There are a couple of new kids in town when it comes to watersports – and they’re about as different from one another as they could be.
At one end of the spectrum is SUP yoga, which is yoga on a paddleboard.
Sventlana Abela of from Power Yoga World Malta says, “Seven years ago nobody knew what SUP yoga was. Since introducing it four years ago it’s become more and more popular.”
While it takes a bit of practice to get the hang of things, if you pack your sense of humor you’ll soon be trading spills for skills while growing in confidence.
“There’s a freedom in fully embracing it. You let go of your expectations and judgements – and if you fall in the water you get back up. That’s what life is all about: falling and getting back up!”
At the other end of the spectrum is where you’ll find the adrenaline junkies. Invented in the south of France in 2011, flyboarding is the fastest growing extreme sport in the world.
“Flyboarding has the visual wow factor,” says Gail Hart, Partner at The Travel Hut in Nice. “Films like Iron Man and James Bond have helped promote it. It’s the closest you can come to feeling like you can both fly and swim like a dolphin in the same experience, a sensation that doesn’t exist in any other sport.”
While being propelled through the air with a jetpack strapped to your back might sound slightly scary, Hart says you can master the basics in under five minutes. Two other high-octane sports are surfing and kitesurfing. The Mediterranean is pretty much a “closed” sea, but if you grab your board and head to Sardinia you’ll find the most consistent swells on the sea, with curls of up to 4m on a regular basis.
Kitesurf Sardinia School CEO Alessandro Ferro says, “When you come to Sardinia to kitesurf, you can enjoy riding the board on crystal turquoise water, with the power of the wind in your hands as you view the beautiful Sardinian coastline.”
For those of you looking for something a bit calmer (but not too calm), sea kayaking might the thing to try.
Barbaros Ozdogan, owner of Lukka Outdoor in Kekova, Turkey, says, “Sea kayaking is a unique experience, especially here. We have stunning scenery, Lycian ruins, and very calm waters. Tours start in Kekova’s inner bay, which is perfect for beginners because it’s sheltered from winds and waves. There’s a Turkish expression that describes this calmness really well: ‘When the ants come down to drink the water.’”
If kayaking’s sister sport canoeing is more to your liking, exploring the varied coastline of Ibiza is perfect. “Tagomago, Ex Vedra, and Benirras are all great places to canoe,” says Artash Doult of Active Ibiza.
“In fact, anywhere along the northern coastline you’ll find caves and tunnels, as well as some spectacular sunsets from the water.”
While the Med is the perfect place for watersports, not all destinations are created equal. Here’s the lowdown on the top spots for your favorite sport, along with a handy adrenaline rating system.
Text: Judi Lembke