Summer is just around the corner, and if you're in the process of finalizing your beach getaway plans, be sure to add these beach toys to your must-buy list! Relatively inexpensive and easy to transport, they make for the perfect active alternatives to sunbathing. So, between your morning surfing lesson and your afternoon boardwalk stroll, round up your friends and enjoy these fun beach games for adults!
Have a smashin' good time
Smashball is the beach equivalent of ping pong without the table. Equipped with large, water-safe wooden paddles and a ball roughly the same size as a ping pong ball, players whack the ball back and forth while doing their best to keep it airborne. If it sounds boring, that's only because you haven't tried it yet! Sand gives you more freedom to dive safely for the ball, while challenging your balance and coordination. There are no real rules when it comes to Smashball, so get creative and make up your own.
Body up to the water
Who doesn't love body boarding? Rather than renting and lugging a big body board around, pick up a pair of Surf-Grips. These lightweight foam paddles are built with an interior handle that allows you to increase your buoyancy and ride the wave of your life. Just check out this video to see how they work:
You can buy a single Surf-Grip for $14.99 or a two-pack for $24.99.
Toss some shoes
When the sun starts to set and the beach gets dark, you don't have to take your activities inside - just look for options that glow in the dark, instead! We love the Water Sports Glow-in-the-Dark Horseshoe Set for a relaxed after-dinner activity. The lightweight set is easy to pack and carry and simple to set up. Play during the day with the LED batteries turned off, then simply flip the switch at night to keep the game going.
Horseshoes aren't the only glow-in-the-dark option for late night fun. After you've roasted marshmallows around the bonfire, challenge your friends to a fun game of catch with a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee. If you have enough players to form teams, set up boundaries and make it an Ultimate Frisbee experience.
Kick a ball around
Soccer is another fun beach-front activity, but you don't want to subject your traditional ball to salt water and sun. Pick up an element-proof ball designed for beach front wear-and-tear for roughly $20.00 from a variety of online retailers. The Select Beach Soccer Ball is a good option that's readily available.
Skim off the top
Skimboarding first originated in Southern California as a way for lifeguards to easily travel across the beaches from one point to another, but it has quickly become a water sport craze. These boards are smaller and lighter weight than traditional surfboards, but the concept is similar - you use them to ride on top of the ocean's surface, performing tricks and catching waves. Unlike a surfboard, skimboards are actually put in at the edge of the water, where riders then use their momentum to "skim" out to the breaking waves. Riders can also choose to perform "flatland" tricks similar to those performed on skateboards by riding the skimboard in the shallow skim of water along the water's edge. While you can purchase skimboards for a pretty penny, if you're just hitting the beach for some vacation fun, pick up a recreational-use board from retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods. The DBX 44" Glass Skim Board received good ratings and costs a reasonable $80.00.
When you hit the beach, you're probably thinking more about the activities that will keep your kids entertained, rather than those for yourself. There's no reason that the two need to be mutually exclusive. The possibilities are practically endless, and lots of tourist destinations offer fun gift shop toys or beach rentals to keep you entertained. For instance, you could rent bikes, take over a sand volleyball court or pick up an inexpensive wiffle ball set. While there's certainly nothing wrong with sunbathing and reading a good book, take advantage of the natural fitness opportunities that abound at the beach - you may just be in better shape when you leave than when you arrived.
Header image credit: Daniel Pink, http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielpink/3610295034/sizes/z/in/photostream/