Water Sports on Sanibel Island

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You’ve got the perfect vacation spot in Florida planned on serene and peaceful Sanibel Island. Now you’ve just got to decide the perfect water sport or sports for you to enjoy during your trip. We’ve got you covered with 5 popular water sports and how to enjoy them on beautiful Sanibel Island.

Paddle boarding

Paddle boarding is all the rage right now. Traced back to Polynesian and Hawaiian roots, the sport involves standing on a long board and using a long paddle to propel you and the board across the surface of the water.

While it may look simple from the shore, paddle boarding takes concentration and endurance. It’s also a workout that helps to develop balance and strength while working out your core muscles.

Paddle boarding can be done without waves, so it’s a very popular sport on calmer bodies of water like the Gulf of Mexico and Intracoastal Waterway near Sanibel Island.

Dive or surf shops and rental operators will show you the ropes and give you a lesson before you hit the water with your board.


Whether you’re cruising the Intracoastal Waterway in a pontoon boat, fishing on a deck boat or pulling a water skier or someone on a tube in a boat, boating is a water sport adventure all on its own. Make sure you rent one while you’re on Sanibel Island.

water sports

We’ve got five popular water sports you’ll enjoy on Sanibel Island.


Jump in a canoe and have some fun! Canoes and their design haven’t changed much over the years and why should they? Canoes are still one of the most popular boating choices for both casual canoers and more serious paddlers.

Canoes are a more stable option than kayaks and can hold more items securely because there’s more room inside.

Tips for enjoying your day on the water in a canoe:

  • Maintain a low center of gravity to balance the canoe
  • Sit in the back if you’re paddling by yourself
  • Grip the paddle with one hand at the top and the other a few feet down
  • Stroke the water on the side of the boat by planting the blade of the paddle in the water in front of you while staying as vertical as possible
  • Pull the paddle back toward you and the side of the boat
  • To stay in a straight line, alternate sides of the boat when paddling. To turn, paddle on one side of the boat only.
  • When rowing with a partner, communicate well and try and synchronize your paddling to achieve maximum speed.

Now you’re off and ready to enjoy a day in your canoe!

kayak fishing

Take some bait and tackle with you and try to land a fish while you’re skimming on top of the water in a kayak or a canoe.


Kayaks are faster and lighter and maneuver a bit better than a canoe in tighter spaces. Kayaks are also usually smaller and have just enough room for people to sit in the small seating area. You can cruise the Intracoastal Waterway or the Gulf of Mexico in a kayak with ease, paddling at your leisure while you enjoy the natural surroundings and wildlife around you.

The paddle motions for kayaking are similar to canoeing. Keep your back straight and your legs straight out to avoid lower back strain. When kayaking with paddles affixed to both sides, rotate the paddle blade back and forth on each side of the kayak.

Want to try something different? Take some bait and tackle with you and try to land a fish while you’re skimming on top of the water in a kayak or a canoe.


Arguably the most popular water sport activity of all, fishing can be done in conjunction with any of the above mentioned activities. Even an experienced paddle boarder with extreme balance and patience can cast a line and enjoy fishing in calm waters from atop a paddle board. So remember to bring some bait, tackle and a fishing pole when planning your water sport adventure!

Book Your Water Sports Activity Now

Now’s the time to rent a fully furnished condo at Royal Shell Vacation Rentals and what you need for your water sport activities.

You can rent the following at Port Sanibel Marina:

Port Sanibel Marina also offers kayak and canoe eco tours, charters and boat cruises and tours. So give us a call at 239-437-1660 to plan your trip and your water sport activities. Our captains and rental activity operators are happy to answer questions that will make your time on the water so much more enjoyable.