Boating and water sports is more accessible then you may think. Better yet, you can do it at any age. Want to learn to sail? Kids can do it with tons of certified sailing school from the Quebec Sailing Federation. Waterskiing? You can learn that with the Fédération de ski nautique du Québec.

You’ll discover all the water sports you can try in Quebec. See what and how these sports are done in the list below.

Check out our Quebec Nautical Stations program to see where these activities are offered.

Pleasure Boating
This activity can be done on lakes, rivers and even at sea. You can try boating for fun on motorboats and sailboats.

There are certified sailing schools that offer lessons for beginners and once you’ve had your lesson, you can rent out one of the boats and go for a sail.

For motorboats, get your operator card online with Ace Boater, and then many companies can rent motor boats out for you.


Jet-Ski and Waverunner
These are personal water craft (PWC) sports that can be practiced on lakes and rivers. These PWC’s are powered by turbine engines and have one, two or three seats. Waverunners are the “jet-skis” that are longer and practiced seated, and actual jet-skis are shorter and practiced standing.


Sail attached to a board (similar to a surfboard) equipped with a daggerboard.  Using the strength of the wind, you stand on the board holding the sail and guiding it using the wind to move. You can do this sport on calm or wavy water, and most sailing schools offer lessons in windsurfing as well.


Surfing and River Surfing
Sport that consists of riding a wave while standing up on a board. Surfing is more accessible than you think, it can be practiced with big waves by the side of the sea, but a new trend called river surfing allows enthusiasts to practice it in more locations. There are schools that offer lessons in both these sports. Also, soon Canada will see its first indoor surfing school in the Montreal area (Brossard).


Water sport that consists in sliding over a body of water on a board attached to a giant kite. Much like windsurfing, the sport depends on the strength of the wind. There are many kitesurfing schools all over Quebec.


Water sport that can be done either pulled by a motorboat or in a cable park (where you are pulled by an electrically-driven cable). Regular waterskiing is done using two independent skis however there are many variations to this sport such as monoskiing (both feet in one ski) or barefoot (where you’re pulled on your bare feet, no skis attached, for the real pros!)


Wakeboarding and Wakeskating
Water sport that can be done either pulled by a motorboat or in a cable park (where you are pulled by an electrically-driven cable). Wakeboarding is when both feet are strapped into a single board in special-made boots, whereas wakeskating is usually done bare foot, unattached to your board.


Wakesurfing combines wakeboarding and surfing. This sport is done pulled by a motorboat where you ride a board that is not attached to your feet on the wake left by the boat as it slows down. The rope you hold on to is only used to start you off into the wake and then you let go of it and ride the wave.


Scuba diving
Underwater activity that lets you explore the marine life equipped with an oxygen tank, mask and fins, as well as an air-weighted jacket that helps you stay down under or rise back above. Many scuba schools offer initiation/discovery classes as well as the open water class allowing you to become a certified diver right here in Quebec.


Kayaking and Canoeing
These activities can be competitive or for leisure and are practiced as much in calm water, rough water and at sea. Board these light weight boats that you propel yourself on with the use of paddles. Canoeing is practiced with a sing-bladed paddle, where you alternate sides to control your direction. Kayaking is a double-bladed paddle that you alternately dip into the water side-to-side.


River kayaking
River kayaking is basically just kayaking in a river, however in can go from white waters to surfing waves. This activity is offered in river surfing schools as well as places that offer white-water rafting, but there are also some schools that specialize in river kayaking.


River boarding
An activity that combines white-water swimming and river surfing, ride down rapids equipped with a body board and fins. As long as you’re a good swimmer, this sport doesn’t require any special skills and is accessible to everyone.


Rafting a sport that consists in navigating down white-water rivers usually in groups onboard an inflated boat called a raft that is controlled by paddles used by everyone on board. There are quite a few companies that offer white-water rafting as an activity


This is a speed sport that consists in propelling a boat across the water using paddles called oars. You can get help from the Quebec Rowing Association to find out where you can practice rowing.


Stand up Paddle
Stand up paddle (SUP) is a sport when you stand on a large board, similar to a surf board, and propel yourself across water with the use of a long paddle. It’s a sort of combination between canoeing and surfing and cane be down on calm waters or in waves. Many places are beginning to offer various activities on SUPs such as fitness classes and yoga.