WANDERLUSTBahrain's thrilling watersports

Strong maritime traditions, diverse marine life and great surf make Bahrain a great destination for aquatic fun

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Bahrain has always had a close affinity with the sea. Prior to the discovery of oil here, this island nation’s main industry was pearl fishing and its historic maritime traditions have paved the way for a booming modern watersports industry with yacht clubs, dive schools and powerboat racing.

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Windsurfing and kitesurfing

Windsurfing and kitesurfing are two activities guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping. Both disciplines offer a powerful blend of speed and aerial acrobatics and are great ways to keep fit and be at one with the sea. The best place for experienced windsurfers to practise is on the beaches of the Amwaj Islands, or if you’re a beginner then lessons are available at the Bahrain Yacht Club or Art Marine Marina. Budding kitesurfers can head to Skate Shack for one-on-one lessons that can last up to eight hours, which should be plenty of time to learn to wrestle the kite and skim across the water.

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Wakeboarding was developed from a combination of waterskiing, snowboarding and surfing. This adrenaline-fuelled sport involves being pulled along at high-speed behind power boats, carving over the wake, and jumping into the air. Thankfully, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Companies like Bahrain Wake are great for wakeboard inductions.

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Jetskiing and powerboating

Jetskiing is Bahrain’s favourite water sport – a chance to speed around the waters of Amwaj Islands. Aspiring jet-skiers flock to the Floating City in Amwaj, where they can race through the man-made islands and lagoons. You can also get your engine roaring in a powerboat, bounding over the waves with your nose angled skyward. Lessons are available for novices from Bahrain Yacht Club.

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Jetpacking and flyboarding

Bahrain’s coastal waters are a playground for cutting-edge watersports, including the Jetovator, a flying water bike capable of launching its rider 40ft above the sea. The X-jetpack is another fun option that lets its wearer soar high above the water; while the Flyboard will have you bouncing, soaring and diving through the waves like a jet-propelled dolphin. You can book your Jetovator, X-jetpack or Flyboard at Jumeirah Royal Saray through Extreme Sportz Middle East.

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Fun for the whole family can be found on the sailing courses at Art Marine Marina. Qualified instructors will guide you out to the shallow waters of the Gulf, among fleets of Cruisers, Hobie Cats, and Laser Picos. It’s a beautiful place to set sail and also a chance to share the coastal waters with the resident wildlife. Sailors often talk of encounters with turtles or even herds of dugongs, a close relative of the manatee. Bahrain Sailing Club, close to Al Jasseyah Beach, is one of Bahrain’s premier watersports clubs, and runs courses of its own. It also boasts its own promenade, harbour and beach.

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Pearl diving and scuba diving

Bahrain’s marine life, reefs and oyster beds make for an incredible diving experience. The turquoise waters offer a number of wreck dives, while the rich marine life includes clown fish, trigger fish, surgeonfish, turtles, rays, lionfish, grouper, snapper, crayfish, dugongs and whale sharks. Its warm, shallow waters are also home to over 400sqm of oyster beds, perfect for anyone who wants to try their hand at pearl diving.

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