Water sports: Take the plunge!

Water sports: Take the plunge!

Arianna Buratto tells us how water sports can be cheap and cheerful.

Ever considered going on a water sports holiday, only to shelve the idea because it sounds terribly expensive and inaccessible? Fret not, at Pi Travel we’ve spoken to students who have done it over the summer, and found that it is nowhere near as expensive as you might think.

  1. Spain

A surf school in Playa Blanca in Puerto del Rosario, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands (© Wikimedia Commons)

A surf school in Playa Blanca in Puerto del Rosario, Canary Islands – just in time for “low season”. (Wikimedia Commons)

Every summer the Canary Islands are invaded by professional surfers taking part in the annual Windsurfing and Kiteboarding World Cup in July. You can get a taste of how it feels to ride the waves like the pros at Sotavento Beach.  In fact, some of the surfers who organise and take part in the event offer lessons for the princely sum of £214 an hour.

An alternative is going to one of the private beaches where windsurfing lessons can be obtained for less than £71 an hour, all equipment included. If you go during the “low season”, which runs from September to May, lessons are even cheaper.

  1. Italy

Wind surfing on Lake Garda (© Wikimedia Commons)

Wind surfing on Lake Garda, putting reading week to good use. (Wikimedia Commons)

Lake Garda in the north of Italy, is the country’s largest lake. But while it’s best known for being a popular holiday destination, it’s less known, unfortunately, for being the perfect place to sail. There are a multitude of sailing clubs which cater to both total beginners and seasoned sailors alike with regattas ambitions. These schools offer courses on a range of different sail boats, from instance lasers and catamarans. It’s also possible to obtain a boat license – which really isn’t as difficult as it sounds.

The price of a two day course usually range from £100 to £142, whereas five day courses usually cost between £214 and £413. Go in a large group to keep the price low.

  1. Croatia

You could be doing watersports here, but instead you're avoiding your essay due in a week, island of Brac (© Wikimedia Commons)

You could be jet skiing here, but instead you’re avoiding your essay due in a week, island of Brac. (Wikimedia Commons)

You might have already read about Croatia in the last issue of Pi magazine  but here’s an extra nudge if you weren’t already convinced. Windsurfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, parasailing, water skiing, sea kayaking, jet skiing and wakeboarding – you name it, Croatia has it.

The island of Brac is well-known for being a diving hotspot. You’ll be able to get an “open water diver license” for about £240. If you already have diving experience you can go out on an excursion for £30 with all equipment included.

To explore the beautiful islands near Dubrovnik or Split, rent a kayak for just £30 a day. For a more thrilling experience, rent a speedboat or a jet ski for £60 per person a day if you have a large group. No experience is required for kayaks or jet skis.

“Jet skiing in Croatia was incredible. As a complete beginner, it was so easy to pick up! In fact, the only time we capsized was when we were completely stationary in our excitement at seeing dry land.” Gabriel, third year Economics student

  1. France

Or screw student finance and just buy a yacht and keep it here Pampelone, Saint Tropez (© Wikimedia Commons)

Or screw student finance and just buy a yacht and keep it here Pampelone, Saint Tropez. (Wikimedia Commons)

St. Tropez is famous for the high life and celebrity spotting on the beaches, but water sports in the touristy south of France can still be surprisingly cheap.

For instance, wake-boarding tours are available from £29, or you could do both para-sailing and jet-skiing for £43 an hour. When para-sailing, you can enjoy the panoramic view of the Riviera overlooking Nice and Monaco.

“The mention of the south of France immediately conjures the image of picturesque seas. The best way to appreciate this vast beauty is from the vantage point of para-sailing – a thrilling and engaging experience that provides a whole new perspective of the landscape before us.” Alicia, third year Geography student

Featured image credit: Alastair Wee

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