Forget waterskiing and wakeboarding. Those are the watersports of yesteryear. This summer, try riding the surf on a wakeskate, hoverboarding across the Muskokas, or flying underwater with a hydrodynamic set of wings. Here are 7 new watersports—starting with the tamest to the most extreme—that you need to try. All you need is a little courage and a layer of sunscreen.
The classic metal fishing boat with a motor is great for traveling long distances and speeding across the lake. It’s not so great, however, at maneuvering through marshy areas or shallow waters. Next time you go fishing, try heading out in a sit-on-top-style kayak. You’ll be able to access more remote areas while also getting a great workout. Some manufacturers even make kayaks that are designed especially for anglers, equipped with rod holders, built-in coolers and storage hulls. Extreme level: 2
Unleash your inner Tony Hawk on the water with wakeskating—a mash-up of wakeboarding and skateboarding. Wakeskaters follow along behind a boat or jetski and surf the lake. The catch? The rider is not attached to the board. Instead, the wakeskate is covered in either grip tape or high-traction foam, allowing the rider to wear shoes or go bare feet. Once you have the basics down, try to land a frontside lipside. Extreme level: 5
Most of Canada’s cottage country is inland, far from the ocean waves. For those hungry for swells, there’s always wakesurfing. Like wakeskating, wakesurfers ride the waves behind a boat and are not attached to the board. However, making it even more challenging, wakesurfers aren’t even towed. Once they get up, riders drop the tow rope and stay close to the boat to ride the wake. It’s as close to surfing as you’re going to get in Ontario. Extreme level: 6
In the 1965 James Bond movie Thunderball, special agent 007 battles evil villains with underwater jets that propel missiles. The Seabob, created by German company Cayogo, resembles those jets—except minus the weaponry, of course. The Seabob, which is steered using the rider’s own bodyweight and the speed is controlled by hand gears, can dive up to 130-feet and can operate for up to an hour. If you want a slightly tamer experience, cruise along the surface and bob in and out of the water like a dolphin. The Seabob works by using a special kind of motor that sucks in water and then shoots it out the back of the craft. If you want to feel like you’re straight out of a James Bond flick though, it’s going to cost you. The Seabob retails for around $20,000. Extreme level: 7.5
It’s 2015—the year of the selfie stick, artisanal ketchup, and the water jetpack. Yes, water jetpacking is now a legitimate sport. Riders strap on a backpack, which is equipped with two jets that blast water down, that’s attached to a personal watercraft by a long hose. Water is sucked up through the hose and then pushed out through the two nozzles. Riders can easily hover 30-feet above the air or “walk” across the surface of the water. Extreme level: 8
Once you’ve mastered jetpacking, take it up notch with flyboarding. Rather than wearing the jets on your back, they’re strapped to your feet. Invented in 2012 by the French watercraft rider, Franky Zapata, flyboards can reach higher heights than the backpack version, meaning you have more airtime for pulling off crazy tricks. Extreme level: 9.5
Once you’ve bobbed like a dolphin, walked on water, and flown through the air, there’s only one last thing to do. Fly underwater. The Subwing is a carbon fibre hydrodynamic wing that allows riders to experience the sensation of flying, but underwater. While holding onto the set of wings, riders are towed behind a boat where they can glide on the surface or dive down and explore underwater life. Extreme level: 10