As scuba divers, it is no surprise that even when we aren’t diving, we love to spend time in, on, or under the water. Water activities like kayaking, surfing, and snorkeling are all fun, but if you are like us, and are looking to try something a bit different, check out our list of 10 unique water activities to add to your bucket list.
1. Slide down rapids head first – Riverboarding
Have you been white water rafting and found the thrill factor to be low? Then check out riverboarding. Riverboarding is similar to white water rafting, but instead of being in a boat, it is a solo sport where you head face-first down the rapids, with nothing more than a board (a cross between a bodyboard and a kickboard) and safety gear.
(Rapid Boarders, +61 427 364 311, https://www.rapidboarders.com.au/barron-river
from $160AUD/$107USD for a half-day tour, Cairns, QLD, Australia).
2. Jump off waterfalls – Canyoneering
Unleash your inner Tarzan and go canyoneering at Kawasan Falls in the Philippines. A combination of hiking, climbing, swinging, sliding and jumping off rocks into bright blue water. Jumps range from heights of 2m all the way to 14m. While a little scary, the Gatorade blue colored water is so inviting, you will be itching to jump right in.
(For best prices book through your accommodation, from 1500PHP/$29USD), Kawasan Falls, Cebu, Philippines).
3. Leap out of the water – Semisubmersible
Queenstown is the city of extreme sports and it is here where you can take an adrenaline-pumping ride in a semisubmersible (best described as part submarine/part speed boat). Buckle yourself into the cockpit of the tiger shark-shaped vehicle, and prepare to speed across the surface of Lake Wakatipuat up to 50mph (80km/h) as well as dive under the crystal clear waters at speeds of up to 25mph (40km/h). Your pilot mimics the actions of a shark, and will have you zooming through the water, rolling and will even launch you up to 6m through the air!
(Hydro Attack, +64 27 477 9074, https://www.hydroattack.co.nz/ from $154NZD/$96USD, Queenstown, New Zealand).
4. Surf on still water – Jet surfing
Love surfing but don’t live near the ocean? Love wakeboarding but aren’t so keen on the hassle and expense of hiring a boat? Well good news, jet surfing is what you have been looking for! Jet surfing is best described as a motorized surfboard – giving you the benefits of both surfing and wakeboarding. A motor is built into the bottom of the surfboard and all you need to do is strap your feet in, hold onto the arm strap, and you are off. Jet surfing makes it super easy to head out by yourself and do some tricks on the board without having to rely on a boat. And you can even jet around at speeds of up to 37mph (60km/h).
(Jet Surf Academy USA, +1 305 538 7873, https://jetsurfacademyusa.com/jetsurf-rent-miami/jetsurfacademy/ from $149USD, Miami, United States of America).
5. Abseil down waterfalls – Rappelling
When traditional abseiling is just not extreme enough, try waterfall rappelling! Just like the name suggests, it is where you abseil down a series of waterfalls. Everything is more intense than traditional abseiling. The surface is slippery and you have to navigate your way down the face of the falls while water is pounding over your head. With falls ranging from 2 – 40m, be sure to get some pictures to brag to your friends. And the added bonus is, at the end of each fall, you get to jump in the refreshing pools of water to cool off.
(Finca Modelo Ecologica, +506 2645 5581, http://canyoningmonteverde.com/canyoning from $79USD, Monte Verde, Costa Rica).
6. Wakeboard underwater – Subwing
Most people have heard about wakeboarding which is where you stand on a board and a boat tows you along the water’s surface. Subwing is a similar concept but is done underneath the water. The board hangs off the back of the boat but is submerged under the water. You hold onto the board with your hands and you glide, twirl and twist your way at speed underwater. Pop up to the surface when you need a breath and keep an eye out for dolphins who like to come out and play.
(Wake to Wake watersports,+1 649 242 9253, https://waketowake.tc from $475USD hourly ex 12% tax(note the cost is for boat hire), Turks and Caicos).
7. Fly high in the sky – Jet Pack
Nobody thought that the Jetson’s cartoon would accurately predict the future, but guess what, they were right! Be like Elroy Jetson and strap on your jetpack and go flying through the air. The jet pack is water-powered (usually by a jetski) and blasts hundreds of liters of water to propel you out of the water and make you fly up to 15m high!
And if jetpacking isn’t enough adventure for you, Hydro Water Sports in Dubai also has a flyboard (just your feet are strapped in), jetovator (similar looking to a segway) and a hoverboard (like a wakeboard) to choose from!
(Hydro Water Sports, +971 54 598 5353, https://www.hydro-watersports.com/ from AED350/$95USD, Dubai, United Arab Emirates UAE).
8. Do a gym workout on the water – SUP stepper
When it’s a leg work out day, but you are still keen for Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) – try a SUP stepper! Instead of using a handheld paddle (like in traditional SUP), the board has a stepper/elliptical machine built into the base. And don’t worry you will still be able to steer as the SUP stepper has handles similar to a bike so you can easily maneuver.
(Kayak Sailing Adventures, +1 340 626 3921,https://www.kayaksailingadventures.com/activity/sup-stepper-rentals-st-croix/ From $20USD per 10 min rental, St Croix, US Virgin Islands).
9. Glide through the water – Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV)
Love to snorkel, get easily tired, but still want to glide easily through the water? A Diver Propulsion Vehicle (DPV) is a motorized handheld unit that helps you do just this. During the tour, they teach you everything you need to know about how to operate the DPV as well as how best not to disturb sea life.
(Hawaiian Dive Company, +1 808 722 6238,
https://www.hawaiiandivecompany.com/dpv-snorkel/ From $125USD + tax,
Oahu, Hawaii, United States of America USA).
10. Scoot around with the fish – underwater sit on scooter
Similar to a DPV, a sit on electric scooter allows you to scoot through the water with minimal effort. The main difference is though, that the sit on scooter includes an aqua helmet which means that you don’t need to come up for a breath and sits at approximately 2.5m under the water’s surface. It’s great for those selfies, and getting up close and personal with the fish. This activity is slower and more kid-friendly than the DPV.
(Aqua Adventures, +1 340 777 3549, https://bossusvi.com/ from $125USD for adults, St Thomas, Virgin Islands).
And when you are ready to head back underwater and do some diving (at some unique spots), check out our list of 10 unique dive experiences to cross off your bucket list!
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About the Author
Amanda and her husband Dean have been certified divers since 2009. Amanda has her advanced open water and Dean is a dive master. They have travelled the world and dived many sites in Australia, Asia, Central America and the Caribbean.
Amanda and Dean have a travel blog called Scatabout which details the fun and unique experiences they have had on their world travels. You can find them doing something adventurous like scuba diving, hiking or something strange like running down the side of a building.
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