What’s the Difference Between Boarding, Surfing, and Sailing?

Watersport Activities

What’s the Difference Between Boarding, Surfing, and Sailing?

If you’re searching for the perfect destination for your next Florida vacation, look no further than Fort Myers Beach. You can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy yourself without experiencing the crazy crowds of areas like Panama City Beach.

When you’re looking for things to do in Fort Myers Beach, the beautiful waters are sure to call your name. With so many different watersport activities to get involved in, it’s hard to keep all of them straight. From surfing to parasailing to paddleboarding and more, there are enough options to make your head spin! We’re here to set the record straight. The great thing is these are all by our amazing Fort Myers Beach vacation rentals.


Surfing is one of the most recognizable water activities. The surfer uses a surfboard to swim out to the waves, then the athlete stands up on the board and lets the wave carry them into the shore. This is probably the water sport you’re most used to seeing, and while it’s always been incredibly popular in Hawaii and California, it is finally finding its place in Florida, too!


Windsurfing is a unique combination of sailing and surfing. The board used is similar to a surfboard, but there is a sail attached for the rider to use to catch the wind. Windsurfers use this sail to take advantage of the wind to pull them to shore.


Yet another variation on surfing, kitesurfing combines aspects of several different sports, including surfing, paragliding, and sailing. The athlete will stand on a surfboard and will hold a kite, which they use to propel them forward through the water. So what’s the difference between windsurfing and kitesurfing? When windsurfing, the sail is attached to the board, but kitesurfing involves having a detached kite that flies high in the air.


As the name might imply, paddleboarding involves using a paddle to propel you through the waves. A paddleboarder will stand up or kneel on their board to move around. This activity is particularly great for any age and skill level, as you can lie down, sit on your knees, or stand up completely. You’re also able to take things at your own pace to get your feet under you (literally!).


Surprise! Sailboarding and windsurfing are essentially the same things. The names are basically interchangeable, though most people refer to the activity as windsurfing. However, those in the industry tend to think that “sailboarding” is a more accurate name for this activity.


Parasailing is one of the most popular Florida watersports, and you will probably see dozens of parasailing companies up and down the shoreline. You’re likely already familiar with this activity, which takes a rider or two up into the air while strapped to a parachute. Parasailers are able to get a great view of the surroundings, and you can even ask your captain to give you a dip in the water on the way down!


Similar to parasailing, paragliding involves strapping riders into a parachute and taking them up into the air. So what’s the difference between parasailing and paragliding? Paragliders are launched by foot. You will often see this activity near mountains or cliffs, where paragliders will run towards the edge and push themselves off. Parasailing, on the other hand, is more controlled and will have you strapped to a vehicle, usually a boat. All of these water sports are unique and fun, so you’ll just have to try them all!

You can sample all of them from the waters near our vacation rentals in Fort Myers, Florida. Our rentals are designed with you in mind, and our knowledgeable team will be with you from start to finish when planning your vacation. Select one of our Fort Myers beachfront vacation rentals to get right on the water and try out any of these fun water sports!

And if you’re not quite in the mood for a sport on the water, you can always take up golfing!