Summer is just around the corner, but since the COVID-19 pandemic happened, there have been adjustments to how people around the world plan their vacations. There may be inconveniences and even some restrictions for safety, but that doesn’t mean that the summer fun has to end.

As a matter of fact, having diversion has become more important now for the sake of mental health. Spending time with our loved ones this summer and doing the things we enjoy serve as a coping mechanism against the challenges in these trying times.

Despite the changes, there’s still a lot of fun activities we can try, such as water sports! Think kayaking, paddleboarding, or canoeing, surfing, and renting a pontoon boat. Of course, we will highlight some safety points for you to make these activities pandemic-friendly (don’t forget physical distancing and wearing your face mask in public!). Let’s get started!

 1. Surfing.

Surfing
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There’s nothing like being in the ocean to beat the summer heat. If you have access to a nearby coastal area, this is the perfect time to grab your surfing board and have fun riding the waves. Just try to go when it’s less crowded and be mindful of the following universal surf etiquette:

  • Refrain from hogging the waves. Be courteous, even if you are on a longer board and can technically catch more waves.
  • When someone else is closest to the peak paddling for a wave or already on the wave, don’t drop in on them—not only will it mess up their wave, but it can also be dangerous.
  • Don’t ever ditch your board; it can smack another person and knock out their teeth or worse.
  • As you paddle back to the lineup, do not paddle in front of another rider coming toward you, even if it means taking a beating in the whitewash.
  • Communicate when the wave is dual-peaking and apologize whenever you breach the etiquette.

2. Canoeing, paddleboarding, or single-person kayaking.

Canoeing
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 If you like to enjoy the sun and the beauty of nature while breaking a sweat, kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing are some of the must-try outdoor water sports for you. These fun activities can be enjoyed alone or with family or friends (in separate boats, of course).

But what about paddling through a pandemic? What kind of preventive measures should we be considering before heading to the water? In some cases, getting out on a lake or a river is the most secluded you can be. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to take precautions, though. Take heed of these safety tips to keep you protected:

  • Time your trip wisely and avoid going to popular activity locations.
  • Keep your group size small, and maintain at least a 6-foot distance at all times.
  • Bring handwash and disinfectants, and avoid touching common surfaces and others’ belongings.
  • Limit interactions with other people or groups and do not share meals and drinks.
  • Camping along waterways isn’t advised under active state and federal guidelines.

3. Boating in small groups.

Boating in small groups
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According to experts, the boating experience that is endearing to many is one of the best ways to spend a relaxing summer amid a pandemic.

Kristin Dean, associate medical director at Doctor on Demand, says, “Outdoor recreational activities, including boating, may be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic if you keep the proper precautions in mind.”

She adds, “Boaters must continue to maintain social distancing and wear face masks. The fresh air and peacefulness of open water may help to decrease some of the pandemic blues that many of us are feeling, so boating may be beneficial for your health if it is done safely.”

For that reason, boat rentals are on the rise right now. There’s even a huge surge in the number of first-time boat buyers! Here are some expert advice on safe boating during this pandemic:

  • Keep your group small and assess everyone’s health.
  • Be sure to sanitize and maintain distance from other boaters.
  • Follow the general boat safety rules.

Summer fun shouldn’t stop

As this pandemic continues, keep in mind the responsibility of taking care of yourself and those you love. You can do this by practicing precautions such as physical distancing, wearing a face mask, and washing your hands often. They may seem trivial to you, but these measures are crucial to those at risk of COVID-19.

 With the right information and discipline, you can make thoughtful choices about ways to bring a sense of joy and normalcy to your summer vacation.

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