THE TOP 5 OCEAN ACTIVITIES
(WHEN THE WAVES ARE FLAT)
Like it or not, sometimes, there are just no waves to be surfed. On the North coast of the Dominican republic this is very rare, but 5 to 10 days per year the waves get smaller than knee high. This is something which is naturally disappointing if you have travelled to a particular destination intent on catching some swell, though there are many other exciting and fun ocean activities which you can certainly try if the waves are flat. These will perhaps provide you with an altogether different experience and feel of the ocean than surfing. Nonetheless, they still have the potential to be amazingly fun and increase your overall appreciation of the ocean when the surf is not up.
Stand-up paddle boarding is something which many surf enthusiasts have likely already tried. If not, then anyone with some decent experience on the board will take to this ocean activity in no time at all. There is something very tranquil and peaceful about SUP. This activity allows you to glide, almost effortlessly across the ocean.
During this experience you are bound to experience some moments of peaceful enlightenment. SUP is growing steadily in popularity with many beautiful global destinations keen to offer this for periods during which the waves are calm. It is also relatively easy for a novice surfer to pick up.
As mentioned, it is a great way to improve board confidence which you can then transition into your surfing experiences. Check out the center for surf research for some awesome information on all things sustainable, and some great information on the best paddle boards to suit your style. As with any activity, it takes some learning and practice which is best performed with the right equipment. Once you get the hang of paddle boarding though, it is perfect for those days when the waves are flat, or you just feel like a more relaxing cruise along the coast. Some have even been known to commute via paddle board.
Another water based sport for the times when the ocean is calm, although this can be either relaxing or exhilarating depending on your preference. Naturally, you can have some great experiences kayaking the oceans when the waves are low. There are many different types of kayak suitable for one or two people which are usually highly durable and easy to transport to your destination.
Besides just paddling around, you could explore some nearby caves, or just admire the views and the stunning ocean from your location.
Kayaking is very easy to pick up for beginners in terms of a learning curve, and you can be out on the ocean in no time at all. The fantastic thing about kayaking is thanks to the safety and security of most kayaks, you can go out in groups and enjoy a really fun day in the ocean.
Why not bring some lunch and aim for a nearby sandbar or beach to explore for the day. All of this will be possible depending upon your location. This is one of the most enjoyable pursuits for many who want a break from surfing but still wish to enjoy the qualities of the ocean from above. Certain forms of kayaking can also provide the thrill which many surfers often seek, although these are most often found in rivers rather than with ocean kayaking. Either way, it presents a great opportunity to view the ocean from the surface in all of its splendor.
Moving below the surface, snorkeling can be an easily accessible, yet life transforming experience under the correct conditions when the waves are not on your side for surfing. With just a few easy to acquire pieces of equipment, you can begin exploring what lies beneath that beautiful ocean which you often surf. For many, this can be a truly transformative experience. Seeing the beauty of the life, flora, and fauna which is just below our feet can be a powerful moment.
Ultimately, snorkeling is a fun activity which you can also enjoy at you leisure with a partner or younger family members without any fear of injury or accident, and if you are lucky, you may get to capture some picturesque moments along the way. Certain areas are of course more suitable than others. These include areas such as Cebu, Philippines which is famous for its amazing snorkeling experiences where swimmers can interact with whale sharks up close.
There are many of these types off experiences offered, usually in the deeper waters, but if you are just curious to check out what is beneath the usual surf, this is the ideal activity of choice for you on the next calm ocean day.
Swell offers snorkeling trips to Sosua for our clients, see more information on the adventure day trips we offer
If you have tried and enjoyed snorkeling but wish to go quite a lot deeper and become fully immersed, then scuba may be the ideal direction for you. Naturally, this is not something which you can decide to do on a whim. It will take a lot of learning and dedication to become an accomplished diver. Even getting started as a beginner can be a daunting task. It is also though, one of the most rewarding experiences which any ocean lover can undertake.
Exploring deep below the surface, you will likely encounter many breathtaking scenes which you simply could not comprehend from above. This gives most of us an entirely new perspective on ocean life, and can greatly enhance our future surfing experiences. From having the ability to view shipwrecks to the most diverse ranges of aquatic life, this is certainly one of the most impressive and energizing experiences you can engage in, and in fact, it goes much further beyond just something to do when the surf is not good. Both activities though can certainly be learned and enjoyed at the same time.
If all of the above sound like a lot of hard work to you, you could always decide to take to the ocean in a different form of transport entirely. One activity loss is another’s gain. Sailing is one activity which certainly relies on calm seas, quite the opposite to what would be ideal for surfing. Of course, this is another activity which requires some preparation, you need to have the use of a sailing boat for a start. Once this is the case, however, there is often no better or more exciting way to traverse the open sea, depending on the type of sailboat you are using.
Sailing can be smooth and relaxing or also hard work. It really depends on who is doing the sailing, however, as a passenger it can provide a fantastic sense of freedom and adventure. There are many stories of solo or tea sail boats traveling the world. This open approach to the ocean provides a sense of escape which is unattainable through an activity such as surfing. With someone else in control, it can also be a relaxing way to experience you surroundings from a more distant and comfortable viewpoint.
Of course, under ideal circumstances, the waves will be fantastic and perfect for surfing. As experienced surfers, however, we know that this is not always the case, and that unexpected changes in conditions can drastically alter your plans for the day. As we can see from the above ocean activities, though, there is no shortage of other options to pursue when the sea conditions are calm. Whichever other activity you choose to spend your time on will open up your eyes to viewing the ocean in a new light, and will likely also provide the entertainment or relaxation you require.