Whether you’re a hardcore adrenaline junkie or just someone who loves a good dose of adventure every now and then, water activities are bound to delight you. From more laidback sports like kayaking to exciting ones like water skiing and kiteboarding, there are plenty of options to spoil you for choice. But, what if we told you that you can experience all of these right here, in India? Well, yes! We’ve put together a list of the best watersports in India for adventure lovers to try. Get going already!
Kayaking to Kiteboarding: Top Watersports in India for adventure lovers
1. Kayaking in Alleppey
Alleppey, the hub of Kerala’s backwaters, is a beautiful destination to indulge in watersports in India. For a thrilling experience here, ditch the traditional houseboats and canoe tours and hop on to a kayak. Paddle along through the unexplored and narrow canals, where you can get a close look into the life of the villagers, spot the rarest birds and admire the beauty of nature. To experience the region’s charm at its best, pick a sunrise or sunset kayaking activity. If you have some additional time on hand, chug the locally-prepared toddy at the toddy stalls or indulge in a delicious meal, served on a banana leaf.
2. Rafting in Rishikesh
Situated on the banks of River Ganga, Rishikesh is a hub for adventure sports, particularly watersports in India. One of the best activities to opt for here is river rafting. The gushing waters of Ganga and its tributaries take your excitement up a notch while rafting. The rugged Himalayas and the lush greenery are other elements that add to this experience. Depending on your expertise in rafting, you can pick from different stretches of the river. The ideal time for this best water activity in India is from September to November and from March to May.
3. Snorkelling in Andaman
Andaman, a hidden gem in the Indian territory, is one of the best destinations to try watersports in India. It has long stretches of white sandy beaches, blue-green water, shallow coral reefs and unpopulated surroundings. Tourists visit this place to sign up for aqua adventures like diving and snorkelling. The life underwater is an incredible sight as you get to see a vivid variety of fish, turtles, and even wild manatees. As snorkelling can be done even in the shallow waters, one does not have to enrol in a diving school. Havelock Island and Neil Island are ideal spots for this. Moreover, the Andaman waters are clean and calm, making it relatively comfortable and safe. If you’re an experienced swimmer you can also spot underwater canyons, tunnels, and caves.
4. Windsurfing in Goa
The thrilling and budget-friendly watersports in Goa is one of the major reasons making it a great holiday destination. While the selection of water activities here is endless, windsurfing is a must-try for adventure enthusiasts as it offers the experience of surfing as well as sailing. If you are a beginner, the few things you should keep in mind before windsurfing is that you need to know how to swim, you need to be patient to grasp the skill of the sport, the wind needs to be smooth and the water needs to be calm. Windsurfing can be tried at Dona Paula beach, Vagator beach, Colva beach, Palolem beach, Miramar, and Baogmalo beach. Adventure seekers and windsurfing lovers from across the globe take part in the much awaited Windsurfing Regatta that is organized in Goa every year. The best time to enjoy most of the watersports activities in Goa is from May to October.
5. Water Skiing in Goa
Water skiing is another fascinating option to try among the popular watersports in India. It’s definitely not for the faint-hearted as you need to venture into the blue waters on a ski that’s tied to a speedboat, all by yourself. The moment the speedboat gains momentum, the skier has to maintain a balance and glide over the surface. Water skiing is quite safe, but make sure you follow the guidelines and rules before setting out for the activity. The best time for water skiing is from October to February and you can try out the sport at beaches like Baga, Candolim, Mobor, Utorda and Arossim.
6. Water Zorbing in Goa
Have you wondered what walking on water would feel like? Well, this watersport promises you the thrill and excitement of walking on water without getting drenched. Simple yet thrilling, water zorbing involves the individual being enclosed in an orb or a huge transparent ball. All you need to do is walk, run, jog or flip inside the orb in order to keep it in motion. The fact that you’re moving on water makes it all the more fun! To make this activity a little more adventurous, some sports agents tweak this sport by tying the orb to a boat or jet ski that is driven at full speed.
7. Canyoning in Manali
Another exhilarating option among watersports in India, canyoning is a relatively unexplored activity. It is a blend of abseiling and rappelling. Pick canyoning in Manali and you’ll get to delve into the waterfalls of the Himalayas. However, be warned that it can be quite exhausting as it involves a blend of activities like jumping, climbing, sliding, and swimming through the secluded passages of contorted rocks. While it requires guidance, canyoning can be enjoyed all through the year. If you can resist the cold, the winter is also a suitable time for this activity. It can be experienced at Vashisht Village, a few kilometres from Manali. If Manali seems like an inconvenient destination for you, the sport is also available in Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka.
8. Kiteboarding in Tamil Nadu
Kiteboarding, also known as kite surfing, is a sport strictly for individuals who have an expertise in surfing, wakeboarding, and jet skiing, or at least one of the three. It is an extreme sport that combines wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding and sailing. As the name suggests, kitesurfing involves a kite that looks like a large parachute and a surfing board. The harness that has been tied to the rider’s waist is connected to the steerable kite. This can be manoeuvred in a specific pattern to generate power and to jump high up above sea level. Some kiteboarding experts jump almost 60 feet high when the weather conditions are suitable. You do not necessarily need to surf and jump on the waves, you can even try it out on still waters and lakes. As kitesurfing is not for the mass public, the sport is available in just a handful of places in India, the most prominent being Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
9. Yacht tour in Mumbai
A tranquil escape within the hustle and bustle of Mumbai city has always seemed a challenge, but go for yacht tours in Mumbai and you will find tht is it definitely possible. While they might not qualify as watersports, you get to enjoy world-class yacht tours and boat rides along the coast, while looking out at the busy city. Whether it’s to enjoy a romantic dinner or just to kick back over the weekend, this one makes for a great option. Tourists can also opt for a cruise that takes you to nearby destinations like Mandwa, Alibaug, Murud Janjira, Nagaon and Elephant Island.
Now that you have a handy list of places where you can try varied watersports in India, why wait? Start planning right away!