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Top 5 Water Sports to try in the UK

Top 5 Water Sports to try in the UK

Have you been wanting to give watersports a go but not known where to start? Look no further than this blog for a solid overview of the top five water sports here in the UK.

It can often be easy to think of watersports and picture yourself out on the water in the Caribbean somewhere. There is definitely a big misconception that watersports are limited to hotter climates. BUT Did you know that right here in the UK there is an ever-growing community of watersports enthusiasts and a plethora of activities to choose from? Read our blog to find out more.

Water Skiing:

Water skiing is a fantastic hobby to get into, going back almost a century now. Are you looking for a new thrill or simply to relax? This activity can be both. 

Water skiing consists of gliding across the top of the water with your feet in bindings on skis, much like snow skiing, you can carve, jump or go for speed. The majority of people either use combo skis, which is where you have a ski on each foot. Or, they use a mono ski, where you are on one ski with a foot behind the other. Combo skis are ideal for beginners and families, offering a good gateway into the sport. As you become comfortable on two you can drop one to use the other as a slalom. Slalom skiing is perfect for quicker turns, for example on a slalom course, or just to challenge yourself.

To get up on the water on a pair of skis just hold on to the handle and allow yourself to be pulled up. This is usually done behind a boat or on a mechanised rail at a park which there are a growing number of in the UK. People water ski on all kinds of waters, calm seas, lakes and water sports parks. There are many benefits to water skiing. It can help to improve your balance and strength, whilst giving you a great hobby at the same time.

In terms of the gear you will need to get started, you will need the ski/skis, a ski rope and any needed safety equipment. Many users either go for a ski vest for buoyancy, or an impact/neo-comp vest for more protection and movement. You may also need a wetsuit ,weather-dependent.


Ever more popular; paddleboarding is quickly becoming the most frequented watersport in the UK. Perfect for all skill levels. whether it’s a day out at the lake or a meander down the canal. Paddleboarding is super versatile and can be done by nearly anyone. 

You can either go down the inflatable SUP (stand up paddleboard) route for convenience. These are great for all-round use, packing down into a backpack or similar and just requiring a pump. Due to the technology of drop-stitch construction inflatable SUP’s feel really solid underfoot due to the high pressure. Or you can go for a solid SUP, this is going to perform better but will naturally be less transportable.

In terms of the gear you will need, it is just the paddle. Other than that you have safety gear, such as a life vest/ski vest (also available for your four legged friends HERE) and any accessories, you could even go for a SUP seat, to build up your skill or for ultimate relaxation.

Sup’ing has long been hailed for its health benefits. Paddleboarding is great for your whole body fitness including your core and shoulders. Many people also believe that it can be great for your mental health, offering you a tranquil escape out on the water.



Wakeboarding is renowned for being one of the quickest water sports to pick up. Fastened to a board the rider is towed behind a motorboat or cable. The sport has a big following behind it with a whole host of competitions and communities out there. But anyone can give it a go!

Once in the board’s bindings, The first thing to figure out is how you stand on the board, goofy or regular, left or right foot leading. It is always best to start with a shorter rope at first until you get your feel as this will make it a lot easier. Once this is done it’s time to try to stand up on the board for the first time, there’s no better feeling than getting towed along across the water!

Before getting up on the water it is necessary to make sure you have the right equipment for the job. Naturally, you will need a wakeboard, these are categorised by the rocker design (how the board curves) as well as the size of the board which determines what load it is built for. You will also need wakeboard bindings to attach yourself to the board and a wakeboard rope. Lastly, you will need the right safety gear for this. Most people either go for an impact or neo/comp vest for more protection and room for movement, however it is worth considering that these have less buoyancy then a ski vest buoyancy aid.



Tubing with inflatable towables is a sure fire way to get your thrills. Just clamber on board behind a motor boat, hold on and enjoy the ride! 

There is a massive variety of towables out there. How do you choose the right towable for you? A big part of the decision comes down to the design, the main types are donut, deck, chariot and sofa but there are so many more. Each ride through the water in their own unique way. The only other thing to consider is how many riders will be on board? All towables have a certain number of riders they are designed for. 

As towables can be a bumpy ride it is important to have the right gear. In general an impact vest would be recommended as you are likely to be falling off a fair amount. A wetsuit may also be necessary to keep you warm. 

Towables can be great fun for the whole family, they do not have the skill barrier some other water sports do but are guaranteed to provide endless fun for everyone. Accessible; and easy to do on most bodies of water in the UK.


Zup Boarding:

You may not have heard of a ZUP board. Do not let this put you off. These are a seriously fun bit of kit and in a whole category of their own. The boards are multi-functional. Lay, Kneel, Stand or Surf. 

The ZUP board was created in America in order to help people that struggle with traditional watersports. Due to their multi-use nature they offer the user great progression, as you can start off lying down and work your way up to your feet. Perfect for any skill level. The unique handle on this board is also a really nice feature, it can be slotted onto the board for hands free riding on its side, or spun round to hold the handle as you go along.

ZUP’ing is definitely one to watch for the future, as they are sure to get more and more popular over here in the UK. In terms of the gear you need, we would recommend either an impact, neo or ski buoyancy vest. Depending on your swimming level and board capability.



We hope this has given you a good overview of the water sporting world in the UK. Feel free to contact us with any of your water sports queries at:

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