Water Sports


The company’s financial woes have little to do with the sport, and everything to do with changing fashion tastes and questionable business decisions

SUP: Short for stand-up paddle-board, a stable floating platform that combines the cool of surfing with the practicality of a spin workout.

Pack Raft: A small inflatable raft that can be rolled up to fit in a backpack.

Surfboard Fin: A structural element, usually made of wood or fiberglass, attached to the bottom of a surfboard to aid maneuverability.

Fly rod: A skinny stick, usually 6 to 13 feet long, used in conjunction with a reel, a line, and hand-tied simulations of in-sects to catch fish.

Wetsuit: An insulating garment that allows individuals to spend more time in cold water.

A sturdy, purpose-made fishing boot that has become the gold standard of footwear in the 49th state.

Surfer Jamie O’Brien and his team made the fiery stunt look easy. But turns out, it took months of planning and some very specific gear to get right.

Getting into paddling is a good call. Blowing your money on unnecessary gear is not. Here’s exactly what you need.

Surfski (noun): The fastest, tippiest kayak. If you’re just getting into the sport, this is the boat for you.

Hits the sweet spot between waterproof and protective—just don’t bring it on long expeditions

Take a deep dive with your action cam

With skate-influenced design, the company's apparel is being worn to the river and beyond

First there was an algae-based surfboard. Now we have El Portobello—a sustainable board you can grow yourself.

Oahu’s Juan Oliphant and Ocean Ramsey dive with sharks almost every day. Yes, it’s their job. And, yes, they have all their limbs. Dedicated researchers, Ramsey and Oliphant operate One Ocean Diving on the island’s North Shore. Through their business, they offer visitors a chance to swim—cage free—with large pelagic animals. This occupation requires a special skill set and a few indispensable pieces of gear.

A travel-friendly board that’s (gasp!) not an inflatable

Ditch your five-weight for a more graceful (and portable) setup

Paddleboarding keeps getting bigger—and the SUPs keep getting better. Here are three of the most versatile new models. Plus, smart tools for discerning paddlers.

Outside’s Gear Guy, Joe Jackson, walks you through the basics of buying your first stand-up paddleboard.

Boost your SUP power with a motorized assist.

A compact, simple way to fly-fish

With so many choices available, choosing your first kayak can be overwhelming. Thankfully, Outside’s Gear Guy, Joe Jackson, did all the work for you.

The trick to choosing the right boat? Think hard about where—and how—you'll use it.

The Fly-Fishing Essentials of 2015

2015 Gear of the Year Winner

2015 Gear of the Year Winner

As the sport grows up, there are more and butter SUPs for all kinds of paddlers.

A surfboard manufacturer and UCSD researchers teamed up to create the world’s first sustainable, algae-based surfboard, which they'll have the pros test before producing it commercially.

An outdoor shed that costs less than $150 and a bombproof bike locker? We’ll take two!

A taste for high-end fly-fishing gear is like a taste for fine wine: an appreciation for the subtleties is extremely personal and can get pricey fast.

A handful of Cocoa Beach, Florida, residents want to build the world's first man-made surf arena. If they succeed, they'll bring world-class swell to the East Coast.

A flashlight, a fitness tracker, a GPS...the list goes on.

Sanborn Canoe's paddles are so pretty, we almost don't want to get them wet.

Good for the conscience, great for the surf

The short answer: Absolutely. For a detailed breakdown of inexpensive, beginner-friendly fly-fishing gear, I contacted my friend Ryan Allred, owner of Jefferson Flywater. Allred’s worked as a guide for 20 years and holds a master’s degree in environmental science with an emphasis on fisheries. Here’s the gear…

These stripes could keep you from becoming shark bait

Who says you have to chose between land or water?

It's summer's most casual shoe, but there are flip-flops and then there are flip-flops. Keep your feet happy with our favorites.

Gear that plays well when wet, whether it’s at the beach, in the river, or around town

Before you start packing for your first multiday raft trip, remember this old adage: A raft is never full. That essentially means you can bring everything—plus the kitchen sink. After all, you don’t have to worry about weight when you have a raft to store your gear and a river…

I’d always scoffed at “high-tech” swim trunks, assuming cheap shorts that hung halfway down your butt were surfing’s accepted norm.  But that opinion changed the first time I pulled on a pair of O’Neill Superfreaks in college. I couldn’t believe how comfortable the $60 trunks were as…

Dominate the water and the road with the help of this gear arsenal.

Because who doesn't want a portable sauna, right?

Dreaming of screaming rapids, green barrels, or a calm harbor cruise? These are the boards for you.

To help you catch the big one this year

From the coolest kayak we’ve ever seen to a super grippy water shoe, this is the gear you need for those quiet days on the river.

Timbertek's packable Baked Potato is a tough and tiny surfboard

The most wholesome flip-flops in the world?

A medium-fast fly rod that's affordable and good looking

Yes, sun hats are one of the most effective ways to prevent skin cancer. But did you know they can also keep the heat from zapping your energy? During my decade as a raft guide, I found I was much more energetic at the end of the day when I…

The two-in-one, take-apart boat

Five of the icon's most influential inventions

A Chilean startup transforms discarded, deadly fishing nets into cruiser boards.

A surfing, skateboarding, sailing icon

Your winter gear and grooming goods have something in common.

Ten travel-friendly products to take you from sun and surf to a night on the town.

Making underwater breathing a cinch

Everything a novice fly fisherman needs.

Outside's Gear Guy Joe Jackson takes the Dagger Katana for a spin. A solid crossover kayak that will work for just about any excursion. In the market for a cooler? The answer is yes!…

Never sink your keys again.

Deep Wood Press releases limited-edition prints of Mike Delp's poem.

I've been kayaking before and want to start it as a hobby. I would like to be able to use it on flat water and the ocean (calm, that is), but also for medium fast-water. What kayak would you suggest?

Finding gear in my size is impossible. What are the best products for bigger guys?

What are the coolest and most unexpected uses of duct tape in the outdoor world?

Hyper-Specialized SUPs are taking over the market. Are they a new trend or simply a fad?

Splash around this summer. With this gear, you’ll be ready for serious summer fun whether you’re in it for fitness or just to get wet and cool down.

The best whitewater gear for kids

A souped-up recreational boat that can handle short multi-day trips.

Surf and Turf It’s rare that a shoe that looks this casual (we wore it year-round) performs so well. But with tight mesh at the bottom to keep out sand, a rock plate in the sole, and quick-drying meshy uppers, the Kia’i Trainers were our favorite water shoes this year.

Outside reviews the best gear in the Summer 2013 Buyer’s Guide, including the Bic Sport Wing Ace-Tec

Designed to make the most of subpar conditions

Armored toe protection and ample arch support in a slim shoe.

A great choice for beginners who want to get their money's worth and use it for touring, surfing and longer expeditions.

Kor’s slick Nava filter can process about 40 gallons, or 220 refills before requiring replacement