We all still love having fun boat days, but safety is key this summer.

We love summer. When you think about it, what’s possibly better than a day out on the water? From jet skis and fishing to sandbar meetups and water frisbee, summer days on the boat are really just the best of the best. However, the coronavirus pandemic has made things a little different this year. We’re still all about fun days out on the boat and in the water, but safety and health seem even more important this summer. 

You may be wondering: is it still safe to partake in your favorite watersports, like tubing, skiing, surfing, boarding, etc? What does water safety look like during COVID?

We have broken down how to stay safe and healthy in practical ways in our last blog from disinfecting to practicing social distancing. We know that you’re still itching for summer fun even in the midst of COVID-19, so here’s our guide to staying safe and healthy this summer while you’re enjoying your favorite water activities. 

General health and safety protocols

While COVID-19 wasn’t a topic of conversation (or news) last summer, health and safety on the boat have always been important. If you’re taking out a motorized watercraft of any kind this summer, make sure that you’re licensed and certified in the province or state you’re in. BOATsmart! is the best place for certifications and tests that won’t bore you to tears, and we love making sure that you’re prepared for anything the water might bring you. 

On the other hand, it’s important to implement some new health and safety protocols when it comes to coronavirus. Keep social distancing at the top of mind this summer on the boat, whether you’re at the marina or at the sandbar. Disinfect your boat regularly, wear masks where social distancing is difficult and don’t go out on the water if you feel even a little bit sick. Normal life is still within reach this summer, but only if you reach for it carefully.

Watersports & COVID-19

Watersports are always a delightfully fun part of boat days during the summer, from tubing and skiing to boarding and surfing. If watersports are a huge part of your boat days, you may still be able to enjoy them this year! However, do so with caution. 

First, it is vital to make sure that only close family and friends are on your boat and watercrafts. These need to be people that you’re in regular close contact with. Otherwise, you risk spreading the coronavirus regardless of whether or not you already have symptoms.

There are new things to consider about your enjoyment of some of your favorite watersports:

  • Tubing: We love the adrenaline of tubing, regardless of the bruises it sometimes leaves behind! (Can you relate?) The splash of the water, the butterflies that you get when you hit a wave… it’s the best! But, here are some tips:
    • Keep tubing to a single rider only this year, instead of allowing multi-rider tubes
    • Sanitize the tubes between use
  • Waterskiing: It’s simply not summer without the water spray left behind by a water ski in our book, and we’re sure you agree. As you set out on the water skis this year, keep this in mind:
    • Keep just one person to each water ski
    • Sanitize the water ski before someone new hops on
  • Wakeboarding/knee boarding: Just like waterskiing, we love the feeling of water on our faces left behind from a good wake. As you wakeboard this year:
    • Minimize close contact by just pulling one water ski at a time, and ensuring there is a spotter
    • Sanitize boards between use
  • Water trampoline: Bouncing on the water trampoline is a fun part of summers on the lake, but this year might not be the best year to slide around with others. If you’re going to use the water trampoline:
    • Only allow people from the same household to jump at one time
    • Sanitize the trampoline between uses
  • Wake surfing: Catching the wake under your feet is such a powerful feeling, and it’s an incredibly fun way to spend your days on the water. This summer, during COVID, you should:
    • Remember to have a spotter, but keep surfing to one person at a time
    • Sanitize the surfboard before someone new uses it

Consider limiting watersport activities to just one person at a time — double tubing can wait until next summer — and be sure that personal watercrafts are disinfected between use. 

You also don’t want to spend so much time focusing on COVID-19 protocols that you forget normal safety protocols as well. Stay safe with common sense on the water, and don’t forget about spotting, life jackets and responsible speeds.