Water Sports

Aquapac 35L Lightweight Waterproof Backpack – Wet & Dry

Aquapac 35L Lightweight Waterproof Backpack – Wet & Dry This lightweight roll-top rucksack is totally waterproof and will happily accommodate your wetsuit, quick-dry towel and a change of gear. The main compartment features an entirely self-contained (and detachable, if needed) internal second dry bag, so you can keep your wet swimming gear separate from anything dry. £79.99, aquapac.net

Zone3 Swim Safety Buoy & Dry Bag 28L

Zone3 Swim Safety Buoy & Dry Bag 28L Strap this multipurpose inflatable dry bag around your waist and tow it behind you as you swim. Being both a bag and inflatable buoy (the design incorporates two integrated blow-up air chambers), it’s not only a great safety aid but stores your gear and valuables to keep them dry. It has really good visibility in open water, while also being low drag, and doubles as a flotation device that will support your weight should you need a break. £32.50, zone3.com

Musto LPX Gore-Tex jacket, £350

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

XCEL 3/2 Infiniti LTD Wetsuit, £320
XCEL 3/2 Infiniti LTD Wetsuit, £320

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

NSP 6’8 Elements Funboard Tail Dip Blue, £400
NSP 6’8” Elements Funboard Tail Dip Blue, £400

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

GoPro Hero8 Black camera, £329.99
GoPro Hero8 Black camera, £329.99

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

Pyzel hand-shapes boards for athletes such as two-time world champion “John John” Florence but also caters for beginners and intermediates. Deciding on the exact specification of your board is easy via its online board-builder – input the desired dimensions, fin configuration and custom artwork – or you can discuss your options over the phone. Expect to be asked about the types of waves you’ll be surfing, your level of experience, style of surfing and physical parameters – six weeks later, you’ll be riding the waves. From £589.99, oceanmagic.co.uk

Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition smartwatch, £349
Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Edition smartwatch, £349

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

Kokatat Hustle life vest, $139
Kokatat Hustle life vest, $139

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

dhb Hydron Neoprene Swim Cap 2.0

dhb Hydron Neoprene Swim Cap 2.0 If front crawl is your preferred stroke, wearing a cap will help avoid ice-cream headaches and ensure your swim lasts more than a couple of minutes. It’s a simple piece of kit – this one is made from 3mm of neoprene and sits snugly around your head to keep cold water out. £20, wiggle.co.uk

Fliteboard, €13,600
Fliteboard, €13,600 

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

Snugg Wetsuits | Surf Wetsuits

Snugg wetsuit These wetsuits are made by hand in a Cornish workshop for superior comfort, fit and warmth. The process begins by sending in 21 measurements of your body (23 for women), from which founder Malcolm Ball and his team will cut, double-glue, blindstitch and heat-seal tape the seams of the Japanese Yamamoto-neoprene suit. Each one is built according to their intended use – whether surfing, swimming or windsurfing – and, of course, you can choose your own colours. It’s hard to believe but the price is similar to (or even cheaper than) comparable off-the-peg suits. From £203, snuggwetsuits.co.uk

TheMagic 5: custom-seal goggles that do not leak or leave suction marks

TheMagic5 swimming goggles The brand’s fanbase ranges from amateur swimmers to Olympians, but the common denominator is the need for comfortable goggles that won’t leak or leave suction marks. The custom part of the goggles is the gasket (the piece that creates a seal around the eyes); the rest (the glass, strap and temples) is mass-produced. Once you’ve made your purchase, download the app onto your phone and take a 3D selfie scan of your face. A few days later you’ll receive your goggles. From £49, themagic5.com

Carl Douglas Racing Shell, £11,400

Carl Douglas Racing Shell This specialist has been crafting wood-composite sculls since 1973 and is a leader in its field. Its boats are appealing to the eye but performance and durability are also key – each one has a four-layer laminate construction, which includes Kevlar (a robust heat-resistant fabric) and is very strong and stiff. Choose an exterior finish (including santos rosewood, mahogany or cedar), as well as bespoke lettering or motifs. The attention to detail is impressive – even the wooden seat is custom-crafted to the shape of your bum. From £11,400, carldouglasrowing.com 

Starboard x Airush FreeWing Air, £785
Starboard x Airush FreeWing Air, £785

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

Gumotex Thaya inflatable kayak, £1,129

Gumotex Thaya inflatable kayak Gumotex has been hand-making kayaks from its Czech Republic factory for more than 60 years, and this is one of its most family-friendly models. At just over 4m long, and with a carrying capacity of 230kg, it has seating positions for two adults and a child or dog, with spare room for your gear. It’s made from a lighter version of the material used in rigid inflatable boats, it’s durable so you don’t need to worry about running aground – and it’s stiff if you wish to cover serious distances. £1,129, inflatable-kayaks.co.uk

ORU Kayak Inlet foldable kayak, $768

ORU Kayak Inlet foldable kayak ORU Kayak’s fleet of five foldable kayaks range from tandems to expedition-level models. Its newest Inlet kayak takes transportability to the next level: it weighs just 9kg and, although 10ft long when assembled, folds neatly into a purpose-made bag in just a few minutes. Better still, it’s incredibly puncture- and abrasion-resistant: made from durable double-walled polypropylene, it’s able to withstand 20,000 unfoldings and stowings. $768, orukayak.com

Red Original Waterproof SUP Deck Bag - 22L, £114.95
Red Original Waterproof SUP Deck Bag – 22L, £114.95

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

Peli R20 Personal Utility Ruck Case, from £49.45
Peli R20 Personal Utility Ruck Case, from £49.45

Peli R20 Personal Utility Ruck Case The water-, dust- and crush-resistant Ruck Case is the ultimate for storing smaller valuables. It’s about the size of a large pencil case (there are two other slightly larger options), so easily stashes into a backpack and has enough space, for example, to carry important papers, passports, SD cards and two smartphones. The case opens via an easy-to-use latch and internally it has some great compartments for organisation. From £49.45

ROKA R1 Goggles

ROKA R1 Goggles Finding the perfect leak-proof goggles might involve a certain amount of trial and error – there is, of course, no one size fits all. Roka, a brand well-known among triathletes, has seemingly left no stone unturned in the development of its top-of-the-range R1 goggles, and the spec sheet is extensive: they’re anti-fog, anti-scratch, offer full protection from harmful UVA, UVB and UVC rays, and provide great visibility. We found there was no leaking when we put them to the test and they’re also comfortable to wear – so they may just do the job for you too. £35, uk.roka.com

TekraSport TekraPod

TekraSport TekraPod Safety comes first when swimming in open water. This minimal and streamlined device easily straps onto your back, freeing up the arms for unhindered swimming. Should you find yourself in any trouble, simply pull the toggle and a CO2 canister will instantly inflate the emergency buoy. Attach the TekraLite LED strobe light if you’re swimming in low light for added visibility. €135, tekrasport.com

Dryrobe Advance Short Sleeve robe, £120
Dryrobe Advance Short Sleeve robe, £120

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

Garmin Forerunner 945 Watch

Garmin Forerunner 945 Watch The Forerunner series is Garmin’s flagship multisports watch – updated almost every year since its inception some 18 years ago – and the 945 is its most recent release. Thanks to its accurate GPS, it will track the distance and route of open-water swims (and count lengths in an indoor pool), while automatically detecting stroke type. It also provides a host of other swimming-specific data, such as stroke rate and SWOLF (swimming efficiency). It has an integrated heart-rate monitor, which works while swimming, has a great battery of around 36 hours in full GPS mode, but is also lightweight at 49g. £489.99, buy.garmin.com

Red Paddle Co Ride MSL 10ft 6in stand-up paddleboard, £899

Red Paddle Co Ride MSL inflatable paddleboard This inflatable 10ft 6in stand-up paddleboard fits neatly into an all-terrain backpack – along with the pump, collapsible paddle and leash that are all included – opening up a world of water-borne adventures. Newly updated for 2021, this model is likened to a Swiss Army knife and is a great all-rounder for families: there’s a stable, grippy deck pad, dual integrated fins, cargo bungees to stash extra gear, and it’s backed up by a five-year warranty. £899, redpaddleco.com

Dafin Swim Fins, €71
Dafin Swim Fins, €71

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

Crocs Classic All-Terrain Clogs

Crocs Classic All-Terrain Clogs These adventure clogs have a chunky and grippy tread to get you safely to and from the water’s edge. They have a roomy fit and adjustable heel strap, so can accommodate booties and, of course, are easy to clean and quick to dry when you get home. £39.99, crocs.co.uk

Camelbak MultiBev SST Vacuum Stainless 500ml Bottle with 350ml Cup

Camelbak MultiBev SST Vacuum Stainless 500ml Bottle with 350ml Cup This bottle is a double-wall vacuum insulated flask and insulated coffee cup rolled into one. The main flask will keep drinks hot for 14 hours and the cup for three hours – so it’s perfect for that post-swim cuppa. £49.99, camelbak.co.uk