Between Singapore‘s equatorial climate and the fact that it is an island nation, water sports are surprisingly less popular here than in places with a similar climate and geography. That being said, water sports are a great way to stay in shape, because they combine being outside with rigorous fitness activities. Whether you’re looking for something daring like freediving or something a little more relaxing, here’s our rundown of water sports that you can do around the Little Red Dot.
Ski 360°, located right next to East Coast Park, is Singapore’s only cable-ski park. A cable-ski park replicates wakeboarding but requires less space since the rider is pulled by a cable rather than a boat. Get started on the training facility that pulls the rider in a straight line so they can practice their balance and get used to the feel of being pulled along the water. The lagoon is large with up to eight riders on the water at any one time, making it a great spectator sport where you’ll see wakeboarding experts doing tricks on the obstacles staged around the lagoon.
If cable-skiing doesn’t do it for you, don’t worry, Singapore has real wakeboarding facilities as well. Head up to Ryders@Ponggol, Singapore’s oldest wakeboarding shop, in operation since 1986 and previously known as Ponggol Sea Sports and Accessories. After merging with Ryders, they have become the largest wakeboarding operator on the island. For every run, instructors will help you with your wakeboarding form and techniques, so that you can safely enjoy getting big air jumps as part of the experience. The Ryders@Ponggol welcome any skill level, so no excuses for the newbies out there!
One of many recent fitness crazes, SUP stands for Stand Up Paddle. It is essentially a more relaxed version of surfing, instead of seeking out giant waves, paddlers use a longer board and a single paddle in order to propel themselves across flat, calm water. Stand Up Paddling has become popular as a method of fitness, because it requires the use of your core muscles to stay upright on the board and exercises your arms through paddling. Because you can do it on flat water, the sport is much more accessible than surfing, which requires a particular type of wave for each skill level. At the SUP School, you can rent the boards on their own or sign up for a class that is inclusive of equipment rental. Classes are available on a rolling basis and for all skill levels.
If you’re feeling very adventurous about your water sports, Singapore Freedivers has been teaching people how to free dive since 2012. Freediving is a more pure form of ocean exploration than scuba diving, because the diver is not separated from the experience by a mask, and it removes distractions such as a breathing apparatus and oxygen tank. Obviously, in order to do this safely requires training in not just swimming techniques, but breathing techniques and the mechanics of holding one’s breath. The Singapore Freedivers offer beginner courses in Pure Apnea, which teach these breathing techniques in the safety of a swimming pool. This course must be completed, including a two-minute static breath hold and other physical tests, before participants can begin the beginner freediving courses.
If you’re looking to spend a relaxing afternoon on the water, there are many places in Singapore that you can rent canoes, kayaks – even paddleboats! – for very reasonable hourly rates. One of our favourites is MacRitchie Park, which is central enough to be easy to get to, yet because it is part of the reservoir, it feels like you’re outside the city. Alternatively, a beautiful place for canoeing is at the Sports Hub at Kallang Wave, where you’ll be able to enjoy Singapore’s spectacular skyline from a completely new vantage point.