Vacation water activities, what to try and what to definitely avoid
There are so many different water activities at so many different beaches around the world that it’s hard to keep track of everything. Having said that, not all of the water activities are regulated or even safe. Some of the things that seem great can turn into a big disaster if you’re not very careful. We all think we can do everything, but think of it like getting on a motorcycle and riding it in a race when you’ve never actually been on a motorcycle in your life, that will give you a better idea as to what we mean. If you want to keep that memorable beach experience memorable in a good way then there are some things you should avoid and something you should do. More often than not the vendors at the beach are more interested in getting your money than keeping you safe, so be careful. Here are a few of our picks.
This sounds like a great thing to try, but unless you’re an experienced surfer this is something you should definitely not do. Even experienced surfers drown if the waves are too big. If you want to give it a try, make sure that the waves are small and you have a good instructor. Make sure you wear a life vest as well. if you are an experienced surfer, then you already know how dangerous it can be.
With a good instructor, kayaking is actually fairly safe. Just make sure the water is calm and you have a life vest on. Start small and easy and you should be fine. Kayaking is great fun, though it can be a lot of exercise if you are not used to it.
This is a bit more difficult, but such things as towed banana boats are fairly safe as long as they’re not going too fast. Very often operators will overload of the banana boat and drive it too fast. If you hit the water at speeds it can cause injury. There are also some inflatables that can catch air and rise many feet above the ocean at times. You do not want to do this. There have been numerous lawsuits from people hitting the water at speed from a height when these things flip over as the injuries are so prevalent. So, if you want to try a banana boat, see how they look before you try it out. Imagine yourself falling off at whatever speed they’re going and ask yourself if you really want to do that.
Snorkeling is fairly safe and great fun for all ages. Like any underwater sport however, it’s not a good idea to do it alone. You should always have a buddy to do it with.In case something goes wrong, you have someone to make sure you get back safely.
Unless you are used to jet skis this is another one you should be very careful with. Jet skis can go amazingly fast and falling off one can be like hitting concrete. They are easy to lose control of and there have been many deaths from jet skis colliding with other jet skis or boats or hitting people on the water. As fun as they look, we would say take a hard pass on jet skis unless you have done them many times before.
White water rafting
White water rafting is great fun for beginners and advanced as well. Realize that there are different levels of white water. From one to five. If you are a beginner level 1 is probably what you want to start with. That’s like just taking a boat down the river with a few bumpy bits. A level 5 is for long term, highly trained professionals only. Sometimes you will think you might want to go a bit more exciting and try a higher level, like a 4. As a beginner, we highly discourage you doing so as, to put it bluntly, you can die. Stick with ones and twos until you learn more and move yourself up slowly if you really love it. As the old expression goes, crawl before walk. walk before run. Crawling is better than drowning.
While this is not exactly a water sport and more of an air sport, it is commonly done above water. For this one, you have to look at the operator and see how they are with the other tourists. If they are dragging tourists along the beach or across the water, then you probably should avoid them. You can always ask the hotel if there is someone nearby that is reputable to do the parasailing. Unless they have a good reference, we would probably also pass on it. There are too many cowboys that just buy a parachute, rent a boat, and charge tourist without knowing what they’re doing.
Water skiing is a great sport. But if you’ve never been waterskiing before make sure you get some lessons from a reputable water-skiing instructor. If you are being towed by the boat, make sure there is something driving the boat and somebody in the back of the boat watching you as well, because the driver cannot see you if you fall, so you need to have somebody else to make sure you’re ok. Make sure you’re wearing a life vest, and again make sure you have a reputable teacher.
And of course, any water sport list would be incomplete without scuba diving. If you have never been scuba diving before, make sure that you go to a certified teacher to get lessons before you go out. Scuba diving is one of the most amazing things you can do, but it also has its dangers. So, you need to partner with a professional and one where you can feel comfortable putting your life in their hands.
There are many water sports that you can do while on vacation. A lot of this safety advice is just common sense. Some things just look so cool that you want to try it, but it’s never quite as easy as it looks. Going back to the analogy, if you’ve never ridden a motorcycle, you don’t want to get on one and trying to race it. If you can find good instructors with good reputations then almost any watersport you do should be fine. But just don’t assume because there they’re offering it for a price on the beach that they’re going to know what they’re doing. Use your brain, find a good teacher, and have a great time.