Got a beach holiday planned this year? Whilst some people like to spend their time on the beach laying back and soaking up the sun, others like to lead a more active holiday – which can involve trying a new water sport. There are now hundreds of water sports out there. Here are some of the more unusual variants that are swiftly gaining popularity.
Some of you may be familiar with zorbing, which involves being pushed down a hill in an inflatable ball. The activity has now moved to water where it’s largely a more leisurely and fun affair (you essentially get to walk on water – although it’s a lot harder than it looks). For a more adrenaline-spiked experience, you can also be trailed off a boat in a zorb ball just like a water-skier.
Paddle-boarding is a variant on surfing that also involves steering oneself with a paddle. Originating in Hawaii, the craze has taken off around the world. Unlike some more extreme water sports, it can be enjoyed by all the family. Those that have never tried it are best looking online for the best beginner paddle board before splashing out on a professional one. Whilst it can be a relatively leisurely activity, mastering it and getting the balance does take a lot of patience and practice.
Underwater hockey is another unusual sport that is taking off – you may be able to play it in some swimming pools. It involves two teams each trying to move a puck underwater on the pool or seabed surface to the opposite side. The sport was devised in England and there are variations available that involve snorkels and even scuba equipment. Another name for the sport is ‘octopush’.
Safe ice swimming
You can blame the Scandinavians and Russians for this one. Safe ice swimming involves swimming in frozen water and is generally only done for short durations as a quick adrenaline rush. Official ice holes have started to crop up in countries such as Finland for those looking to brave the cold. Ice swimming can be dangerous and certainly shouldn’t be attempted by those with heart conditions. On the flipside, it’s also been found to have some health benefits, improving body circulation and helping to relieve painful joint problems and illnesses such as arthritis.
This activity is as pleasant as it sounds. Established in mid-Wales, bog snorkelling involves diving and swimming through thick, muddy water. Due to the consistency, it’s much harder than swimming as well as being very cold. An event is held every August in Llantwrtyd Wells known as the World Bog Snorkelling Championships, which requires swimmers to race against one another. The phenomenon has seen success in other parts of the world but is still a fairly rare sport and unlikely to be everyone’s cup of tea.
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