Surface water sports
The following is a list of surface water sports; these are sports which are performed atop a body of water.
Towed water sports
Discing consists of standing on a circular wooden disc and being towed behind the boat. The disc supports the rider by means of spreading the weight out evenly across the water. It requires good balance, and as a result discing cannot be performed at extremely high speeds, meaning it is sometimes viewed as dull. One form of Discing is to simply do circles at fast speed with the discer trying to hold on as long as possible and seeing how far they can shoot off upon releasing the rope.
Skurfing is a surface water sport in which the participant is towed on a surfboard, behind a boat, with a ski rope. Skurfing is highly popular in the state of W.A in Australia and in many other places in the world. Skurfing is not a professional sport and has no competitions; it is a freestyle sport with highly individualistic style and form. It may be considered the precursor to wakeboarding.
The hydrofoiler is towed by a powered boat; mechanically the person rides a water kite or paravane hydrofoil. Wake energy is used for some jumping. A wakeboard is used to enter the hydrofoiling. This is a hybrid surface sport as it uses the surface of the water and the under-surface and air.
Tubing, also known as biscuiting, is where a large circular rubber tube is towed behind a boat at fast speeds. Generally considered a novice or child's water-sport due to the lack of skill involved. The general aim is to hold on as long as possible without falling off due to the boat's sharp turns; more experienced biscuiters also try to jump the boat's wake and become airborne. Also a very simple and novice trick for beginners would be the barrel roll, once the tube is on the outeredge of a corner going faster than normal, a rider can intentionally roll off the tube to try and roll from upright to upside down and back again all in the same motion.
Wakeboarding is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over the surface of a body of water. It was developed from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques. The rider is usually towed behind a motorboat; typically at speeds of 18–24 miles per hour depending on the water conditions, board size, rider's weight, and rider's comfort speed. But wakeboarding can also be performed with a variety of media including closed-course cables, winches, PWCs, and ATVs.
Water skiing is a sport/game and recreational activity and is popular in many countries around the world where appropriate conditions exist - an expanse of water unaffected by wave motion. Rivers, lakes, and sheltered bays are all popular for water skiing.
Standard water skis were originally made of wood but now are usually constructed out of fibreglass-based composites. They are of similar length to downhill snow skis but are somewhat wider. Instead of a rigid binding, they have rubber molded binding, in which the skier's feet are placed. Skiers are pulled along by a rope with a handle fitted at one end and attached to a powerboat at the other.
A bodyboard is an instrument of wave riding consisting of a small roughly rectangular piece of foam, shaped to a hydrodynamic form. The bodyboard is ridden predominantly lying down, (or 'prone'). It can also be ridden in a half-standing stance (known as 'dropknee') or can even be ridden standing up.
Kite surfing, also known as kitesurfing and kiteboarding, and sometimes as flysurfing, involves using a power kite to pull a small surfboard, or wakeboard (on water), a wheeled board on land, or a snowkiting.
Paddleboarding is an activity in which a person paddles a long streamlined surfboard with their hands. This is done while laying or kneeling on the board. Padleboards are raced throughout the world.
Surfing is a recreational activity in which individuals paddle into a wave on a surfboard, jump to their feet, and are propelled across the water by the force of the wave. Surfing's appeal probably derives from an unusual confluence of elements: adrenaline, skill, and high paced maneuvering are set against a naturally unpredictable backdrop—an organic environment that is, by turns, graceful and serene, violent and formidable.
Skimboarding is a boardsport which involves riding a skimboard either on an outgoing wave, or in shallow water, where instead of going for waves the rider may attempt to ride a rail or do "tech" tricks.
Windsurfing is a sport involving travel over water on a small 2-4.7 metre board powered by wind acting on a single sail. The sail is connected to the board by a flexible joint. The sport is a hybrid between sailing and surfing. The sail board might be considered the most minimalistic version of the modern sailboat, with the major exception that steering is accomplished by the rider tilting the mast and sail or, when planing, carving the board, rather than with a rudder.
This recent development in the high speed sailing arena has evolved most in the International Moth class of racing dinghy. These boats have a "T" shaped rudder and centreboard that generates sufficient lift to clear the hull from the water. When this happens wetted surface area drops radically and the boats accelerate up to 1.2 to 1.5 times the speed of the prevailing wind. These boats are very light (all up weight is less than 40 kg) and very fast, They hydrofoil in as little as 8 knots (15 km/h) of breeze ("sit on the deck breeze" for most dinghy classes). The top recorded speed is about 50 km/hour, and speeds of 40 km/hour are common in the class.
Bodysurfing is the art and sport of riding a wave without the assistance of any buoyant device such as a surfboard or bodyboard. Bodysurfers typically equip themselves only with a pair of specialized swimfins that stay on during turbulent conditions and optimize propulsion.