Water Sports Equipment

Water sports encompass a wide variety of activities and games that take place in, on, or around water. Some of the most common water sports include swimming, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, and scuba diving.

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Most water sports require equipment. The following list includes a description of some of the most popular water sports, including the equipment you will need to participate.

Kayaking

Equipment: life preserver, double-bladed paddle, kayak  

Kayaking is a common watersport that can be done in nearly any body of water—from oceans to rivers to lakes. In order to go kayaking, you will need a kayak. A kayak is a lightweight and portable watercraft that can seat one or two people. It is similar to a canoe, but much lower to the water. The paddler sits with his or her legs extended in front of him instead of sitting on a bench. In order to go kayaking, you will also need a double-bladed paddle.

Surfing and Body Boarding

Equipment: surfboard or body board, wetsuit,

Surfing takes place on the surface of the water, usually the ocean because surfing requires substantial waves. It is sometimes practiced on rivers. Surfing is done with a specially designed plank called a surfboard. Surfing involves laying on one’s stomach on the surfboard and then paddling out from the shore. The surfer waits for a wave, at which point he or she catches it as it grows and tries to stand up on the board, at this point riding the wave in the direction of the shore. Body boarding, which is similar to surfing, involves laying stomach-down on a smaller board, known as a body board, to shore.

Snorkeling

Equipment: snorkel, mask, flippers

Snorkeling takes place under the surface of the water, usually in a body of water that is shallow. Snorkelers wear a large mask to look at the surface of an ocean, river, or pond. A snorkel is a piece of equipment with a tube and mouthpiece that allows the snorkeler to take in air without having to take their face out of the water. The tube extends at an angle upwards. Snorkelers must stay near the surface of the water in order to breathe.

Scuba Diving

Equipment: mask, oxygen tank, regulator, flippers, wetsuit

Like snorkeling, scuba diving takes place beneath the surface of the water. Scuba divers, however, may go beneath the surface of the water thanks to technology and equipment that allows them to access air via a scuba regulator and an oxygen tank. They wear a mask to keep their eyes dry and allow them to see underwater. In addition, scuba divers often wear fins or flippers to help them swim without using up too much energy. Since scuba divers may dive in cool conditions, they tend to wear a wetsuit. 

Boating and Sailing

Equipment: boat, life preserver

Some boats have a motor that allows them to move on the water. Others are operated by manpower in the form of paddles or wind power captured by sails. Boats can come in a variety of sizes. Some are big enough to sleep on, while others are made to seat very few people. They may be made of different materials, including wood, aluminum, and synthetic materials.

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