Start your watersports adventure at the Southampton International Boat Show

Unlimited board sports action, the latest equipment, new trends and an exciting new watersports lake to test it all out on!

If you’re looking to get into watersports, then the Southampton International Boat Show is a great place to start.  The show provides you with a comprehensive introduction to the world of watersports, offering the chance to learn, try things out, and meet people involved in a whole host of different watersports.

Alongside sailing, yachting, and powerboating, you’ll find paddleboards, wakeboards and water skis, canoes and kayaks, foiling boards, windsurfs, diving and much more.

So, whether you’re already passionate about a particular watersport, curious about what’s available or you have a specific activity in mind, the boat show can provide you with a wealth of information and opportunities.

Here’s a glimpse of how a visit to the show can help you on your watersports journey:

Dedicated Watersports Zone – The Southampton International Boat Show is the biggest UK marine festival and one of Europe’s largest on-water events so to help make it easy for you to find exactly what you’re looking for at the show is split into a number of different zones. In the dedicated ‘Watersports Zone’ you’ll get your fix of unlimited watersports action. From stand-up paddleboards, surfboards, wakeboards, and water-skis to group activities on the water. With expert guidance on all areas, whether you are just dipping your toe in or a fanatic, there is something for everyone.

Your chance to give it a go – Often the best way to find out if you really enjoy something is to give it a go and at the boat show you can do just that. There are loads of opportunities for you to get in, on and under the water at the show.


Try your hand at single or double handed dinghy sailing, grab a friend and try out the double kayaks or have a go at stand-up paddleboarding with the whole family, with Get Afloat, in partnership with Rockley Watersports.  All the kit is provided and qualified instructors are on hand to ensure everyone is safe and offer loads of help to get you underway.

Fancy getting your hair wet, then check out the Andark Dive tank, where under the watchful eyes of Andark’s instructors, you can give it a go for free.  Plus, new for 2023 is the ‘Watersports Lake’. Located in the Watersports zone, near the show entrance, you can enjoy an exciting canoe ride, take a kayak for a spin, give paddle boarding a go or try out model boating on this specially designed watersport lake. You might even want to try your hand a paddleboard yoga!

Leading brands – You’ll find loads of the top watersports’ brands at the show, from Two Bare Feet and Lorima, to Paqualife and Scubajet, just to mention a few. But with over 600 exhibitors, whether you’re looking for the essentials to get started or the very latest tech and gadgets, with so many brands in a single location, it’s a great place to compare different products and find what’s right for you.  You can see, touch, and often test the newest watersports equipment on the market. This can give you an idea of what’s available, how different pieces of equipment work, and what you might need to get started.

Promotions and deals – The show is also a great place to find some great deals on essential kit. Exhibitors often have special boat show promotions, offering discounts on equipment and gear.  So have a shop around and you might snag yourself some bargains for your new hobby.

Expert Advice – With a whole host of watersport professionals, experts, and enthusiasts attending the show it makes for a fantastic opportunity for you to get advice and guidance about lots of different watersports, the skills required, tips on how to get started and what it’s like to participate in them. With all this knowledge at their fingertips they can also help recommend the best equipment to start with and where to get the appropriate training.

You’ll find experts on stands around the show, speaking on the Foredeck stage or you might bump into an Olympian or Paralympian, so get your questions ready.

Discover Clubs and Training Centres: Many local watersports clubs and training centres have stands at the show and offer a great source of information to help you make the most of your newfound hobby. They can offer information on membership, details of the courses they offer, and opportunities to get involved.

Inspiration: Finally, there’s no underestimating the value of simply being inspired. Seeing the variety of boats and watersports on display, watching professionals perform demonstrations, and talking to passionate enthusiasts can all help spark or increase your interest in watersports.

Safety First

If you are looking to start a new watersports hobby, it’s important to make sure you’re prepared and stay safe.  Here a just a few top tips to keep in mind as you embark on your new adventure:

  1. Identify your interest: Watersports encompass a broad range of activities, including kayaking, surfing, sailing, windsurfing, paddleboarding, jet skiing, and more. Each requires different skills, equipment, and physical capabilities. Research about different watersports and choose one that suits your interest and physical ability.
  2. Take lessons: Once you’ve decided on a watersport, look for local classes or clubs that offer lessons. It’s crucial to learn from professionals when you’re getting started. They can teach you the proper techniques, safety protocols, and tips for success.
  3. Invest in the right gear: Depending on the watersport, you may need to invest in specific equipment. This can range from a simple swimsuit and goggles to a full set of diving gear or a surfboard. Rental options are also available if you aren’t ready to commit to buying equipment.
  4. Prioritise safety: Safety should be your top priority. Always wear appropriate safety gear, such as life jackets or helmets. Understand and respect the rules of the waterways, be aware of weather conditions, and never go out alone when you’re just starting.
  5. Get practicing: As with any sport, the key to improving in watersports is consistent practice. Regular sessions will help you enhance your skills, increase your confidence, and enjoy the sport more.
  6. Get physically prepared: Watersports often require good physical fitness. Regular exercise, including cardio and strength training, can help prepare your body. Swimming is also a great workout to improve your endurance and confidence in the water.
  7. Join a community: Connect with a local club or group of enthusiasts. Not only can they provide support and tips as you’re learning, but watersports are also much more fun when you’re with others.

Remember, the most important thing is to enjoy the journey. Start slowly, respect the water, and have fun!