India is a peninsula surrounded by the Arabian Sea on the west, Bay of Bengal on the east, and Indian Ocean on the south. Also, it is the land of many rivers, with 8 major river systems and more than 400 rivers in total. It is no shock that in recent years, there have been many people who have grown enthusiasm towards watersports. With the boom in the tourism industry, India has transpired to be a hub for watersports activities.
From exciting sports like waterskiing and kiteboarding, to more laidback ones like kayaking, there are a plethora of options – whether you are adrenaline junky or just looking for a good dose of adventure.
The National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS), established in July 1990 on a 16.5 acres of beachside site in Panaji, is an autonomous body constituted under the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The Institute, only one of its kind in South Asia, acts as the apex body for training, education, consultancy, and research on areas related to recreational and leisure Watersports.
The certification(s) and licensing from this Institute are required for carrying out operations in water-bodies such as handling different watercraft for the tourists, swimming pools, water theme-parks etc. Some major disciplines for training and education are life-saving, powerboat handling, sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, scuba diving, river rafting, and kayaking.
Let’s have a look at few of these adrenaline rushing watersports which you should definitely check out:
Kayaking in Alleppey:
Alleppey, the hub of Kerala’s backwaters, is a beautiful destination to indulge in watersports in India. Paddle along through the unexplored and narrow canals, where you can get a close look into the life of the villagers, spot the rarest of birds, and admire the beauty of nature.
Water rafting in Rishikesh:
Situated on the banks of River Ganga, Rishikesh is a hub for adventure sports, particularly watersports in India. In the past few years, Rishikesh has become a hot-favourite for many people who love river rafting. Depending on your expertise in rafting, you can pick from different stretches of the river. The rugged Himalayas and the lush greenery are other elements that add to this experience.
Canoeing in Kerela:
Canoeing is one of the popular watersports practised in Kerela. During the season of the harvest festival Onam in spring, you can witness Vallam Kali. It is a form of canoe racing and includes races of many kinds of paddled longboats and ‘snake boats’ (which is why it is called the snake boat race).
Snorkelling in Andaman:
Andaman, a hidden gem in the Indian territory, is one of the best destinations to try watersports in India. It has long stretches of white sandy beaches, blue-green water, shallow coral reefs, and unpopulated surroundings which makes it a perfect spot for diving and snorkelling. The underwater life is an incredible sight as you get to see a vivid variety of fish, turtles, and even wild manatees.
Kneeboarding in Goa:
Goa is a paradise for a lot of water sports and kneeboarding is one of them. It is a comparatively easy watersport and a lot of fun to try. It requires a participant to be pulled along the surface of the water on a convex board that is hydrodynamically shaped. Riders use the board by kneeling on it and sitting on their heels, and then use a Velcro strap over their thighs for security to the deck. Fins under the board enable easy surface spins.
There a lot more watersports to try out and this is a handy list for you to plan your next adventure trip.