Top Ten Summer Water Sports Recommendations

Get wet this summer:

Top Ten Summer Water Sports Recommendations The Stone Clinic


  1. Creatively hydrate before exercise. While I love plain water as my go-to beverage, it’s more fun enhanced. This summer, fill your refrigerator with lemons, limes, grapefruits, kiwis, and all variations of plums. Squeeze a little juice into your water. Vary each day and inhale the aromas as you drink.

  2. Water, water everywhere—so get in it! Do pool runs, ocean runs along the beach in the shallow water, jumping jacks in the lake. Swimming is for swimmers—it’s great, but most of us don’t use the water effectively as a training tool. Hire a water exercise instructor or join a pool class. You will be surprised to find that weightlifting in the water is far superior to weightlifting on dry land.

  3. Stand on the water. Stand-up paddleboards can be so wide that an elephant won’t fall in. Yet, they provide killer balance and abdominal training as well as yoga and Pilates-like exercise platforms. Put one in a pool, lake, or ocean, grab your waterproof headphones, and dance. Really!  

  4. Foils. Every boat and board sport known-to-man is now being lifted by foils.  Surfboards foil, kiteboards foil, and windsurfers foil. These days the technology is being applied to monohulls, for foiling in the next America’s Cup. Why ride the hull when you can ride on a wing?

  5. Row, row, row your boat. There are community-accessible rowing clubs in many locations—yet few people actually access them. Everyone can row, as long as the boat is stable enough. Once you start, you can progress to narrower, faster vessels. Or just paddle along and use muscles you haven’t recognized in years. Take your family and friends. Make rowing a new group sport.

  6. Hand fins. Got waves but don’t surf? Hand fins were traditionally used only by swimmers trying to increase water resistance in their pool training workouts. Now the fins (and wider handboards) are available for beach wave riding. Anyone can bodysurf with them and look like a pro after just a little practice.

  7. Windsurfing was supercool a decade ago; now kiteboarding and kitesurfing have taken over. I still love my windsurf board—but I admit, the kiters seem to be having more fun. This water sport definitely needs lessons and supervision as the dangers can be serious or fatal. But the fun factor, and accessibility to great windsurfing spots, trumps the danger for a growing legion of wind enthusiasts.

  8. Snorkel. Most of the pretty fish live in shallow water, where the sunshine illuminates their colors. Snorkeling is inexpensive and can be a serious workout—especially against a current.  

  9. Scuba diving involves more gear and expense than snorkeling but adds views of another world. You can’t help but feel small, yet part of an extraordinary planet, when you go deep into the sea. After only four or five lessons— first in a pool, then in the ocean—you can become safely competent. Taking an instructor along on every dive greatly improves the experience and safety, at least for me.

  10.  Stream in streams. Leave the devices at home and get into the local streams. Fish or paddle, kayak or canoe. There is something magical about running water in nature that washes out the brain, clears the stress, and puts you in tune with Mother Nature. Who doesn’t want that?

Medically authored by
Kevin R. Stone, MD
Orthopaedic surgeon, clinician, scientist, inventor, and founder of multiple companies. Dr. Stone was trained at Harvard University in internal medicine and orthopaedic surgery and at Stanford University in general surgery.