1. Wave sailing in Brazil
Wave sailing is basically high-octane windsurfing on breaking waves. UK professional windsurf coach Peter Hart oversees a course in Jericoacoara, a resort in the eastern Brazilian state of Ceara, which offers some of the best conditions in the world.
Peter Hart Windsurf Wave Sailing Masterclass in Brazil. Jan 8-18, 2020. Sportif Travel (sportif.travel).
2. Rafting in the USA
Nearly 450km long, a voyage on the Colorado river through the Grand Canyon ranks among the world’s most iconic rafting trips. US specialist Grand American Adventures offers an itinerary through the gorge in motorised rafts for up to 14 people.
Grand Canyon Rafting from about Dh10,300 for seven nights including meals. Excludes flights and transfers. Until September. Visit grandamericanadventures.com.
3. Kite-surfing in Spain
Kite-surfing is one of the most exciting – and demanding – ways of catching waves. Neilson’s 146-room hotel and beachclub has its own on-site kite-surf school at the newly opened Mar Menor resort.
Mar Menor Beachclub three-day kitesurfing course at about Dh830. July to October. Neilson (neilson.com).
4. Surf kayaking in Cornwall
The alternative to all that swimming out to catch a wave? Kayaking. Surf Kayak Coaching offers weekend tuition in paddling out, manoeuvring and taking off, at St Ives Bay on Cornwall’s north coast. Stay in a local beachside holiday park.
Surf Kayak Symposium from about Dh500 for three sessions. Chalet accommodation from about Dh140 per person per night, self-catering, based on three sharing. Two-day kayak hire about Dh185.Visit surfkayakcoaching.com.
5. Paddling in Zambia
The Zambezi river is a top choice for high-octane rafting trips. White water specialist Water by Nature offers an itinerary in paddle rafts, starting at the Victoria Falls and taking in spectacular scenery and wildlife.
From about Dh13,800 for eight nights including most meals. August to October. Visit waterbynature.com.
6. Bodyboarding in Wales
The more sheltered coves of the Ll’n Peninsula makes this stretch of coastline ideal for families wanting to introduce younger children to bodyboarding – the precursor to surfing.
Pant Rhiw Cottage from about Dh1,800 for seven nights self-catering for up to four people. Rental only. Visit nationaltrust.org.uk.
7. Wakeboarding in Greece
Wakeboarding, a variation on waterskiing where both feet are strapped on to a single board, is an exhilarating way of riding the waves behind the tow boat. Lessons are available at the newly opened 130-room resort of Paleros Beach offered by Mark Warner.
From about Dh320. May to October. Mark Warner (markwarner.co.uk).
8. Surfing in Portugal
Atlantic rollers that pound the long sandy beaches of Portugal’s 150km Alentejo coast, south of Lisbon, make it one of Europe’s most popular destinations for surfers. Activities Abroad has a summer programme for energetic families with children aged from eight years, staying in beachside hotels.
9. Canyoning in Slovenia
Canyoning involves dressing in a wetsuit and following the course of a fast-flowing river through a canyon or gorge. You’ll have to swim, wade, slide, jump and maybe abseil from one pool to the next.
10. White water in Scotland
The scheduled weekly dam releases from March to October on the river Garry near Fort William in the Scottish Highlands mean there’s no need to wait for rain to be guaranteed an exciting river descent in white water graded three and four. Active High offers short breaks with white water activities options to suit adults and children aged from five.
Active Highs (activehighs.co.uk).