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Get ready for watersports

Learn about the equipment you need for water activities and work as a team to find the right items.

Back to Activities

You’ll need

  • Scissors
Watersports names and equipment
PDF – 192.2KB

Before you begin 

  • Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Additional help to carry out your risk assessment, including examples can be found here. Don’t forget to make sure all young people and adults involved in the activity know how to take part safely. 
  • Make sure you’ll have enough adult helpers. You may need some parents and carers to help if you’re short on helpers. 

Planning this activity

  • Print and cut out the images from ‘Watersports names and equipment’.

Team talks

  1. Gather everyone together in a circle. Explain that you're going to do an activity where you have to choose which equipment you'll need for a watersport or water-based activity.
  2. Divide everyone into small groups of four or five.
  3. Each team should find a space or a table.
  4. Give each team a set of equipment cards and one of the water activity slips.
  5. Each group has five minutes to decide what equipment they do need and what equipment don’t need for their chosen activity. For an added challenge, they could sort the equipment into essential, optional and not-needed.
  6. Once everyone is done, an adult should go to each group and check over what each group has chosen. They could talk about why they might need the equipment and what it does. What would happen if they didn’t have it?
  7. Ask groups to swap water activity card, so the groups can sort the equipment again for a different activity. 
  8. Keep going until each group has talked about equipment for at least four different activities.


This activity helped everyone to recognise the need for safety equipment when they’re taking part in water activities. They should be able to name each piece of equipment and say what it’s for.

Were any items needed for all the activities? What advice does everyone have for a person about to start a water activity or sport who doesn’t understand the need for safety kit?

This activity also required everyone to work in teams. How did each team come to their decisions? 


All activities must be safely managed. You must complete a thorough risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Always get approval for the activity, and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.


Supervise young people appropriately when they’re using scissors. Store all sharp objects securely, out of the reach of young people.

This could also be played as a game with teams competing to collect a piece of safety equipment or a card from a pile. Add in extra items or red herrings.

Make sure groups are balanced, so there’s a mix of different skills and knowledge.

All Scout activities should be inclusive and accessible.

You could also do a bigger version of this activity. Give each group three hula hoops and label each hoop as either ‘essential’, ‘optional’ and ‘not-needed’. Print out larger versions of the cards, or use real items instead of cards, and ask the groups to sort the cards into the hoops instead. 

You could book a visit from the RNLI to learn about water safety.