Humanity has always had a close relationship with water around the world, from the oceans to lake and rivers, and today in the United States, many people and families buy boats or rent them for all kinds of fun on the water. Lakes are often a great place to visit for water sports, or fishing or even just cruising around for leisure or having a party on a pontoon boat. Jet ski rental, wakeboarding, and more are possible water sports, and a personal watercraft or wakesurf boat rental means that anyone can have a blast with water sports at their nearest lake or the coast. And seeing how most Americans live within an hour’s drive of the nearest navigable body of water, the best news is that nearly anyone can enjoy water sports today. What are some popular activities out there? And what should someone look for when buying or renting a boat?
Water Sports Today
Some of the most popular water sports to play today are jet skiing, wakesurfing, and wakeboarding, and the latter two sports are fairly similar. Many Americans are visiting lakes for these sports; back in 2017, about 13.5% of Americans took part in water sports, and many of them involve motorized boats. Wakesurfing is one such sport, and it can be great fun if one knows how to do it. A wakesurfer will hold onto a rope at the back of the boat, and the boat will accelerate to top speed and thus the wakesurfer, too. Once the boat is at top speed and a wake is created, the surfer can let go and start surfing on the wake, and the advantage is that a surfer doesn’t have to visit the coasts and wait for real waves to appear; instead, the boat can make man-made waves on demand, and someone skilled enough can surf easily in the boat’s wake, hence the name.
Wakeboarding is similar to wakesurfing, except the surfing board is a little bigger and the wakeboarder hangs onto the rope (it may also have handles) the entire time, making it similar to jet skiing. Here too, the boat accelerates and the wakeboarder hangs onto the rope and handles to get to top speed (the surfer is often 52-78 feet behind the boat). The wakeboarder also rides the boat’s wake, but this style may be a little easier than wakesurfing since the rider is hanging onto the boat’s rope and handles the whole time. Ever since the late 1980s, wakesurfing and wakeboarding have been popular among Americans and have even become competitive water sports in their own right. But no excursion is complete without the boat itself.
Get a Boat
A person can either buy their own boat or simply rent one when they visit a lake, and there are good reasons for each route. Someone who often visits water, such as for sports, fishing, or parties, may want to buy their own boat. Boats can be bought at retailers on dry land, and there’s a few things to keep in mind first when looking for boats to purchase.
The intended activities affect what kind of boat the buyer wants. After all, a pontoon boat might be awkward for jet skiing or wakesurfing, but with its wide body and seats, a pontoon boat is a great choice for parties, sight seeing, or fishing. Conversely, a narrower, faster boat is great for racing or water sports, so the buyer will know what category is best for them.
A boat, like a car, can be bought either new or used. New boats have the most power and features, and have their factory warranty and will be free of damage, but they may also be the most expensive purchase. Meanwhile, a used boat will have to be inspected and tested for quality before purchase, but it can be a great deal. Used boats should be inspected for cracks, leaks, or other faults, and they should be test-ridden to make sure that the engine and steering are in fine working order. But some repairs can be easy. The boat carpet, for example, can be torn up and removed if it’s worn out, and a buyer can get new boat carpet from a marine supply store and put it down.