New water sports. Could the ecosystem suffer?

sporty wodne

They relax the mind and body, reducing muscle tension and benefiting the skeletal system. Water sports certainly bring many benefits to the body. Water biking, frog swimming or paddle boarding is no longer all that gets water activity lovers in the mood. New and new water sports are finding a slew of enthusiasts, but are they sure they don’t negatively affect the aquatic ecosystem?

Diving – classic relaxation by the river is no longer enough

One of the new trends, so far rarely featured on news portals, is diversion. What is a puzzling-sounding activity? It involves traversing a mountain river upstream. While other water sports usually include the use of equipment, diving uses only the power of the human body. The several-kilometer walk provides a lot of excitement and is certainly tiring. Participants even call it “an extreme experience surrounded by nature.” It is relaxation, meditation, direct fraternization with nature.

Taking part in such a walk, you can experience the water ecosystem from the inside with your own eyes. Experience deeper and shallower places, balance the body properly to maintain balance. It’s certainly also a lesson in humility, and at the same time… geography. Natural phenomena admired in person are more effectively remembered. Enthusiasts of the new trend are not in short supply. Some say it’s a different idea for sightseeing, but there’s more to it than that. The walk also includes cleaning up cans, bottles and other trash found along the way in the riverbed.

Diving, while it sounds tempting and wild, is actually disrupting the natural ecosystem and interfering with the current of the river. Moving rocks, trampling plants, frightening animals, destroying natural habitats and fish spawning grounds – all of these violate nature’s natural cycle and disrupt its functioning. Interpretations about garbage collection during hikes are not sufficient. Promoting such activity on a wider scale can significantly reduce the quality of life for the animals and plants that live there.

Wakeboarding – not as simple a wake as they paint it

The list of new water sports also includes the puzzling-sounding wakeboarding. Often in the vernacular it occurs as the phrase “to swim on a wake.” What does it really mean?

Wakeboarding is nothing more than swimming on a board attached by a rope to a motorboat or ski lift. Looking from the shore, one might get the impression that this is another activity for children. Wakeboarding, however, is a demanding sport that relies on good fitness, motor coordination and ideal body balance. A board is of course necessary for wake swimming, but also a helmet and a protective vest. An additional attraction for those who practice this sport can be the lifts themselves. Some simple, also designed for beginner wakes. Others, especially tempting to advanced users, elaborate, with numerous obstacles, allowing acrobatics.

The negative side of wakeboarding is the motorboat emissions, the huge increase in wave action and the disruption of the quietness of bodies of water. Exhaust fumes pollute the air and, with deposition, also water. Wave action destroys aquatic and rush vegetation, littoral habitats, and fish spawning grounds. The noise frightens animals, mainly fish and birds. There is a reason why quiet zones have been introduced on some of the Masurian lakes. Unique flora or breeding periods for certain animal species are solid arguments for bucking the trend.

Wing foil – water sports for thrill seekers

A new sporting activity practiced on the water is also wing foil. It is derived from a combination of windsurfing, hydroplane and kitesurfing. Wing foil is a piece of equipment that is a hybrid of a kitesurfing kite with a windsurfing board and a SUP board. Those who have already tried the new activity say that it only takes a couple of hours for advanced water sports enthusiasts to begin their water adventure with a “wing”. Maneuvering a wing is not much different from playing with a windsurfing sail.

So how is the new activity different from those known before? Wing foil allows you to sail on various bodies of water, both in lakes and oceans. Even a slight breeze is enough to set the board in motion, providing an alternative to kitesurfing and windsurfing that require specified weather conditions. And in case the wind completely stops, you can swim to shore on a buoyant board alone.

Water sports – does it benefit the human body, and the aquatic ecosystem?

While physical activity is essential for humans to function efficiently, and water sports are tempting, especially in summer, it is also worth considering how communing with nature in this way affects the aquatic ecosystem. Admittedly, wing foil does not seem harmful – board, wind, enjoying nature and not interfering with its resources, but already diving and wakeboarding can bring a lot of harm. Let’s sometimes consider whether, out of respect for the water world, it is better to stay with kayaks and classic frog swimming after all.

We also recommend the article: Wild swimming. Transformations

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