It’s time to break free from your boring routine and get your adrenaline pumping with these extreme watersports
Looking for a new hobby and tired of terra firma? Maybe it’s time you leave dry land behind and try out one of these great watersport options.
From team sports to extreme individual ones, you could find some hidden talents or a passion for a new pastime on the water if you are brave enough to try something new.
If you want to take to the water but would rather be part of a team, then dragonboat racing might be the best option. This team sport is popular on these shores and offers a good opportunity to live an active lifestyle and meet new people. Providing a good upper body workout from the paddling, this sport is great for developing your timekeeping skills, concentration and teamwork. If you’ve never tried it, don’t worry: UAE Dragon Boat welcomes new recruits and offers try-outs; just get in touch and they’ll send you the details. Visit: dubaidragonboat.com
There’s no denying that wakeboarding is pretty cool and luckily here in Abu Dhabi we have our own wakeboarding park at Al Forsan International Sports Resort. The world-class facility features an overhead cable system that allows multiple riders at one time and up to 13 in a minute. The cables travel at a speed of between 29kph and 38kph so there’s room to develop if you’ve got a need for speed. There are also ramps and obstacles for more advanced riders, but it’s best not to run before you can wakeboard. From AED 300 for 90-minute lesson. Khalifa City. Times vary. Contact: 02 556 8555, alforsan.com
Like surfing but taking place in an artificial wave pool, in the sport of flowboarding, the surf is always up. With a seven metre-wide and eight metre-long wave coming towards you at a speed of up to 45kph, there’s space for up to two riders at a time, which is just as well because this sport takes some getting used to. But for the determined ones, flowboarding can be rewarding and you can learn tips and techniques with lessons from a professional. From AED 250 for park entry, AED 200 for lesson. Rush Rider, Yas Waterworld, Yas Island. Daily 8am-11am. Contact: 02 414 2000, yaswaterworld.com
If you’ve ever driven from Yas Island to Saadiyat Island, you’ve probably seen kite surfers adding colour to the sky above. Think it looks like fun? Well, here is your chance to join in. Guided by a certified trainer who will show you the basics, riders aged eight to 70 can get involved in the sport. From learning about the equipment to trying it out and mastering techniques, you can find your feet in no time with expert advice. Just be warned: it’s more tiring than it looks. From AED 350 per hour. Yas Kite Beach, Yas Island. Times vary. Visit: uaekiters.net
White water rafting
Another team effort, this watersport is a whole lot of fun to have with some friends. White water rafting is an adrenaline-fuelled activity and it’s a test of strength, teamwork and
timing as you navigate your way
past rocks and obstacles in a strong current aboard an inflatable six-seater vessel with a paddle in hand. With a 15-minute briefing and an hour on the water, where else in the world can you go white water rafting in the desert? AED 60 park entry, AED 100 per person for one-hour session. Wadi Adventure, Al Ain. Daily 11am-6pm. Contact: 03 781 8422, wadiadventure.ae
WORDS Colin Armstrong