Water sports are becoming increasingly popular as family vacations. Boating, parasailing, skiing, surfing and diving are promoted by many of the most popular tourism destinations in the world. Aside from fun water sports and activities, some areas hold competitions with amazing prize possibilities.
The Balearic Island of Majorca holds several sailing and yachting competitions throughout the year, primarily from March to October. The 25th Annual King’s Cup will be held in August 2008. Spain’s King and Prince will be taking part in the competition to help celebrate the 25th anniversary.
The Canary Islands are also popular water sports destinations. The volcanic origin of the Canaries enhances the beauty and appeal. The unusual beauty of the islands doesn’t end where the sand meets the water. Divers quickly learn that there is much more to the Canary Islands than meets the eye.
Boating and Hired Boat Rides
Many forms of boating are enjoyed as a summer vacation all around the world. Sailing is very popular in the Balearic and Canary Islands as well as other destinations. Several favorite tourist destinations offer boating tours as well as glass-bottom boat excursions. Glass-bottom boats are most popular in areas with crystal clear waters and an abundance of marine life. Some areas allow tourists to feed the fish or other marine life.
August is a very busy sailing month in Majorca due to popularity of the King’s Cup. Majorca holds several other sailing competitions throughout the year. Yachting is also very popular, especially during the summer months when the vast majority of tourists plan their vacations. Along with boating usually comes skiing and parasailing.
Parasailing or parascending is increasingly popular among college students and families with teens. The thrill of being lifted into the air high above the waters is an adrenaline rush many in their teens and twenties can’t pass up. Some of the most popular parasailing destinations are the Balearic Islands of Majorca and Menorca, the Canary Islands of Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, Florida and Puerto Rico. Parasailing associations in different regions of the world govern any rules parasailing enthusiasts must follow in their jurisdiction. Most areas allow 500-1,000ft ascensions while others may allow up to 2,000ft.
Skiing and Jet Skiing
People of all ages enjoy many variations of water skiing including skiing on two skis, one ski, wakeboarding and even barefoot. At any given time during the summer, where there is a large body of water and motor boats, you will probably see skiers. Oftentimes more than one skier will be skimming the surface of the water behind a swiftly moving boat.
Several forms of jet skiing are becoming more popular as well. Jet skis are similar to mountain bikes on water. They are built with a two-stroke or four-stroke engine, depending on how the owner plans to use them. Most jet skis have a small-to-medium sized seat to accommodate one or two people. Stand-up jet skis are available to those who enjoy jet skiing freestyle and doing tricks. They are lighter and more accommodating in terms of jumping or flipping.
Tropical islands and coastlines with large, crashing waves wouldn’t be complete without surfboards and surfers. Surfing has grown phenomenally over the years and now envelopes windsurfing, kitesurfing, longboarding and shortboarding. The terms ‘longboarding’ and ‘shortboarding’ often refer to the two major subdivisions of surfing. Surfers enjoy the special relationship they say they have with the water and provide non-surfers a thrilling viewing experience as they glide almost effortlessly on the waves. Surf camps in popular tourism areas offer surfing lessons and may be enjoyed by all ages and skill levels.
Many popular tourist destinations around the world offer superb diving opportunities. The Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Florida and Puerto Rico are just a few popular dive areas. Diving opportunities in various tourist areas may include shipwrecks, aircraft wrecks, caves, tunnels and all sorts of marine life. In many areas, to enhance the experience, divers are permitted to feed stingrays and other marine life.