Water sport is, in its broadest sense, all kinds of recreation in, or on, a body of water, typically at a beach.
In some countries the shoreline is regarded as public, even when landowners normally can restrict entry to their lands. In the Nordic countries, the right of access generally gives access to the shore, except by people's homes and cottages. But there are also countries where swimming is restricted to organized beaches.
- Ice skating
- Scuba diving
- Sea kayaking
- Whale watching
- Whitewater sports
- Winter swimming
There are several precautions for everyone approaching open water, whether for a casual dip, or a long-distance swim.
- Respect laws and customs for clothing. Each country has its own acceptable level of nudity; naturism is, in the typical case, an exception.
- Respect wildlife.
- Don't litter. Ideally, leave no trace.
Depending on the area, there may be several dangers involved in swimming, such as tides, streams, wildlife and seabed features, some not obvious. Unless at an organized beach, you should seek local advice.
- At ocean beaches there are often streams that can take a swimmer out to sea, caused by tides or waves (even in still weather). Areas within a mile of straights have pronounced rip currents, and may have drop-offs due to constantly changing topography.
- Fishing nets, submerged trees and other obstacles.
- Quicksand and other seabed features.