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7 Ways to Boost Your Boating

Top Watersport Activities


What's better than a boat for inspiring unforgettable moments on the water? How about a boat loaded with toys capable of taking your enjoyment to new highs or, just maybe, new lows? Max out your float plan with these seven adrenaline-pumping activities and the products that make them possible.

Sea Pools

For most of us, swimming and boating go hand in hand. It's why nearly every pleasure craft made today has a swim platform (or two), plus boarding ladders, transom showers, coolers and other water's edge conveniences. Want to enhance the private oasis feel even more? Inflatable swimming pools can grant you extra room for lounging or splashing around to your heart's content. These products provide independence for those who want some distance from the mother ship and also up the safety quotient because they can be set up away from in-water obstacles (like your boat's propellers), protect swimmers against currents and have a built-in barrier net to keep guests separated from critters in the water. Available from

Boat Blobs

Remember those air rockets from when you were a kid, where you stomped a foot pump and shot a foam missile high up into the sky? Boat blobs work in a similar fashion, except instead of stomping on a foot pump you jump from your boat's flybridge or other safe height to compress a big, inflatable bladder and launch another living human into the air. So, you know, almost the same thing. One of the greatest things about boat blobs is that they're easy to stow when deflated, easy to set up (just make sure you have an air compressor of sufficient size) and easy to enjoy whether you're watching from the sidelines or freestyle flying 50 feet above the water. And, when you're not catapulting your friends through the stratosphere, they make awesome rafts for a crowd of sunbathers. Available from

Diver Propulsion Vehicles

Diver Propulsion Vehicles (DVPs) have been de rigueur ever since James Bond's subaquatic fight scene with Spectre henchmen in the movie Thunderball. Back then, in 1965, the torpedo-like machines were comically large and almost as expensive. Today, a new generation of underwater scooters consists of fast, portable and more affordable models that turn any swim session into an adventure. You can dive deeper and explore farther, and since the scooter takes the work out of kicking, you can increase the length of your outing while leisurely enjoying the otherworldly scenery. Many of the scooters work on the surface, and even in small pools, adding to their sports utility. Available from


There are lots of ways to make an entrance, but perhaps none as fast or fun as the good old, yet always exciting, water slide. From 6-foot off-the-shelf models for your pontoon boat to 20-foot custom designs for your superyacht, these products quickly attach to your side deck to become the centerpiece of floating tomfoolery. It's like having the ability to create a small waterpark wherever you decide to drop anchor. Like the aforementioned boat blob, inflatable slides are simple to set up and store on board. Along with a suitable air compressor, it's always a good idea to carry a patch kit, or you risk becoming the target of unsympathetic frowns from kids (and adults) who can't wait to slip slide away. Available from

Stand Up Paddle Boards

It's hard to glance around the waterfront these days without spotting a group of stand-up paddleboard (SUP) enthusiasts J-stroking in the vicinity. More and more people are flocking to the sport, which grew out of surfing, because it's a great, easy-to-learn, low-impact workout that allows you to explore areas of the water not reachable by motorized craft. Another popular advantage is that, from an upright vantage point, users can see what's going on under the water's surface around them. As accessible as the sport is, you can also take it to extremes if you choose, from racing to river running to SUP yoga. Inflatable models work well for boaters, since they can be folded up and stowed below deck, although racks are also available for rigid models. Available from


Before the paddleboarding craze, there was kayaking. The two sports boast similar benefits, which include being low impact and offering access to environments where you can't take your boat. They're also ideal for all ages and for group outings where participants want to spread out while still achieving safety in numbers. The main difference, of course, is that you either sit on or sit in a kayak (depending on the model), so your center of gravity is lower and the chance of falling overboard is decreased. There's also more room for storing gear inside a kayak, which can make a difference if, say, you plan to camp overnight on a nearby beach. Inflatable kayaks exist for easier transport and storage, as do myriad other styles for all sorts of specialized uses. Available from


Tubing is often the first tow sport that young boaters engage in, and it can be the gateway to more advanced activities like waterskiing and wakeboarding. At its most basic, a tube is an inflatable donut designed to support a rider on the water's surface while being pulled by a boat. At its most radical, it's a wearable model featuring a body made of clear PVC that allows its occupant to see outside as he or she spins and barrel-rolls back and forth across the wake. And there's a model for every want or need in between. Some tubes are steerable, while some spin like a carousel. Others are built for straight-line performance. Proper speed is important (most riders prefer 15 to 20 miles per hour), as is a spotter whose responsibility it is to maintain visual contact with the riders. As with any water sport, participants should always wear a properly sized PFD. Available from

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