Some of the most adrenaline-pumping sports happen on the beach, and what better way to spend a day or two on your next trip than learning an energizing new activity. To help you get started, we’ve put together our 10 best beaches to learn a new sport, from paddling a traditional outrigger canoe in Hawaii to jumping from a plane over the white sands of Kenya.
Sandboarding at Sand Master Park on the Oregon Coast — Photo courtesy of Lon Beale of Sand Master Park
Carve, jump and do aerial tricks on sand instead of snow at Sand Master Park, the world’s first sand boarding school, located on the massive, sugar-soft dunes of the Oregon Coast.
Kiteboarder on Cabarete Beach — Photo courtesy of LEK - Laurel Eastman Kiteboarding Cabarete
Cabarete Beach, Dominican Republic
Cabarete Beach on the north shore of the Dominican Republic boasts year-round wind, making it an international hotspot for adrenaline-fueled kiteboarding. Schools like Laurel Eastman Kiteboarding, founded by pro rider Laurel Eastman, offer lessons in this high-flying sport right off the beach.
Kayakers at La Jolla Shores — Photo courtesy of SanDiego.org
La Jolla Shores, San Diego, California
Master your paddling skills as you cruise one of the most beautiful coastlines in the country. Companies like La Jolla Kayak offer paddling lessons and tours from La Jolla Shores beach to the famous Seven Sea Caves. Then try your hand at kayak surfing as you paddle back in.
Skydivers over Diani Beach, Kenya — Photo courtesy of Skydive Diani
Diani Beach, Kenya
If you’re looking to learn a sport thousands of feet above the beach, head to Diani Beach in Kenya, where you can make your first jump with Skydive Diani over the Indian Ocean, and land barefoot on the soft white sand.
Snorkelers at Buck Island Reef National Monument, St. Croix, USVI. — Photo courtesy of U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism
Buck Island, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Head to Buck Island from St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, to learn snorkeling on a desert-island beach before taking the plunge into one of only two Underwater National Monuments in America. Big Beard's Adventure Tours offers excursions that begin with snorkel lessons on Buck Island’s Turtle Beach.
Stand-up paddleboarders off South Walton, Florida — Photo courtesy of Visit South Walton
Miramar Beach, South Walton, Florida
The large, protected bay of Miramar Beach in South Walton, Florida, just west of Panama City, is the perfect spot to learn the world's fastest-growing watersport. Stand-up paddleboarding is part kayaking, part surfing, not to mention a great workout and lots of fun. YOLO Board offers lessons seven days a week.
Surfing into Waikiki Beach — Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson
Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii
The birthplace of surfing is still the best spot to learn how to hang ten. The waves at Waikiki Beach stay small and consistent most of the year, so any time is the perfect time to take a lesson with instructors at Hans Hedemann Surf School.
Windsurfing in Bonaire's Lac Bay — Photo courtesy of Tourism Corporation Bonaire
Lac Bay, Bonaire
Bonaire is best known for its scuba diving, but on the eastern side of the island, Lac Bay is shallow, sandy and buffeted by steady winds, making it an ideal spot to learn windsurfing from a local pro at Jibe City.
Outrigger canoeing in Maui — Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Paddle Sports
Outrigger Canoe Paddling
Honokahua Beach, Maui, Hawaii
See how native Hawaiians navigated the oceans aboard hand-carved canoes. Then push through the Pacific surf and learn to paddle an outrigger for yourself. Hawaiian Paddle Sports offers outrigger paddling lessons from Maui’s Honokahua Beach, in front of the Ritz Carlton Kapalua.
Caribbean's only Laser sailing school, on Nevis — Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Resort Nevis
Pinney's Beach, Nevis
Learn to pilot a personal sailboat from Pinney’s Beach on the island of Nevis. The Four Seasons Resort Nevis is home to Sail Laser, the Caribbean’s only Laser sailing school, which includes two, eight-hour days of sailing lessons.