The Girl’s Guide to Water Sports

Woman Swimming

Summer is here and the water beckons! Surfing, swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding offer several ways to have fun in the water while getting fit.

Here is an overview of these popular water pastimes. Enjoy fitness fun in the sun!

Surfing- Waves Required

The most basic skill needed for surfing is swimming, the foundation of any water sport. It’s always a good idea brush up on swim strokes before heading into open water. Surfing proves to be an exhilarating ride that continually challenges your physical fitness.

Necessary Equipment

In the summer months when the ocean is generally warmer, a wetsuit is not usually required, thus minimizing the initial equipment. While purchasing a surfboard can be an investment, there are many avenues for renting one. Check with your local surf shop for details. Feeling intimidated? Consider this: surfing is becoming more female-friendly everyday, with as many as 45% of surfers now women in the lineup!

Fitness Incentives

You can burn between 500-800 calories an hour with the quick bursts of energy that are required for paddling and catching waves. For inspiration, ideas, and gear check out SurfDiva.

Swimming- the Foundation

Of course not everyone is fortunate enough to call the coast home. Luckily, swimming is an enjoyable water sport available almost anywhere. You can workout in a lake, a river, the ocean, or a neighborhood pool. While swimming is technical, the details need not get you flustered. Start with some basics and build as you go. Timing your breathing is one of the most basic aspects of starting a swim program. As you learn proper breathing technique, you will become more relaxed in the water and increasingly enjoy the sport.

Necessary Equipment

The only equipment needed is a suit, some goggles, and a cap if you have longer hair.

Fitness Incentives

Swimming is a non-impact, complete body workout, which can be practiced throughout a lifetime. Not only does it offer a reprieve from impact stress, swimming is the perfect escape from the summer heat. Swimming utilizes several different muscles groups, improves endurance, builds cardio-vascular fitness, and uses the water’s resistance to increase muscle tone.

Kayaking- Choose Your Own Adventure

Able to be enjoyed in almost any body of water, kayaking caters to the individual or the entire family, novice or advanced. Because they come in a wide array of sizes and styles, kayaks can be utilized in varying water environments or conditions, for singletons or more than one person. For the beginner, recreational kayaks are generally recommended for causal use on calmer water.

Necessary Equipment

Required items are a kayak, a paddle, and a life jacket. A helmet is suggested for rougher, rocky terrain, as well. Finding a used kayak will allow you to spend considerably less.

Fitness Incentives

Paddling engages the muscles in your arms, shoulders, back, and abs, as you navigate the water. Enjoy the sun, tax your upper body, and spend quality time with the family with this water sport.

Paddleboarding Pay Off

Gaining wide popularity in the world of water sports, paddleboarding provides a unique workout for the water enthusiast. Without waves required for riding, paddleboarding is a completely self-propelled sport, allowing for use in various bodies of water.

Necessary Equipment

The main equipment required for this sport is the board, a paddle, and a life jacket. Again, the initial investment of a board can be expensive, but rentals are available before you commit to purchasing. Beginning paddleboarders should start in calm, non-congested conditions, and use a wider board that offers more stability. 

Fitness Incentives

Because you stand on the board to paddle, paddleboarding requires more use of your legs, while engaging core muscles and using the muscles in your arms and back, as well. As such, paddleboarding offers an amazing view on the water, while providing a fresh, fun, and challenging workout.

Any way you slice it, water sports- like watermelon- spell summer fun. Get fit, have fun, and get out there!