Whether you're landlocked or lucky enough to live by a body of water that's suitable for recreation, the end of summer always makes water-related activities infinitely more appealing. Nothing refreshes you like a cool dip in H2O, with the last rays of brilliant sunshine warming up all but the most frigid depths.
We're all familiar with traditional aquatic activities: sailing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, etc. But if you're looking for something a little more out-of-the-ordinary, there's no shortage of fun-filled pursuits that will elevate your summer from ho-hum to memorable.
Spiritually and physically uplifting
For the "spiritual"
While Jesus reportedly walked on water (although a new theory posits it could have been ice he strode upon), this was not something the average person ever considered feasible. However, recent advances in technology have made water-walking possible for even the least spiritual among us. Oversized foam footies enable you to trundle across lakes, pools, and other bodies of calm water. Not only is this an enjoyable activity, but it's actually quite a rigorous workout. So skip the gym, slap on some foam footies and have at it!
Straight into the future
Because it's 2018 and we still don't have flying skateboards
Remember that scene in Back to the Future when Marty McFly snags a floating skateboard to get away from the kids in the diner? Well, guess what – 2015 has come and gone, with nary a whisper of a functional hovering skateboard. However, you can try the next best thing with Hoverboard by ZR. You can blast up to 16.5 feet above the water at 15mph on this crazy contraption. Just attach it your PWC (personal watercraft, for those not in the know) and take flight! Not quite ready to get airborne on your own? Try a lesson on a flyboard or jetpack with a seasoned pro. You'll be starring in your own personal Mission Impossible series in your head.
Your abs will thank you
You're looking to kick up your yoga game a notch
Yoga practitioners who have already mastered landbound poses should take heed–a new, more challenging (but more fulfilling?) form of yoga is gaining a dedicated following. Stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga is pretty much what you'd expect: practicing yoga on a paddleboard in the water. It's definitely more physically difficult than yoga performed on a hard surface, but the serenity of the water and deeper mindfulness needed to be successful are completely worth the struggle. Just make sure you find a calm lake or pool in which to practice and always wear tons of sunscreen, as the sun's rays are even more ferocious when they are reflected onto your skin from the water.
Catch some air on a raft
Don't let birds have a monopoly on soaring through the air. You can join them on an blown-up airborne raft, skimming across the ocean waves. This adrenaline-packed flying fish boat ride allows you to ride the air currents while being towed by a speedboat across the water. You can choose to ride horseback style, or if you're feeling extra lazy, just lay back and gaze at the sky and the receding shoreline.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to have an amazing time
Pretend you're starring in Mission Impossible
In virtually every Mission Impossible movie there's a scene where someone (usually Tom Cruise) parachutes into a situation where he'll most likely encounter some butts that need kicking. While the butt-kicking is optional, you can recreate your own parachuting adventure –without the nerves of steel required for skydiving–by going parasailing. The only thing needed for parasailing is a love of heights and a yearn for a swift tropical breeze blowing in your hair. You can do it solo or with a group, and the only thing it entails is being strapped into a parachute, so virtually everyone can do it. Once you're at cruising altitude (no pun intended) you'll get a birds-eye view of your surroundings and if you so desire, the opportunity to act out your own movie scene in your head.
Hug those waves, baby
Ride the water like a bucking bronco
Jet skis are one of the many brand names that people use as a generic term (just Google it!), but they are technically categorized as personal watercraft. Much like a snowmobile, they are intended for one or two people and allow you to rush across ocean waves as if the water were a solid surface. The faster you go, the bigger the bumps feel, and if you run across a big enough wave you'll definitely catch some air. Lifejackets are recommended, and of course always wear plenty of sunscreen–the brisk salty wind often masks scorching summer rays, and it's easy to forget how long you're out on the water when you're having the time of your life.
You're part of the ocean underworld now
Immerse yourself in the deep blue
There's something calming about scuba diving in the frigid depths, with only the sound of your own breathing as company. While you do need some practice and training to partake in this particular activity, it's 100% worth the effort. Once you're down 30 feet beneath the waves, the land becomes a distant memory. The fins make it effortless to glide through the water and you'll get an up close and personal view of aquatic life like fish, stingrays, and turtles. It's a vantage point we almost never experience on land (unless you happen to spend a lot of time close to the ground), and it's almost meditative.
Just say "om"
Recreate the calming womb environment
Thanks to the way our brains are wired, meditating is deceptively difficult. As soon as we push away one thought to concentrate on our breath, another appears to take its place. Meditating outside can help with concentration, as there are more physical sensations to focus besides the voice in your head wondering if you remembered to turn off your straightening iron before you left the house. With float therapy, the additional physical sensation of being cushioned by water not only blocks sounds, but also helps you focus. Most float therapy is performed in dedicated floating pods, but, really, any calm body of water will do. Just relax and focus on the sensation of being buoyed by the water. It really does make meditation easier.
Water activities can be as tame or as thrilling as you want them to be. Even if your closest body of water is the local pool, take some time for a quick cooling swim, or even just dip your legs in while perched on the sidelines. When summer calls, water answers.