Which Water Sport Works for You?


Millions of people who live near water try to make the most of their aquatic surroundings by engaging in sports and recreational activities on the water. But if you’ve never tried a water sport before, you may wonder what the best water sport is—or even what you might be interested in.

In this guide, we’ll cover some of the most popular forms of water sports, and how to pick the right activity for your next adventure on the water.

Factors to Consider

These are some of the most important variables you’ll need to consider when choosing a water sport.

  • Access. Some types of activities require your access to specific resources or areas; for example, you can’t sail without a sailboat, and it’s tough to practice surfing in an indoor pool.
  • Lifestyle. Your type of lifestyle will also dictate what sports you enjoy. Are you looking for something laid-back and relaxing, or something aggressive and active?
  • Personal interest. Some activities will interest you more than others, for reasons that may not be immediately apparent.
  • Local climate. Some areas are better suited to some climates and local weather conditions. For example, you won’t be able to go ice fishing in Florida.
  • Local interest. You may be motivated to seek water sporting activities for which there is already an active population in your area. It’s always more fun to do things with friends.

With those in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most popular water sports and activities available to you.


Swimming is a classic sport, and one of the most popular water activities in the world, due in large part to its simplicity. You won’t need much equipment—just a swimsuit and some goggles to get started—and you can swim in a pool or the open water. You can also choose from a variety of different strokes and techniques. For example, you could practice the backstroke for easy breathing or try something more complex, like the butterfly. It’s a great way to stay in shape and stay cool in hot weather, and if you’re competitive, you can probably find a league in your area.


Surfing and bodyboarding both rely on the power of waves to produce a challenge, so it’s not something you can do in every body of water. There are dozens of types of surfboards and bodyboards to choose from, which cater to different styles of surfing. Surfing tends to have a steep learning curve, since every wave is different and keeping your balance is difficult, but it’s highly rewarding.


Windsurfing is kind of a combination of surfing and sailing, relying on a long board on which you can balance and sails you can use to move yourself around on the water. The best conditions include some mild to moderate wind, but there’s significant flexibility in what you can do. There’s even an Olympic category for windsurfing.

Wakeboarding/Water Skiing

If you want to practice wakeboarding or water skiing, you’ll need a high-speed boat to carry you along. Wakeboarding relies on a board (much like a surfboard), on which you’ll balance as the boat zooms across the water. Some boards are specifically outfitted with fins and weights, allowing the rider some degree of control as they zip around. Water skiing is similar, but it relies on a pair of water skis, rather than a board. Both wakeboarding and water skiing can be used for speed, agility, or to perform tricks over the water using ramps.


Many people think of fishing as a purely relaxing activity, but depending on what type of fish you’re after and where you’re fishing, it can be anything from lazy and relaxing to stressful and demanding. There are many subcategories of fishing, including big-game fishing (where you’ll need strength and stamina to succeed), deep sea fishing, and even ice fishing. Chances are, you’ll be able to find something you like—you’ll just need to make sure you have a suitable boat to make your fishing trips more enjoyable.


Rafting is often a group activity, relying on a team of paddlers to navigate a raft through white-water rapids or similar turbulent territory. Depending on the nature of the river and your location, rafting can range from tame to downright dangerous.


If you want the feel of a conventional team sport, but you want to spend more time in the water, consider partaking in water polo. It takes some time to master the fundamentals, but it’s a great way to spend time and stay in shape with friends—especially if they’re competitive. As an added bonus, you can practice water polo in the open water or an indoor pool (though most people stick indoors to minimize the influence of weather conditions), provided you have access.


Sailing requires a surprising amount of strength, agility, and coordination—especially if you’re going for speed. Like many sports on this list, you’ll have a variety of options to choose from here. You can sail by yourself as a relaxing hobby, and as a way to get more in touch with the water. Or you can join a competitive sailing team and work together to race against other teams.


If you like the idea of speeding around on the water, but you aren’t into wakeboarding or water skiing, you could get a power boat and use it by itself. You can head out on your own, or race against other competitive powerboaters to see who’s the fastest on the water.

Other Forms of Water Recreation

The above water sports aren’t a comprehensive list of all the sports you can try in the water, and they barely represent the tip of the iceberg when it comes to water-based activities. For example, you could also try snorkeling, underwater photography, underwater spearfishing, freediving, scuba diving, or even barefoot skiing. There’s almost no limit to what you can enjoy on the water.

Are you interested in starting an activity like fishing, wakeboarding, or even sailing? If so, you’ll need a vessel to carry you. At TheYachtMarket, we have a wide selection of boats for sale, including power boats, sailboats, and yachts, which can open up entire new worlds of water sports to engage in. Browse our selection today!


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