7 water sports to try locally this summer
Need some exhilaration in your life or just fancy taking up a new hobby? Here's where to give water sports a go in Herts & Beds
Ok so the weather hasn’t exactly been tropical this past month or so, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make like you’re in the Med (or at least on the Cornish coast!) Get into the holiday spirit with these water-based activities in Herts and Beds, from serene paddle boarding to high-octane white water rafting. Wetsuits on? Last one in’s a rotten egg!
If you haven’t heard of SUP (stand-up paddle boarding), where have you been?! It’s THE biggest watersports trend around – not only is it great for toning that core but it’s pretty relaxing too (erm… once you get the hang of it and aren’t completely fixated on staying on!) You can even do yoga on one (book at H2O Rampage in Ware)! Try an intro lesson on the Grand Junction Canal in Berkhamsted with Blue Fin Paddling School and you might just get the bug!
Chase the white water
At the 26-mile long, 10,000 acre recreational space on the Herts/Essex border, that is Lee Valley Regional Park you’ll find no shortage of aquatic-fuelled adrenaline. Check out the White Water Centre where you can take on the rapids in a raft, hot dog (two-person inflatable kayak), or hydrospeed (turbo powered surf board) – Big Girl Pants on, deep breath, aaaand go!
Take a spin on a jetski
Fancy yourself as a bit of an action heroine (err… yeah!)? Head to Ride at Wyboston Lakes for a proper thrill-seeking experience. Choose from jet biking, stand-up jetskiing, or jetlev (my personal favourite – like a water-powered jet pack that blasts you into the air!) Bond girl, here I come!
Go for a wild swim
If noisy chlorinated public pools don’t do it for you, why not give wild swimming a go? Pool2Lake Open Water Training in Harpenden provides pro coaching for adults and kids wanting to build confidence with wild swimming before taking the plunge. If you’re already a competent swimmer you can book on to a session at Stanborough Park in Welwyn or Box End Park in Bedford.
You don’t have to live by the sea to become a dab hand with a windsurf. At Willen Lake near Milton Keynes, you can try an intro session, take a course or brush up your skills in a practice session. Or if you can’t get enough, there’s all-you-can-surf weekends and memberships available from Brogborough Lake in Bedford.
Got a free Saturday morning? Head to Fairlands Valley for a supervised rowing or sailing sess. First timer? No matter! Private tuition is available, including dinghy sailing courses for adults and kids. Plus there are Paddlesport courses, where you can try kayaking, dragon boating and canoeing. Or you can always just hire a row boat or pedalo for fun!
Have a go at waterskiing
Rickmansworth Aquadrome is a hive of watery activity, with 41 hectares of grassland, woodland and waterways to explore. There are three lakes. One of which is home to the Rickmansworth Waterski Club, which runs a series of beginners’ days throughout the summer. You can get three tows and expert advice, as well as have a laugh with some other newbies if you crash out!