From the Black to the Blue

The speed of a dragster is addictive. Some are born to it and it makes them shine. That sudden rush of adrenalin is like no other experience—except maybe speeding on the water. Perhaps you can’t top auto racing speeds, but you can get darn close. The daredevil in you will find its match in watersports like skiing, kneeboarding, and speed boat racing for sure.

The attraction of speed is irresistible. It is about dynamics of motion, surpassing the norm, and testing one’s limits. As a dimension of sports in its various incarnations, it is about beating the odds and burning your rival. Setting records is part of the fun as is just being there at a given time and place where fans gather to witness human moxie and mettle. It is not just for men, mind you. On land or sea women thrive.

So I am all for going from the black to the blue so to speak. Racing against yourself is one kind of challenge if no overt competition exists. I suggest trying out a variety of watersports to find the perfect one that hits the nail right on the head. Most skim the water in some fashion and allow you some degree of skill and control. They all enjoy the atmosphere of sun, sand, and sensuality.

Family fun is part of the package if you tone it down some. Never encourage a kid to exceed his or her athletic abilities, but do urge them to push beyond initial fear. You can tell if your offspring are too daring for their own good. Water safety and sport rules must be maintained. Once that is engrained, the sky is almost the limit—within reason.

Each water sport has its supporters and detractors depending upon the nature and expense of the gear required. Swimming and diving are at the top of the simplicity scale. Pools can be a claustrophobic environment for those used to the beach, but there is water polo and water aerobics to add to the mix.

Out on the waves (and certainly in the river), there is waterskiing, windsurfing, kayaking, jet skiing, bodyboarding, riding inflatable tubes, rowing, rafting, surfing, sailing and the list goes on….It seems we can’t get enough perpetual motion. For those landlubbers at heart, you can sit in a yacht and watch the world go by.

Under the water is a visual realm without parallel for scuba, deep sea, and free divers. These sports are not associated with speed but should be mentioned as parallel activities to be enjoyed recreationally. If speed is your passion, however, stick with the above. Each is exciting and compelling in its own way. You can conquer the elements in a canoe, kayak, or on a waterboard once you know the ropes. If you are truly into racing others, go where the venues are and learn how to participate for fun.

In sum, the mighty blue may indeed have it over black. Measure each offering in terms of the thrill of the adventure and the rewards gleaned. They all have merits in terms of physical and mental exertion. You may still come back to drag racing, but you will have tried something new and daring in the process.