collaborative post // If you’re going for a watersports-based holiday for the first time, then you might be wondering exactly what sort of supplies you’ll be taking with you. The answer will vary. Some activities will take you into the water for just a few hours, while others might last a whole day.

Similarly, the climate might play a role: if you’re swimming in late September in the UK, then you might have a different set of worries than if you were kayaking down the Nile at the height of summer.

What should I pack?

Let’s run through a list of essentials. You can tailor it to your specific requirements, but it’s usually best to include everything we’ll mention.

Sun protection

When you’re out on the water all day, you’ll be at increased risk from the sun. Water can reflect sunlight back up at you – albeit not quite as much as sand. As such, you’ll want to pack sunscreen, a set of sunglasses, and a hat. Obviously, waterproof sunscreen is best. Pick it up before you go, or risk paying a premium.

Do I need a spray top or a wetsuit?

A wetsuit will tend to be an extremely heavy and bulky item of luggage. Until you’re committed to your chosen watersport, it’s probably best to rent something closer to the point of use. If you’re holidaying in a warm climate, the chances are good that you won’t need it. A ‘shortie’, which comes with short sleeves and legs will usually be sufficient.

When it comes to the thickness of the suit, around 3mm will usually do, unless you’re going to be swimming through extremely cold water. A spray top might be useful if you’re travelling in late Autumn or early Spring, and the weather isn’t quite as warm as it would be in Summer. Check the anticipated water temperature before you head out!

What about buoyancy support?

There are certain items that should be provided to you by the activity company, and these mostly have to do with safety. A buoyancy aid, or lifejacket, is usually considered a necessity. This is a good reason to book your kayaking holidays through a reputable company, since you’ll not only be protected – you’ll also save on packing!

Sailing gloves and boots

For sailors, windsurfers, and anyone else that has to deal with ropes, handles and rudders, a set of quality boots and gloves is a necessity. Saline water can make friction almost unbearable, and you might find that your holiday is distinctly uncomfortable if you aren’t protected. If you think you’re going to be going sailing again, then it pays to spend a little more on protection that’s going to last.

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