7 water sports to try in North Somerset
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From kite surfing to pilot gig racing, kayaking to water skiing North Somerset has some of the best opportuinties to try different water sports in the country. So make sure you the most of being in a county with a stunning coastline and river network by trying one of these 7 this summer - there is something for everyone to try no matter what your age is.
Stand-up paddleboarding is the latest water sport that is sweeping the country and although it looks difficult it is reasonably easy to pick up – all you need is good balance and co-ordination. Weston Paddleboard Academy Ltd provides lessons and training in paddleboarding for all ages, from 10 year old, in a variety of locations including Weston-super-Mare, Bristol docks and the sea.
It’s fun, fast and furious…If you think waterskiing looks like fun the Weston Bay Water Sports Club offers lessons for beginners as well as those that are already proficient. However be warned standing up and keeping your balance as you travel through the water is more difficult than it looks, although if you can already ski you will find it easier. As you gain in confidence and skill you can also learn how to perform jumps and tricks, as well as take part in competitions and races.
Paddling down rivers and around the coastline in a kayak is not only great fun but also a way of getting closer to nature and seeing the world from a totally new vantage point. It can also be highly exhilarating if you encounter white water ot take part in competitions and races! If you have always wanted to learn to kayak the South Avon Canoe Club provides instruction for all levels and can take through the British Canoe Union (BCU) qualifications, from starter One Star to the coaching awards. More experienced paddlers can enjoy trips along the county’s rivers and coastline, as well as further afield expeditions, including ones to North Wales and the testing river Dart in Devon.
Kite surfing must be one of the most exhilarating sports around and one the adrenaline junkie has to try. A cross between wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing and paragliding, the kite surfer stands on a board and harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite so they can be propelled across the water. It allows you to reach incredible speeds and literally fly across the water or through the air. If you head to Weston beach on Tuesday nights you can try it for free with Wind, Wheels & Waves where you start off on the beach learning the basics of how to fly and control the kite, before you are allowed anywhere near the water.
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If you have always wanted to learn how to sail and charter your own boat Clevedon Sailing Club. a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) accredited club, provides lessons for all abilities, including beginners. They can take you through your RYA qualifications from the Level 1 Start Sailing to your Day Skipper qualification.
A cross between surfing and sailing, windsurfers stand on a board about 2 to 3 meters long and use a sail to propel them across the water. For those wanting to have a go The Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club run taster session at Cheddar reservoir, near Axbridge, by qualified RYA Instructors for around £40. But be warned getting wet is non-negotiable
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Pilot Gig racing
Forget rowing the sleek modern fibreglass rowing boats of the 21st century, in Clevedon you can row and race the old-fashioned, 32 foot, six-oared rowing boat called a Cornish Pilot Gig. These boats are built of Cornish narrow leaf elm and recognised as one of the first shore-based lifeboats. The sport of Pilot Gig Racing is popular all over the south West and the Clevedon Pilot Gig Club competes at regattas all over area, including the World Championships, and has six boats and around 90 members. There is also a very healthy soacial life attached to the club and the emphasis is very much fun!
Has this whetted your appetite for more? Then check out our 7 adrenaline-filled activities to try in North Somerset