Wet and wild
Few things are as exhilarating as water sports and our playground stretches from the Swan River to the pristine Indian Ocean.
“Perth really is a mecca for water sports, which is why people travel here from all over the world for our extra-long summers and good swells in winter, ” says Andrew Cooksey, co-owner of WA Surf in Safety Bay and Mandurah.
WA caters for the more traditional surfing, sailing and swimming, to extreme sports such as kiteboarding, windsurfing and wakeboarding.
Then there’s more laid-back leisure activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, canoeing and SUPing (stand-up paddleboarding).
“Kitesurfing has evolved into the best of windsurfing, wakeboarding and surfing all combined into one sport, ” Mr Cooksey says. “Lessons are essential but beyond that it requires no strength, just a little bravery because the power of the kite can be quite daunting.”
Kitesurfing is appropriate for flat water or waves but the key is a light seabreeze. “From Pinnaroo to Safety Bay there’s always small pods of kiters hanging out and helping each other.”
Kiteboarding lessons are $199 for two hours of one-on-one instruction or $549 for six hours one-on-one. Phone WA Surf Safety Bay on 9592 1657 and Mandurah on 9583 5601. Visit wasurf.com.au.
“Surfing is a fun and exciting sport, it’s not confined to any age or gender,
WA chief executive Mark Lane says. Surfing WA offers SunSmart Learn to Surf lessons for ages five and above across the Perth metro area, and Trigg is the best spot in summer.
“Beginners should look out for small rolling surf that is close to the beach but not super-crowded and head down with a few friends to make sure you stay safe, ” he says.
Phone 9448 0004 or visit surfingwa.com.au.
Bernie Kaaks, general manager of Yachting Western Australia, says sailing is an environmentally friendly activity, generating no greenhouse emissions and leaving no footprint.
“Sailing provides the joy of being at one with nature, reading the nuances of wind strength and direction, learning the basics of weather systems and forecasting, and becoming at one with their surroundings, ” he says.
Memberships are available at a range of well-established yacht clubs and some offer special joining rates in conjunction with discover- sailing days. For further details, visit wa.yachting.org.auor your nearest yacht club.
KAYAKING AND CANOEING
“It’s the most fun you’ll have sitting down, ” says Brittany Lock, from Rivergods kayaking. “Kayaking is a full-body workout. While your upper body and core will do most of the work, your whole body is engaged.
”Go solo, take your partner, a group of friends or the whole family along for the ride. “All sorts of kayaks are cheap and readily available, either for sale or for hire, plus you can do great tours, ” Ms Lock says.
The fastest-growing water sport is stand-up paddleboarding. “It has basically become a more fun and cheaper option to the gym, ” WA Surf’s Andrew Cooksey says.
“The paddling action is gentle but provides a toning workout mainly through your core.” Mr Cooksey takes his classes in Safety Bay, because it is calm and protected. He says the reefs off Cottesloe provide a good soft wave and Point Walter is a great starting point for a SUP adventure.
Further south, Mandurah has waves for surfing and flat water in the estuary.
© The West Australian
More Sport and Leisure news: thewest.com/lifestyle/health