Tag Archives: Watersports

In It to Swim It: Summer Swimwear Picks for an Active Lifestyle

Just as all footwear isn’t designed to withstand the wear and tear of the outdoors, not all swimwear will fit the bill for an active outdoor lifestyle. We like our string bikinis and baggy board shorts just fine, but when it comes to tearing it up on a surfboard or competing in swim heats, we need a suit that can keep up with us and not just become food for marine life. Today we’ve rounded up our top picks for active swimwear that won’t leave you high and dry this summer when you finally get the guts to try your hand at waterskiing.

ActiveSwimwear1. Men’s Solid Splice Jammers – Whether you’re ripping it up at the beach or doing your best Lochte impression at the local swimming pool, these jammers offer great coverage without adding any drag, so you can beat the heat in more ways than one! Available at Adidas.com, $48.

2. Sweetheart Crossback – This one-piece swimsuit lets you have your wake and surf it too. Both fully functional and flattering for almost every body type, this suit offers support and slimming features so you can perform and look your best while enjoying your favorite water sports. Available at Speedousa.com, $89.

3. Men’s Striped Surf Runner Volley – From surf to turf, these shorts offer protection from the harsh elements and their quick-dry fabric helps transition from one sport to another seamlessly. Available at Speedousa.com, $36.

4. Zoot Performance Tri Racesuit – This one-piece racesuit is no joke, offering maximum performance and low-profile features for the true champions of summer. Ideal for swim heats, this suit is comfortable enough to make a splash at the beach during more extreme sports like Jet Skiing or waterskiing. Available at REI.com, $120.

5. Men’s Team Check Jammer Swimsuit – These jammers from swim authority TYR offer full coverage and compression for maximum aerodynamics when gliding through the water or tearing through waves. This competitive swimsuit is ultra durable and lightweight so you can swim your fastest without resistance from your suit. Available at TYR.com, $39.99.

6. Reversible Aliam Top – Keep your pack light and your options simple with this two-in-one bikini top. This supportive, made-to-move swim top is reversible, making it ideal for longer trips or times when packing multiple suits isn’t an option. This active suit looks great on land and out on the water, making it one of our best finds for the summer. Available at Patagonia.com, $55

What’s up with SUP? Intro to Paddleboarding

Contributed by Jacqueline Basallo, The Basallo Brainery.

The source of my anxiety, AKA paddleboard and paddle.

I have a confession to make: I’m a born-and-raised Miamian who can’t swim. (Even those of us who live within close proximity to the water have a hard time staying afloat.) I’ve mastered the doggy paddle and my underwater skills are up to par with Ariel but, beyond that, my aquatic abilities are limited—yet I’ve always wanted to paddleboard. So on a warm, sunny weekday when I was sure it’d be just some equally clueless tourists and me, I ventured to Miami Kite Boarding for a ride.

There was little pomp and circumstance involved. You arrive, you’re handed a life jacket and immediately shown to the boat ramp where a brief, five-minute lesson later, you’re strapping the paddleboard to your ankle, told to kneel down and sent off somewhere under the Venetian Causeway.

Paddleboarding under the Venetian Causeway: who’s ready to limbo?! [Photo: www.fksa.org]

Swimming inability notwithstanding, I imagined myself gliding along the bay like the Native Americans who once called South Florida home; hair blowing in the wind like a scene out of Pocahontas. (Evidently I get all of my watersports knowledge from Disney movies.) Instead, I wobbled down the ramp, sunscreen dripping down my brows and into my eyes, and (gasp!) stood right up! Once the wake of a nearby boater broke (Whatever happened to “No Wake Zones”?!) I impressed not only myself but also the nearby attendant who nervously watched me tread water and make my way past the ramp. From here, I must admit, it was, well, smooth sailing. I stood up for the full two hours and both my ego and triceps are better for it.

You want us to do what?

Few times will you get to see a bustling Miami Beach from the undisturbed bay, so take in the moment—no matter where you are!—and remember a few simple tips:

Wear sunscreen! But remember to wear the waterproof/sweat-proof kind on your face. Nothing throws off your balance or coordination like feverishly rubbing your eyeballs.

Borrow a life vest. One of my paddle board companions bravely opted to go without one and while she looks way cooler than I did, she also forewent the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t fall and accidentally kick a manatee in the face—and an awesome life vest tan. Err on the side of caution and, if you really don’t think you need it, just drape it over the front of your board.

Mind your toes. Remember the time the entire front of your foot fell asleep while exercising on the elliptical machine at the gym? Well, they might feel like that again after two-hours of trying to keep the board in place with your big toes. Your toes might go numb from gripping the board, and that’s OK. Next time use your core to maintain balance.

Go with the current. This seems like pretty obvious advice but when you’re too determined to make it around a really far buoy to notice that you’ve managed to turn around and paddle against the current so you’re flailing your arms in panic, you’ll thank me for this little nugget of wisdom.

Take pictures! I don’t advise you take your smartphone on the ride with you but leave it nearby and mark your photo waypoint on the Pocket Ranger® app, share it with your friends, and show them how even a non-swimmer can kick butt at summer sports.

Jump the Shark: Watersports Photo Contest

For anyone cooped up from autumn to spring by the school year, a demanding job, or cold weather, summer feels like delicious freedom—especially if you’re heading to the lake.  There’s nothing like the first time you take the boat out for the season, feeling the motor hum and the hull cut cleanly through the water’s mirror-like surface on a calm day.

Well, there may be something better—the feeling of that same water beneath your feet as you cut across water or the air you catch as you jump a particularly good wave.  That’s right: we’re talking about water sports.

Even the coolest of the cool guys can’t resist the water.  In the 1970s, the epitome of “cool” was a leather jacket-sporting, juke box-punching, catch phrase-spouting (“Heeeeey!”) guy named Arthur Fonzarelli—the Fonz—on Happy Days.  In a 1977 episode that will live in infamy, the Fonz saves the day by accepting a challenge to jump over a shark while waterskiing.

The phrase “jumping the shark” has since been memorialized in pop culture as the moment when a TV series begins to go downhill, especially after the writers pull a wild stunt that is grossly inconsistent with the show’s premise or tone.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate a wild stunt, especially one involving waterskiing (and waterskiing in a leather jacket, no less).  This may be the most memorable waterskiing moment in pop culture history, so in the spirit of the open water and summer, we want to celebrate your history on the water.

For this week’s contest, PocketRanger® wants you to submit a vintage or impressive photo of your watersports adventures. For instance, the Fonz jumping the shark is both vintage—1970s—and impressive (after all, he did jump over a shark).

Photos will be published on Facebook and put up to a vote. The submission with the most “likes” wins!


  • “Like” Pocket Ranger® on Facebook
  • Email your photos to info[at]parksbynature.com (Include your name, phone number, and a brief description of the picture.)
  • Get your friends to vote for your photo—the photo with the most “likes” wins!
  • Share the water fun; feel free to enter as many photos as you want.

Winner will be announced Friday, June 22, and receive cool, Pocket Ranger® gear to help kickstart the summer!