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Powerboats Couple the thrill of being out on the water with the excitement of high speeds, and youíve pretty much summed up a trip on a powerboat. We love skimming across the glassy surface of a lake or riding the waves, the wind scraping the hair back from our faces, the sun shining down on the surface of the water. The best powerboats are like convertible sports cars on water-an unbeatably thrilling experience.
Windsurfing For centuries humans have been harnessing the power of wind to navigate on the water. But windsurfing is a relatively new invention that involves balance, strength, and timing. Windsurfing gives you more range than a surfboard-you can traverse wide lakes with no waves or perform daredevil stunts in the surf, depending on your style and that of your board. It takes practice, but itís a sport thatís growing in popularity worldwide.
White water rafting Even if strong currents and big waves make you nervous, white-water rafting is a fun and amazing experience that will give you confidence on the water. Most white-water rafting companies will send you out with an experienced guide and in a durable craft specially designed to handle the rigors of the rapids-so youíre perfectly safe.
Itís a fun and thrilling way to experience the power of nature firsthand. Because of the size of the crafts and its accessibility to all levels of ability, itís also an ideal way to bring a group together. White-water rafting is an ideal activity for an office outing or family trip.
Rapid running Youíd think this sport would be better for people who are more experienced in white-water rafting-but actually, itís popular with all ability-levels. With rapid-running, you get your own inflatable two-person craft, and are sent without a guide down a rapids course.
Youíre prepared beforehand, of course-most companies that offer rapid-running activities will include a course on how to navigate the rapids safely. Itís a lesser-known but no-less-fun variety of white-water rafting, perfect for those who like a little more autonomy in their boats or who just want to try something a little different than the typical white-water rafting trip.
Jet Skiing Itís been described as a motorcycle on water. Jet skis are one-person watercraft that accelerates with a throttle in the handle. Theyíre very flexible, with the ability to accelerate quickly and make sharp turns. Jet ski tours of bays, rivers, and otherwise-inaccessible islands are becoming popular tourist activities in locations near water.
Whether you prefer heart-pounding motorboat rides, the hands-on excitement of white water, or the balance and skill of wind or kitesurfing, thereís sure to be a water activity youíll love. Donít be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and try something new-you may find more than one activity youíll enjoy for years to come.
Janette Vince is managing director of the online experience days and unique gifts website www.thanksdarling.com
Throughout the centuries, human beings have loved the water. Water has fed us, cleaned us, quenched our thirst, and given us a convenient highway since long before there were real highways-indeed, for as long as our species has been alive. Weíve built most of our major cities near rivers, oceans, or lakes.
Following are just a few ways weíve come up with for experiencing the thrill and joy of being out on the open water.
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