Get Afloat, run by Rockley Watersports, at Southampton Boat Show 2018

How can you get out on the water with little to no experience? Many people have been taking up watersports as a hobby whether it be to prepare for a holiday or to enjoy in their leisure time within the UK. In fact, watersports participation in the UK is at an all-time high with 5.53 million people hitting the water in 2017 according to the annual The Watersports Participation Survey. What can you participate in at Southampton Boat Show:

Dinghy Sailing:

Dinghies are usually small boats which you can sail on your own (single-handed), in a pair (double-handed), or with a group of friends depending on whether you enjoy the social aspect of sailing, or you prefer the challenge of being in total control.

Dinghies are categorised into different ‘classes’ or types of boat depending on their size, design and the number of crew they can hold. Choosing a type of sailing ‘class’ depends partly on what type of sailing appeals to you and partly on what’s available within an acceptable travelling distance of home.


Stand-up Paddleboarding:

Developed when surfers in Hawaii began to use paddles to propel their surf boards, Stand Up Paddle Boarding is a relatively new sport.

Now rapidly growing in popularity across the UK, (190,000 new participants in 2017) Stand Up Paddleboarding is easy to learn and enjoy – there isn’t a huge amount of equipment needed, you just need a board and a paddle and you’re ready to go. (source:



Although Kayaking is relatively easy to learn we advise some basic knowledge needs to be acquired before setting off on your kayak alone. There are three main types of kayaking you can take part in: flatwater kayaking, sea kayaking and whitewater kayaking.

Designed as hunting boats, the early kayaks were handmade by individual hunters using seal skins stretched over wood, the 1950s saw the introduction of fibre glass boats and today most kayaks are made from tough wearing polyethylene plastic.


At the Get Afloat attraction the Rockley Watersports team are on hand to offer visitors guidance on the basics to various watersports activities and give the opportunity to try dinghy sailing, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking on the water.

It is the perfect activity to enjoy with your children, open to adults and children, an ideal first step in the paddle sport. Rockley Watersports will provide all equipment including wetsuit (unless visitors wish to bring their own wetsuit), buoyancy aid and instructions. Just bring a towel and lots of enthusiasm!

Get Afloat activities are FREE for Southampton Boat Show visitors and as it is a hugely popular attraction we suggest getting yourself booked in for a 90min slot sooner than later at the Rockley stand.