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The USA, with its gorgeous and extensive coastline, vast lakes and lengthy rivers is the ideal place for partaking in or watching water sports. There is a hundreds of major competitions to take in every year, as well as thousands of great places and activities to get involved with yourself, all year round.
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Water sports come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and can be done by young and old, thrill-seeker or couch potato. In the USA, Hawaii is a pretty good place to start for all things water sport-related. Whether you want to soak up professional surfing competitions (like the Vans Triple Crown, which features the top men and women in the world battling it out over six week in November and December) or get on a board yourself (there are plenty of surf schools for the uninitiated), the Hawaiian Islands are perfect. Trust us when we say that just watching the world’s best surfers in action is enough to get the adrenaline rushing. Hawaii is also amazing for a spot of kayaking , windsurfing, swimming and the rest.
Other amazing surf spots in the USA include Virginia Breach Oceanfront in Virginia, including South End Beach and Croatan Beach. In August, the East Coast Surfing Championships roll round to Virginia Beach, as riders compete in surfing, bodyboarding and longboarding. California’s many glorious sandy beaches are also a haven for beach bums from around the world and the world’s largest surf competition, the US Open, is held at Huntington Beach (or “Surf City USA”) in high summer.
If you're looking for something more sedate, why not try Paddle-boarding? In June, more than 2,200 paddlers participate in the annual Ohio River Paddlefest in Cincinnati and the Waikiki Paddle Festival is held at Duke Kahana-Moku in Honolulu, Hawaii in May.
If water-skiing and wake boarding are your bag, then head to Callaway Gardens in the Appalachian Foothills at Pine Mountain, Georgia in May to watch the world’s finest compete in the world-renowned Masters Waterski and Wakeboard tournament. Likewise, world class sailing is on offer at the Potomac Challenge Cup Regatta on the Potomac River in Washington DC. It pits the best crew from the George Washington Invitational Regatta against international competitors in April.
If you're looking to up the ante a little, whether with an engine or not, the USA has the answer. In June, the Oklahoma City Nationals Drag Boat racing is pure adrenaline and speed, while Nevada’s Truckee River Whitewater Park plays host to 32,000 spectators at the same time of year for the Reno River Festival of rafting, kayaking and tubing. Other great kayaking events include the South Dakota Kayak Challenge in May and the Two Harbors Kayak Festival in lake County, Minnesota.