If your experience with Water sports doesn’t involve much more than those aqua aerobics classes you once took at your local leisure centre, you’ll be in for a treat when you take your gap year. In this section you’ll find tips and advice on all kinds of awesome activities around the world, such as scuba diving in pristine tropical waters, kite surfing on awesome swells and sailing along beautiful coastlines.
We’ve put together a dedicated page on scuba diving, one of the most popular choices, and another page detailing other kinds of water sports you can do on your gap year.
Scuba diving on your gap year
If you try just one water sport on your gap year, make sure it’s scuba diving. It is simply marvellous. It is comparable to visiting an alien plant: colours take on an ethereal vibrancy, the marine life looks like something from a sci-fi film and the laws of physics are turned on their head ; in what other situation could you take lungfuls of clean air deep beneath the surface of the sea? Oh, and then there’s the small matter of being completely weightless. It’s awesome, trust us.
We have heaps of awesome sailing adventures, from one day whale-watching excursions on tall ships to nine-week training courses, by the end of which you’ll be a qualified yacht skipper. Sailing is a fantastic way to see the world, whether you’re cruising the stunning coastline of Croatia or exploring the beautiful Whitsundays in Australia. All you need are some strong sea legs and a sense of adventure!
Surfing is addictive. It doesn’t matter how many times you fall off and get whipped around like laundry in a washing machine, you’ll just keep paddling back out to have another crack. It’s a lot harder than it looks, but when you catch that first wave and maintain some balance – even if only for a few seconds – you’ll suddenly understand why it’s one of the most popular sports in the world.
Canoeing & kayaking
Whether you’re in the open ocean, a lake or a rapid-fuelled river, canoeing and kayaking is guaranteed to get your heart racing. If you’re on a marine safari you’ll have a fantastic vantage point for various things poking their heads (and fins…) out the water, and if you’re tackling a white water river there is simply no better way to do it.
Windsurfing & kitesurfing
Windsurfing and kitesurfing require less agility than normal surfing but definitely more physically demanding. You’ll probably forget the aches, though, when you find yourself skimming and leaping over ocean crests at a million miles an hour.
Jet skiing is awesome and, unlike surfing or sailing, extremely easy to master. It’s basically just loads of fun; open up the throttle and crash along the ocean to your heart’s content. An alternative to the more traditional form of jet skiing on the sea is doing a jet ski safari, which will take you off the beaten track into small creeks and rivers where you can look out for wildlife.