Tropical islands tend to embrace water sports and Langkawi is no different. The sailing is excellent and contrary to popular belief, clear water snorkelling and scuba diving are available as well. But the two most popular beaches in Langkawi, Pantai Cenang and Pantai Tengah primarily tout no licence-needed, fun-in-the-sun activities; you’ll find an abundance of water sports businesses and agents along the waterfront to choose from. The most popular of these activities are jet skis, parasailing and banana boats, but wakeboarding and skim-boarding have gained recent popularity. And yes, even on rare occasions, surfing.
Several well established companies are set up along the beach and generally offer the same prices, while commissioned agents are there too and may have a “special” deal. Banana boat rides are 15 ringgit for a 15-minute ride, although you may be able to finagle a lower price if there is a bunch of you. No pun intended. Jet ski rentals do vary in price range, so it’s worth shopping around.
At Mega Water Sports in Pantai Cenang, a 30-minute joy ride will set you back 150 ringgit and return guests get a discount. But they also have jet ski island-hopping tours, so for 500 ringgit you get four solid hours of jet ski bliss. Add an extra person to your ride for another 100 ringgit. They also have wakeboarding, which comes quite pricy at 70 ringgit for 15 minutes. So unless you actually know how to wakeboard, you could spend 15 glorious minutes perfecting the face plant.
Down the beach in Pantai Tengah, next to Charlie’s Motel, is Zainie Water Sports and Recreation. Their newer model jet ski rentals run 180 ringgit for 30 minutes, while their older models, which look the same, are 120 ringgit for 30 minutes. This particular area is also designated for parasails; your parasailing fantasy can become a reality, with 15 minutes of sky-bound adventure for 120 ringgit.
There is of course a certain degree of potential danger is parasailing anywhere in the world, but rest assured these guys have been launching people for several years with almost a 100 percent track record of no mishaps. It’s a beach launch, so not always the most graceful of uplifts, but certainly something to experience once in your lifetime.
The surf scene in Malaysia is somewhat seasonal and that includes Langkawi. Although inconsistent, there are occasional small rideable waves. But skim-boarding has become the mainstay of the local surf crew. The only skim-board company in Langkawi is Wave Vibes Recreation located across from Underwater World. They are also the meeting venue for Langkawi Skimboard Association. Rentals include woodies and fancy fibre boards for 3o-50 ringgit for two hours. Boards can also be rented on a daily basis and they’ll even deliver to your beach guesthouse. They also give free lessons, so it’s a great bang-for-the-ringgit option for splashing in the surf.
By Vanessa Workman
Last updated on 27th August, 2014.