vancouver water sports kayaking
Photo Credits: vanessacowan

8 Best Water Sports in Vancouver You Gotta Try on Your Next Outdoor Adventure

Vancouver offers a range of water sports for all fitness levels. Located on the shores of Burrard Inlet facing English Bay and the Georgia Strait, Vancouver is home to an extensive range of water sports to bring you back to nature and pick up some exercises with scenic views.

Wishing to put yourself out there and discover the most gorgeous bodies of water in Vancouver? Check out these 8 cool water sports in Vancouver! 

1. Windsurfing and Kiteboarding

vancouver water sport windsurfing
Photo Credits: Windsure

Catered to all fitness levels, windsurfing and kiteboarding are inexpensive watersports that you can try in Vancouver. Wind and water are the key factors for an enjoyable session and Vancouver offers the best conditions to catch the wind and brace the waves. 

The best place for beginners to go windsurfing and kiteboarding in Vancouver is Jericho Beach where you can find a mix of ocean tide and flat water. Make your way to the west side of Jericho Beach where the wind speed ranges from two to twenty knots throughout the year, enabling all types of sailing opportunities to take place. 

For advanced surfers, Acadia Beach and Spanish Banks will fit the bill with strong north-west winds allowing you to test some new tricks or perfect your moves. For the most enjoyable windsurfing and kiteboarding day in Vancouver, hit the waters between May and September to catch west-northwest winds!

Options: lessons and rentals
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2. Swimming

best beaches in vancouver - kits pool
Photo Credits: georgiamacreadyxx

Blessed with an extensive chain of sandy beaches soaked in mesmerizing views, Vancouver is recognized by National Geographic as one of the best beach destinations worldwide. Swimming seems to be the most popular water sport in Vancouver. Either if it’s a sunny beach fronting the glimmering Pacific Ocean or a covered swimming pool indoor, Vancouver always has something for everyone. 

Because these lovely beaches pull in impressive crowds, we decided to sort out the best beaches in Vancouver in this handy guide to help you come up with the right spot that suits your style. From famous heavyweights like Kits Beach (and the swimming pool) to off-the-radar Sunset Beach, this article covers them all. 

Those seeking a secluded getaway in the heart of the wilderness must make an escape east into the hills where you can soak in these beautiful swimming holes at one of the best BC Provincial Parks. 

Vancouver Aquatic Centre, on the other hand, is a great choice if you need somewhere indoors with a prime location. This natural-lit indoor pool will spice up your swimming day with a handful of diving boards, slides, dive tanks, and rope swings. There’s even a sauna and whirlpool if you come with family or friends. 

3. Kayaking

vancouver water sports kayaking
Photo Credits: vanessacowan

Wishing to explore the shores and nature of Vancouver while picking up some exercises at the same time? Go kayaking! This fun water sport brings you closer to the best views of Vancouver from a brand new perspective. 

There’s a mecca of kayaking spots in and around Vancouver to work your cores but the first place popping into your mind should be False Creek. Kayaking in False Creek allows you to get on the water in the downtown’s core without traveling further afield.

False Creek also offers some of the most stunning waterside views of Science World, Olympic Village as well as peaceful floating homes. Then we have Deep Cove landing next in line as a calm bay for beginners to introduce themselves to the sport. 

English Bay also comes in handy as an easy spot to kayak. Located just ten minutes northwest of downtown Vancouver, English Bay attracts a huge number of visitors every summer to contemplate the views of the city and mountains.

Vancouver Water Adventures (Vancouver – Granville Island & English Bay)
: Rentals, Day tours, Lessons, Gift certificates
Website | Instagram

Jericho Beach Kayak (Vancouver – Jericho Beach)
: Spring Break Camps, Group bookings, Private lessons, Rentals
Website | Instagram

Deer Lake Boat Rentals (Burnaby)
Options: Rentals

Sea to Sky Adventure Company (Squamish)
Options: Rentals, Lessons, Day Tours
Website | Instagram 

4. Paddleboarding

vancouver water sports paddle boarding 1
Photo Credits: Sea to Sky Adventure Company

Vancouver has become such a big deal for standup paddleboarders worldwide thanks to its stretching coastline dotted with calm water and stunning scenery. It goes without saying that Deep Cove usually ranks first on the list of best SUP spots in Vancouver. 

Boasting a great access up Indian Arm, Deep Cove will get you hypnotized with the untamed landscape, mild waters, and top-notch instruction for a hassle-free outing day. If you seek out a more vibrant scene, head to False Creek to keep up with the unique floating home scene while riding on the flat water. 

Ultimately we have Jericho Beach as a portal to paddle for beginners. Its flat water encourages you to pick up some skills and you don’t even have to lug the board too far.

Vancouver Water Adventures (Vancouver)
: Rentals, Day tours, Lessons
Website | Instagram

Sea to Sky Adventure Company (Squamish)
Options: Rentals, Lessons, Day Tours
Website | Instagram

Options: Rentals and Lessons
Website | Instagram | Facebook

5. Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

vancouver water sports snorkeling
Photo Credits: mfnnntop

Are you ready to explore Vancouver from a totally new angle? This rewarding water sport encourages you to explore the seabed of Vancouver and play with the harbor seals that make the city quite a hype. 

Cates Park and Whytecliff Park are some of the top calls when it comes to diving near Vancouver. Cates Park is the largest seaside park in North Vancouver and you’re much likely to spot some red rock crabs and Dungeness crabs when going for a dive here. Jervis Inlet provides a beautiful backdrop where you can find a sunken mermaid hidden under this jagged coastal fjord. 

Sea Dragon Charters
: Scuba Diving Tour, Snorkel + Kayak Tour, Lessons
Website | Instagram

Diving Locker
Options: Scuba diving courses, rentals, small group and twilight dives
Website | Facebook

6. White Water Rafting

vancouver water sports white water rafting
Photo Credits: Canadian Outback Rafting

No matter if you’re a thrill-seeker or planning to get away from it all, white water rafting should be your next favorite water sport in Vancouver. Heading your way into the outback of the city to embrace the soaring wilderness as you paddle down the Elaho River, the right tributary of Squamish snaking through its own valley. 

A regular rafting trip lasts for around ninety minutes as you’re riding the roaring current on a rubber raft. Cheakamus River, a crashing, turquoise river from Cheakamus Lake is another great destination to call your name. Embark on the most epic rafting ride of your life to conquer these splashy rapids in the heart of the breathtaking scenery of British Columbia! 

Canadian Outback Rafting (Vancouver, Whistler, Squamish)
Options: Day trips, Multi-day trips
Website | Instagram

7. Canoeing

vancouver water sports canoeing
Photo Credits: praeladda

One of the most sought-after spots for canoeing in Vancouver is False Creek. This vibrant inlet has a lot of happenings when it comes to water sports. It’s such a common scene to see kayakers, standup paddle boarders, and canoers plying the water of this busy area along with freighters and floating houses. 

The stunning skyline of Vancouver’s downtown area serves as a sprawling backdrop to brush up your experience. English Bay, a spectacular coastline serving as a portal where the city meets the ocean, also comes in handy for an enjoyable canoeing trip. 

Another incredible spot to canoe when you set out east of Vancouver is Deer Lake in Burnaby. This beautiful body of water is surrounded by a peaceful natural setting where rental canoe services are available to rent by hour.

Deer Lake Boat Rentals
Options: Rentals

Sea to Sky Adventure Company
Website | Instagram

8. Boating and Sailing

Sometimes an ideal outing day by the water doesn’t have to do with any high-adrenaline sports. All you need to do is a pleasant voyage veining through the secret coves, fjords, and protected anchorages to immerse into the remarkable wildlife hidden behind the craggy landscapes. 

Boating becomes such a big deal in Vancouver Island where you can take a pleasure craft or sailboat and head in any direction up to your liking. There are hidden harbors of Port Hardy in the North or the secret coves of Victoria in the South. The nautical experience scatters over 3300 kilometers (~2050 miles) of coastline to make Vancouver Island a haven for nature seekers.

If these options are not enough to quench your thirst for nature, head to these nine best parks and gardens in Vancouver to feast your eyes and take a breather.

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