The phenomenal rise in watersports activities combined with staycations means more and more people are enjoying being in, on, or around the water. Great for fitness and fun, research shows watersports also has a positive impact on wellbeing and mental health.
This year’s Southampton International Boat Show has a brand new dedicated Watersports Zone, packed with all the latest products from stand up paddle boards to inflatable kayaks, windsurfers, wakeboards, and all the clothing kit and accessories to go with them. “The brand new Watersports Zone packs everything into one exciting and vibrant location within the show,” says British Marine’s CEO Lesley Robinson, “and offers a great chance for people to come and have a go for free with a windsurfing simulator and dive tank.”
For watersports enthusiasts, foiling is the newest trend which has “rejuvenated and electrified watersports immeasurably” says Chris Tris, from The Official Test Centre (OTC), who will be helping hundreds of visitors to have a go at windsurfing on the land-based simulator in the heart of the Watersports Zone at the show.
“From prone-surfing to The America’s Cup, from windsurfing to dinghy sailing and stand up paddling, every watersport corner and facet is at it, and it’s breathing life into completely new watersports such as wing-surfing and e-foiling,” he adds. The team from the Official Test Centre (OTC) will be on hand to talk all about foiling, and exhibiting some of the pioneering brands including Fliteboard, Armstrong and PPC.
There’s also the opportunity to have a go on the water, with the Get-A-Float feature from Rockley Watersports providing fun and safe on water sessions for all ages and abilities on paddleboards, kayaks and dinghies within the On the Water Zone.
With many new product innovations on show in the Watersports Zone, Paqualife will be making its debut at Southampton International Boat Show with its range of packrafts. These ultra-light and super-compact inflatables, ranging in size from one to three people, are small and light enough to pack into a rucksack, yet capable of being used for whitewater rafting, on lakes and at sea, and are ideal as boat tenders and for new exciting sports like bikerafting or skirafting. Paqualife Director Gina Locke says, “We are extremely excited to exhibit our range of products on the Southampton International Boat Show. Packrafting is a relatively new concept in the UK and we are keen to show people how packrafts can revolutionise the way you get out on the water and experience the great outdoors.”
For wakeboarders and wakesurfers, the new high-performance luxurious range of Moomba and Supra boats, are sure to thrill with their Autowake technology ensuring a consistent wake and wave time after time and powered by Ford Raptor engines from Indmar.
If it’s the beauty and serenity found beneath the waves that appeals, visitors can head to the Try-A-Dive stand at the show, where experts from Andark will assist visitors to have a truly immersive experience in their dive tank.
No trip to a Boat Show is complete without satisfying the need for some retail therapy, from the latest stylish clothing to practical accessories such as dry bags and buoyancy aids. Decathlon will be revealing its new sailing range, designed for offshore use, as well as the Pack 100 Windsurf, its latest innovation in windsurfing. The company will also be showcasing its new ways to make sport accessible and sustainable, with unique offerings like Second Life, product rental and a popular repair scheme. “Decathlon has a great green initiative to match its wide range of products,” says Sharon Poulter, Circular Economy Team at Decathlon.
Bigger and better than ever before, there’s something for everyone at the Southampton International Boat Show. Alongside the new Festival Green featuring premium street food, the watersports zone is the perfect place to find new sports that help you get fit and healthy and hopefully start a lifelong love of watersports.
Running over 10 days, advance tickets for the event can now be purchased online at www.southamptonboatshow.com.
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