We’ve all seen the images of jet skiis whizzing around superyachts anchored off the south of France’s glittering coast. Water toys are a major part of the fun of chartering or owning a large superyacht, but smaller boats needn’t miss out, and there is a dazzling array of gizmos and machines to choose from.
The water toy industry is simply huge, and competition and fast-moving innovation means that the best water toys of 2021 will be even more extreme next year. While the type of boat you have will dictate what sort of toys you can have onboard – towable water toys aren’t much use on a sailing yacht, for example – there are plenty which can be used independently from the boat. With summer well and truly upon us, and the waters warming up to balmy and inviting temperatures, it’s time to see just how much fun you can have on your boat with these amazing inventions.
Towable Water Toys
Best suited to a fast motorboat with an inboard engine, towable floats provide fun for all the family. The classic doughnut (also known as a ringo) or banana will have the kids bouncing and shrieking in joy, while for something more laid back an inflatable swimming pool or large sunbathing pad can provide extra room for guests to enjoy the water without crowding the boat. Simply tow it along behind at a gentle and non-hair-raising speed.
Water Skiis and Wakeboards
The ever-popular waterskiing and wakeboarding provide hours of weekend fun. Again a fast motorboat is key here, and inboards are both safer and create a better wake, but there are lots of choices when it comes to buying a used boat for waterskiing. As captain of your boat, you’ll need some practice in maneuvering a boat for water skiers and wakeboarders, and will need to adjust it to their skill level – so there is plenty of fun to be had in learning new skills, whether you’re on the boat or on the water. See more Ski and Wakeboard Boats for Sale
Paddleboards are one of the hottest trends of the moment, the combination of core strength, zen-like vibes and relaxation making them hugely popular the world over. While rigid paddleboards can be space consuming, the latest inflatable boards can easily be tucked into the smallest of boats. And it doesn’t matter what kind of boat you have, making them ideal for everything from RIBS to sailing yachts. Simply inflate and off you go, exploring quiet coves, gentle bays and uncrowded coastlines. It’s little surprise these are one of the best lake toys on the market.
This hybrid surfboard-jet ski-wakeboard is one of the latest motorized water toys to hit the waters and you’ll no doubt turn heads as you zoom across the waves on it. Independently powered, it allows the rider to surf the waves whilst being powered by a lightning fast motor. It takes strength, balance and a fair amount of practice, but once mastered is very James Bond. And as it is no bigger than a wakeboard, it is easy to store on even the smallest boats.
If paddleboards are the current trend, then bike boards are the next one. Mounted on top of the paddleboard is a static bicycle which powers you through calm waters. What could be more fun – and cool - than cycling your way around stunning coastlines and tranquil lakes? Balancing is considered easier than paddle boarding, so beginners will take to bike boards right away, but the downside is that they have a larger footprint and need more storage space, although there are some inflatable models on the market now.
Swim through the water like a dolphin with a motorised Seabob. These nifty gadgets are compact, easily stored and easily transported, and provide hours of underwater fun. Gear up with a mask and snorkel, or even scuba gear, and hold onto the handles as you allow the Seabob to tow you through the water. With a little bit of practice, and supervision for children, anyone can learn to use a Seabob to explore coral reefs, rocky coasts and shallow wrecks.
Windsurfers and kite surfers
These high adrenaline, wind-powered sports need little introduction and have been entertaining boaters for years. While a windsurf board and sail will take up substantial room on your boat, a kite board and sail are a more compact option if space is at a premium. There is a learning curve, but that’s what makes the challenge such a thrill. Start off slow, take some lessons and ensure you stay safe and you’ll be a pro in no time at all.
Snorkelling and scuba gear
Every boat should have a set of snorkelling gear on board, if not for leisure and fun, then for safety and below-the-waterline emergency inspections. But fun they are! Grab a few sets of masks, snorkels and fins for your boat and the whole family can be off exploring the wonders of the undersea world wherever you anchor up. If you want to take it one step further, embark on scuba diving lessons and delve deeper for longer with your own scuba gear on board. You’ll need to take tanks with you, and follow the necessary safety protocols, but it is an amazing and rewarding experience to enjoy together.
Inflatable, ocean-going kayaks are far more than kids beach toys, and provide for hours of fun coastal explorations. Sturdy, well-built and tough, these kayaks fit into any space on board and can be easily inflated with a simple foot pump in a few minutes. Some even come equipped with a small sail, allowing you to take a break from paddling and drift along the breeze. One, two or three-seater models are available meaning the whole family can enjoy paddling along rocky coasts, or it makes a nifty way to get to shore instead of using a motorised tender. If you’ve got room on board for a rigid kayak you can opt for a glass-bottomed model, perfect for tropical locations with great visibility.
As with anything to do with boating, it is important that you understand the safety risks of using any water toys, and ensure you keep a close eye on anyone using them. Helmets, life vests, signalling equipment and safety briefings are a must for many of the water toys listed here.
If you’re considering buying a boat, then be sure to check out Rightboat.com’s huge range of new and used boats of all styles and sizes, in locations all across the world. We offer tips and guidance on buying a boat, whether it’s your first or fifth, so don’t hesitate to get in touch or peruse our library of helpful guides and how-to’s.
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