Essential kit for a water sports weekend

From smart swim goggles to triathlon-ready wetsuits – indulge your inner adventurer and splash out on these accessories

Adventure and fitness have become integral to our leisure time, and an increasing number of enthusiasts are taking to water sports as a way to get the heart pumping while taking in the great outdoors. Whether it’s high-adrenaline kitesurfing, an exploratory paddleboard around an estuary, or swimming in a natural pool, here’s our selection of the best kit:

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Red Paddle Co 13.2 Voyager+ Touring paddleboard

Stand-up paddleboarding opens up a world of water-borne adventures. This inflatable 13.2 Voyager+ fits neatly into a backpack, while offering great performance and durability. It’s a high-speed tourer capable of covering long distances, but also nicely stable with loads of volume, making it equally great for messing around on the water. Practical features include a grippy deckpad and cargo tie-down areas at both the front and back of the board (so a cool bag with drinks is no problem). The all-inclusive package comes with pump, paddle, fins, leashes and bag. From £1,059, redpaddleco.com

Form Smart Swim Goggles

These groundbreaking goggles are the first to integrate an augmented-reality display showing real-time data such as splits, distance and stroke rate, which is displayed on the inside of the right-hand lens (or you can choose to have it on the left-hand). They couldn’t be easier and more intuitive to use, as you can sync your swim with the app on your smartphone to review and analyse the data when you are back on dry land. Plus, the basics are not forgotten – they’re very comfortable and are watertight. £158, formswim.com

ORU Kayak Inlet kayak

ORU Kayak’s fleet of five phenomenal foldable kayaks range from tandems to expedition-level models. Its new Inlet kayak takes transportability to the next level: it weighs just 9kg and, although 10ft long, folds neatly into a purpose-made bag in just three to five minutes . Fear not, it’s made from durable double-walled polypropylene and is incredibly puncture- and abrasion-resistant, able to withstand 20,000 fold cycles. $899, orukayak.com

Roka Maverick X2 men’s wetsuit

This wetsuit is made from Yamamoto neoprene (a five-layer structure of rubber), which is supremely comfortable and features cutting-edge wetsuit tech, from a hydrophobic nano coating that reduces surface drag to a special taping for power efficiency. End result: you’ll swim faster. It has excellent flexibility, is exceptionally lightweight, has the perfect amount of buoyancy in the right places and is super-quick to take on and off (hence, it’s ideal for triathlons). £975, roka.com

Fliteboard

Reaching speeds of up to 45kph, this electric-powered hydrofoil offers a ride like no other as you glide silently inches above the surface of the ocean. Courtesy of its nifty tech, a single charge will give you as much as an hour and a half (or 30km) of gliding, all controlled via a hand-held remote. €13,600, gb.fliteboard.com

Kokatat Hustle life vest

The unisex vest is ideal for stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking (note the buoyancy area, which leaves the arms and shoulders unrestricted), as well as general use aboard a boat. The shape of the vest mirrors the line of the torso for comfort and it is highly adjustable at the shoulders and on the sides. Plus it has a nice zippered pocket on the front for storing small essentials. $139, kokatat.com

Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition smartwatch

Garmin’s latest flagship GPS smartwatches incorporate solar charging in the display for exceptional battery life. This rugged, 100m water-resistant Surf Edition also provides tide data (so you can monitor ocean conditions) and tracks every wave you surf, as well as your speed and distance, in its “surf activity” profile. £349, buy.garmin.com

Starboard x Airush FreeWing Air

The level of innovation in the foiling and kiting arena is unrelenting, as this piece of kit demonstrates. Its two-part design combines a kitesurf foiling board (which allows you to glide smoothly at high speeds) with an inflatable handheld wing (pictured). The result is a new discipline of wind-water sport, which is quite remarkable – it almost feels like flying. £785, freewing.star-board.com/freewing-air

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GoPro Hero8 Black camera

Hands down, GoPro has the best action cameras, but raises the bar with its Hero8 model. Rugged and waterproof to 10m, the camera has improved image stabilisation (meaning your footage will be exceptionally smooth), touchscreen, hands-free voice commands, a built-in mount so no external case is necessary, and you can shoot in ultra-HD 4k, or capture stills in 12MP. £329.99, gopro.com

NSP 6’8” Elements Funboard Tail Dip Blue

This is a great all-rounder, suited to the entire family and for surfers of any ability (including beginners). It’s a very durable board with good volume at the nose, which makes it easier to catch those waves. £400, uk.nspsurfboards.com

XCEL 3/2 Infiniti LTD Wetsuit

Whether surfing, paddleboarding, snorkelling, or just having fun in the sea, this is a summer all-rounder. It has plenty of innovative details too, including a reflective metal-based lining for warmth and channels on the outer surface that allow for extra comfort and unrestricted stretching. £320, uk.xcelwetsuits.eu

Musto LPX Gore-Tex jacket

This lightweight yet highly waterproof shell jacket is suited for use aboard any watercraft, yet is casual enough for fishing or bracing walks along shoreside. It’s made from hardwearing three-layer Gore-Tex, features a fully waterproof zip and a detachable hood, while the smooth knit lining around the neck feels great. £350, musto.com

Dryrobe Advance Short Sleeve robe

This dryrobe is a must-have for anyone who changes in and out of wet gear on the fly. It is totally water and windproof, plus has a warm and cosy fleece-like liner, so it doubles up perfectly to throw on and use as a jacket when hanging about in foul weather. £120, dryrobe.com

Red Original Waterproof SUP Deck Bag – 22L

This is a go-anywhere, do-anything dry bag made from hard wearing and waterproof fabric. It is designed with fixings so it can be secured on the deck of a stand-up paddleboard, but can just as easily be slung over the shoulder or thrown in a dinghy – in other words, it’s totally at home in any marine environment. Pack drinks, lunch and a change of clothes. £114.95, redpaddleco.com

Dafin Swim Fins

Originally designed as a high-performance swim fin – which have become standard issue for many lifeguard agencies in the US – Dafin’s compact, durable and comfortable fins work brilliantly for bodyboarding, body surfing and snorkelling. €71, shop.dafin-europe.com

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