Youth Inc picks three playful water sports that speak to the adventure lover in you!
Scuba diving is a must-do for adventure enthusiasts, and others can explore the magical mysteries under the sea with snorkelling gear. Diving is a great non-competitive sport that requires you to know how to swim, get out to the ocean once in a year, and maintain your calm in the water. Marine life is under grave threat of extinction due to pollution, overfishing, and global warming. Find out what is at stake with the marine life in the ocean. Swim with schools of colourful fish over gorgeous coral reefs for the experience of a lifetime. Experience the adrenaline rush while rafting on the rapids.
You will need an international certificate to qualify for diving in certain areas or to rent scuba diving equipment. Some popular certifications available in India are from NAUI, PADI, and SSI, and certification levels start from Open Water, the beginner’s level, till Dive Instructor, the most advanced level. The beginner’s level takes up to a week to complete, starting with dives in a swimming pool and then progressing to dives with an instructor in the sea.
To scuba dive, one can take a course in Mumbai or in Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar, Goa, and Bangalore. If you think diving in
the ocean is a little too adventurous for you, try snorkelling instead to
test the waters. Look for more info on:
Barracuda Diving India
Orca Dive Club
WHITE WATER RAFTING & KAYAKING
The Himalayas and other mountain ranges allow for some great white water rafting across rapids as rivers course and tumble down on their way to the ocean. Enjoy breathtaking scenery, some light swimming, and action-packed eddies and swirls as you row on an inflated raft with a navigator. The more adventurous can also kayak their way through these mountain streams. There are six levels of white water rafting, with one to three for beginners, four to five for more experienced enthusiasts, and six for the death-defying sportspeople out there.
There are a variety of places along the Himalayas where one can enjoy speeding down rivers. Some good places to enjoy the rapids are Rishikesh, Ladaakh, Dandeli, Coorg, and Kundalika though it is also available at other areas. These rivers are best enjoyed in the monsoon with an experienced guide! Ride the waves with these companies:
Mercury Himalayan Adventures
Snow Leopard Adventures
Sailing as a sport began in the 17th century in Holland and since then has become popular around the world. Ocean racing or solo trips are dangerous and arduous but have become more and more popular amongst young people. In May 2010, a 16-year old Jessica Watson, became the youngest person to sail unassisted around the world. However this is one sport where you will really learn the importance of teamwork as you must rely on your teammates to work together as a unit.
Sailing is not a new sport in India and one can learn how to sail at a club. You can learn the basics within a week and sail a set course on your own. Sail clubs are also great places to meet people, and most have a youth division that organises special events. Regional and national championships test your abilities and endurance in this sport.
Sail clubs tend to be at places near the ocean, and there are several available at Mumbai, Goa, Pune, Chennai, Kerala, Hyderabad, and Bhopal. Check out these websites for more information:
Yachting Association of India
So what are you waiting for? Put on your swimsuit and jump in the water for an adventure sport that you can enjoy for a lifetime.
DISHANK GANDHI, a 17-yr-old, has an advanced certification in NAUI from the Dive India in Havelock Island in the Andaman and Nicobar islands. He recounts,“I’ve gone diving in Australia in the Great Barrier Reef and in Wasini Island off the east coast of Africa. But I loved Havelock because one can get lost in time there. I didn’t use a mobile phone or a watch. I woke up with the sunrise and slept at night. The beaches are gorgeous and the waters are crystal clear. The amenities are not up to the mark, but the natural beauty of the place is untouched. The coral and fish life is amazing in Havelock, as it has been secluded for a long time, with a lot of variety. Temperature is ambient compared to other places. Now I can dive on my own anywhere in the world up to 30 meters. The license is for life but one should take frequent refresher classes. Pigeon Island at Netrani near Goa is another diving site in India that is good for beginners.”