the U.S. for more fun along the water, and these extra water sport activities to keep you and your family cool all summer long!



Jeff Bogle
Jeff Bogle
Jeff is a dad of teen daughters, avid traveler, photographer, and freelance writer. He’s penned stories on family travel, outdoor recreation, the environment, parenting, and more for Fodor’s, Reader’s Digest, Parents Magazine, Good Housekeeping, PBS, and Esquire, among other publications. Find him on his blog, and on Instagram @OWTK. Jeff is also the publisher of the quarterly literary zine, Stanchion