Don’t worry, you won’t have to be able to swim to join in the activities at UKSA. We’ll give you a wetsuit and buoyancy aid to wear – these will help you to float. We start the trip with team games in the water to get you confident.
Everything you need to know about Splash Day
For water activities everyone wears a wetsuit, a buoyancy aid and a helmet. We provide these and we’ll check they fit and you feel comfy before you go paddling or sailing. You’ll need a pair of wetsuit shoes or old trainers (not your best, they’ll get very wet!) and under your wetsuit you’ll wear a swimming costume and maybe shorts and a t-shirt.
A wetsuit is like a onesie with long arms and legs, and it zips up the back. Wetsuits are made of warm rubbery material called neoprene. Neoprene has tiny bubbles that makes it feel slightly squishy and the bubbles act as insulation, keeping you warm. The neoprene also helps buoyancy (floating) so you’ll be able to swim better wearing a wetsuit! Wetsuits don’t keep you dry.
A buoyancy aid helps you to float – it ‘aids your buoyancy’. They’re a bit like life jackets, but easier to wear. Buoyancy aids look like a vest with a foam panel in the front and back. You pull it on over your head like a vest and wear it on top of your wetsuit.
It is OK to be nervous of trying new things, but sometimes worries can get in the way of having a go at something that turns out to be fun. Talk to your teachers and instructors and tell them about your worries. Maybe see if your friends are having fun and then give it a go?
Sometimes, but you’ll be wearing a wetsuit and doing lots of activity to keep you warm. Tell an instructor or teacher if you feel cold. The Isle of Wight is the sunniest place in the UK, and in the summer you’ll need sun cream and a sun hat.
Please don’t worry. Speak to a teacher or one of the watersports instructors and they will happily help you.
Don’t bring anything expensive or precious on your trip. It is easy for things to get lost or broken. We don’t let anyone take mobile phones on the water, even waterproof ones.
We don’t get any at sharks at UKSA. If you’re very lucky you might see a fish, a seal or a dolphin, but they’re usually scared by all the noise of fun school trips, so they hide!
Kayaks are lots of fun. They’re different from canoes because you sit on top, not inside. You’ll paddle the kayak with a friend – it is a good test of teamwork to coordinate your paddles and steer in the right direction.
Dinghies are little sailing boats, usually with one sail to make it go – there’s no paddling! You’ll learn how to steer and make the dinghy go in the right direction. You and one or two friends will be the crew, in charge of the dinghy.
A keel boat is bigger than a dinghy and you’ll sail with up to five friends and an instructor. Keel boats have two sails and a little engine, and you’ll take it in turns to steer.
Paddleboarding is also called SUP (short for stand-up paddleboarding). The idea is to paddle the board around – you don’t have to stand up! We also have a giant paddleboard that lots of you can paddle at once.