As we head into the final month of summer and the temperature heats up, it may be difficult to find exciting and energizing ways to stay cool. No need to sweat it — The Eagle has a list of some on-the-water activities that may work out for you. Any item or concept that may be needed to participate in these activities can be bought, rented (here is a “Top 10” list of rental places in the D.C. area) or learned about through a quick online search.
Stand-Up Paddle Board
To start off this list, stand-up paddle boarding is an activity that has gained greater popularity over recent years. Doable on a river or lake, stand up paddle boarding is a great workout for the upper body, and allows one to jump into the water and cool down quickly. Paddle boards — especially inflatable ones — are generally less expensive to purchase for beginners as well.
Aren’t 100% ready to take the plunge? Paddle boards are also an option that are available to rent, and if you’re unsure about what type to buy, guidance can be found here to get started.
If standing up proves to be more of a challenge for you, a just-as-vigorous and cool arm workout would be kayaking. This activity is generally easier for children and a family friendly affair, as kayaks conveniently come as single or double seat boats depending on the kayak.
Kayaks are also nice for longer trips, as food and drinks can be packed and stored in an up-front compartment in the boat. And don’t be afraid to dip your feet in or splash around while kayaking either, as kayaks are low and close to the water.
If access to a river or lake is limited near your location, swimming can be done in just about any body of water and doesn’t cost much (here is a search tool to find pools in the DMV area, run by the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation). If that sounds less exciting, another option that involves swimming and being in water is “ships and sailors.”
“Ships and sailors” is a fun and heart-racing pool-party game starting off with teamwork and ending in fierce competition (and a game that typically has slight variations with the directions on how to play). In the game, phrases are called out by the “captain,” with corresponding actions that everyone must follow. Only two of the six actions can be done individually — the rest forces players to find others to work with. Ultimately, only one person can be the winner. Ahoy, mates, and have fun!
It’s the ocean's time to shine (or very large lakes that allow strong winds and waves to be formed) with this activity. Surfing is a more individual and niche activity, but may prove to be a worthy adversary to others in this list, depending on your preference. Renting a surfboard is generally the most economical choice for beginners, especially because buying a board may only be worth it if you’re living by the ocean or already experienced in the sport.
Here are some locations that are great for surf lessons, all across the country (DC Surfrider is a non-profit organization that combines beach clean up work, surf lessons and meeting other people interested in surfing.) Hang ten!
Last but not least, sailing is a pastime that may be perceived as exclusive, but can be possible through community sailing or sailing with friends and family (and considered dog friendly as well). Although this activity may be partial to those on the East Coast, it can be done all over the country from Hawaii to Wisconsin to Washington!
Although only five activities are written here, with a little imagination and a lot of water, the possibilities for fun in the sun and in the shade this summer are endless.