By Chloe Mulliner, on February 27, 2015

Must-try extreme watersports

As temperatures start to peak, I always tell myself to do away with my inflatable pool raft and embark on a real aquatic adventure. This year, I’ve submerged myself in the latest and greatest in watersports to provide you with some of the best excursions to dive into when the warm weather rolls around. Strap on a jetpack to channel you inner James Bond, or kayak with a front-row seat to the underwater show to get this summer season started:

Jetpack flying
Tap into your supernatural powers with a jetpack flight. This otherworldly device lets you soar above the water or dive below the surface. The gadget is powered by a hose, connected to a Jet Ski or small boat, which pumps water into the pack. The water propels you into the air, while you monitor your speed, direction, and elevation using the joystick-like controls.

Skyrocket up to 30 feet in the air or plunge the same distance under water. Once you get the hang of walking on water, master cork screws, dives, and even back flips for the ultimate aquatic thrill. It’s quickly becoming one of the most-talked about activities in San Diego, California, but it’s also available in Newport Beach, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Clear-bottom kayaking

Discover what’s under the sea with a clear-bottom kayak. A step up from an ordinary kayak, these versions include a window into the underwater world.

Try out this activity in Maui, Hawaii, and glide through the waters at Makena Landing Beach Park as Hawaiian green sea turtles wade beneath your vessel. Keep paddling and you may catch sight of spotted eagle rays, octopus, reel fish, and even white-tip reef sharks. Key West, Florida, is another coveted spot for clear-bottom kayaking on the other side of the globe. Stroke your way through the mangroves to the back country, and keep an eye out for stone crabs, lobster, parrot fish, and other fascinating sea life.

If only George Banks could imagine the evolution of the kite when he sang, “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” in the 1964 flick “Mary Poppins.” Today, flying a kite can include cruising over waves with a massive kite in your hands. A cross between wakeboarding and paragliding, kiteboarding involves balancing on a board in the water and steering a kite with a control bar. The more comfortable you become with maneuvering the kite and board, the more tricks you can pull. Some boarders lift 15 feet into the air and gain speeds of up to 30 mph. While you can do this sport in just about any lake or ocean on a windy day, some of the more popular spots for kiteboarding include La Ventana, Baja California; Cabarete, Dominican Republic; and Tarifa, Spain.

SNUBA diving
Forget about only skimming the ocean’s surface or hauling around a massive oxygen tank during your next underwater excursion. SNUBA presents the perfect blend of snorkeling and SCUBA diving as it provides you with more range than a snorkel and the freedom of SCUBA diving, sans the heavy equipment. With SNUBA, you can submerge 20 feet below the surface and breathe through a hose that pumps oxygen from a dingy floating above.

This watersport has caught on in coastal destinations in the states, such as Destin, Florida; Catalina Island, California; and the Big Island, Hawaii, but it’s also gaining traction in the Bahamas, Mexico, Sri Lanka, and other tropical locations.

Whether you’re skimming the surface or diving deep into the depths of the sea, these water excursions are sure to keep you cool when the weather heats up. 

What watersports are you waiting to try this summer?