Five outdoor activities to try this summer around campus

Summer is finally here — and that means it’s time to get active. The good weather only lasts so long here in Vancouver, so why not go beyond the gym for some exercise? Whether you’re aiming for that beach body or just want to soak up some sun, here are five outdoor activities you can do right here in the Lower Mainland.

1. Kayaking

Kayaking is almost quintessentially summer on the Lower Mainland.
Kayaking is almost quintessentially summer on the Lower Mainland. File Lauren Lee

This water sport is fantastic for appreciating B.C.’s idyllic landscape while toning your upper body. Not only is it incredibly enjoyable, it’s also accessible for beginners – you won’t need much special training aside from a few safety tips. Most beaches just off campus offer kayak rentals including English Bay, Jericho Beach and Kitsilano Beach. Deep Cove also has great, scenic kayaking if you live in North Vancouver, while White Rock and Deer Lake are great choices for those who live to the East. A single kayak typically goes for around $39 for 2 hours without a Groupon discount.

2. Paddleboarding

Having quickly gained popularity in recent years, paddleboarding is a perfect sport for beach-goers. You’re sure to burn some calories paddling out across the ocean and balancing your board above the waves. Like kayaking, rentals are available in many locations around Vancouver. False Creek inlet is a good place to start for beginners as it isn’t too choppy and boaters, kayakers, dragonboaters and paddleboarders alike are used to sharing the water there. If you’re looking to combine this activity with yoga, Stand Up Paddle Vancouver delivers combined paddleboarding and yoga lessons starting at $75.

3. Outdoor Yoga

Take your practice outdoors while the weather is nice.
Take your practice outdoors while the weather is nice. File Nadya Rahman

Yoga doesn’t have to be confined to the indoors. This summer, unroll your mat in the grass or sand and stretch out in the sun! Mat Collective offers free outdoor yoga sessions at Kitsilano Beach, Downtown, Granville Island, East Vancouver and Main Street on various days of the week. The Dude Chilling Yoga Collective also hosts regular classes at Dude Chilling Park in East Vancouver without cost.

4. Horseback riding

There’s no other way of travelling quite like horseback. A great alternative to hiking, the ancient activity is the perfect way to experience nature and pay heed to your inner equestrian. Guided trail rides are provided by Leghorn Ranch in Pitt Meadows, which take you deep into the wilderness starting from $65. A similar distance for Leghorn but further south, Glen Valley Stables in Langley offers rides for $60-$105 depending on how long you want to stay out on the Campbell Valley Park trails.

5. Pitch & Putt

Why not try a few hours out on the course.
Why not try a few hours out on the course. File Rich Lam/UBC Athletics

This is a terrific activity to try for novices and pro golfers alike. It takes the best features of golf and minifies it into petite form, so it's perhaps less of a time commitment than a full 18-hole course. Plus, it’s available across Vancouver – Central Park, Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park all offer it, to name a few. For those looking to go even more casual, Bear Creek Park has an 18-hole mini-golf course. Rates are generally not much more than $15 per person, making it an inexpensive option to add to your summertime endeavours. Try it with a group for added fun (or competition, depending on your outlook!).