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8 Water Sports for Summer—Warning: Images May Send You Running to the Nearest Swimming Hole
There's nothing quite as refreshing as a dip in cool water on a hot day. These water sports add some adventure and family fun to your ordinary swim outing. Find some excitement with a surfing lesson, try kayaking or sample one of these other awesome water sports.
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If you're not on the coast, get there—soon. Surfing isn't an easy water sport to master, but it's one of the most exciting ones to try. The feeling of conquering your first wave is unforgettable and can be addicting.
Start with surfing lessons to learn proper technique, and then try it on your own. You'll find yourself paddling out for more after every ride into shore—even the ones that don't go quite as well as you hoped.
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If you don't think a paddleboard is ideal for getting your "om" on, think again. You'll fall into a yoga-induced coma as you move from one pose to the next under the warm summer sun.
Both beginning and experienced yogis are invited to try this relaxing and sometimes challenging water sport.
White Water Rafting
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Quite opposite from paddleboard yoga is this heart-pumping water sport. White water rafting is not for the meek, and beginners should go with a group. Most companies differentiate between group options by skill level, so be honest about your experience when you reserve your spot.
Plan your summer vacation at a popular white water rafting area like Grand Canyon National Park, Summerville Lake in West Virginia or Kings River in California, where you can camp as well.
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If you want to get on the water without diving in head first, hop in a kayak and start paddling. You don't have to paddle all day to have a great time. Head to a nearby island for a picnic lunch or catch some rays on the shore.
If you want to stay in the boat, bring a fishing pole, and catch dinner while you relax among the waves. If you don't own a kayak, don't worry. Many popular beaches have nearby retailers that rent the necessary equipment.
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If you or your kids aren't quite up for surfing, try boogie boarding. This water sport allows your children to play in the surf while you watch from the sand. Most ocean vacation spots are overflowing with boogie boards, so don't worry about grabbing one before you go.
If you want to boogie board close to home, head to your local sports store to learn about the best and closest places to try this sport.
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Canoeing is like kayaking–just with more space. With room for three to four people, depending on the size of canoe you choose, the entire family can head out on a summer adventure together. Better yet, pick a location, pack your camping gear and arrive at your campsite by boat instead of car.
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This high-octane water sport is not to be missed if the opportunity arises. Ask for an overview of the watercraft and practice driving close to shore before going out into deeper waters.
Look for a double or triple seat jet ski if you're with friends or family so no one is left on shore. Driving with others on board changes the dynamic of turns, so test drive with them on it as well.
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Escape the sun altogether with a scuba diving trip. If you've never gone before, find a local retailer, many of which offer scuba tours along with all the necessary equipment. If you don't want to go all out, just grab goggles, flippers and a snorkel and look below from the surface.