No Boat? No Problem!
Texans know that nothing beats the blistering heat quite like a lake day, but not everyone knows that this luxury can be enjoyed even if you do not own a boat. Boat rentals and watersports are a growing option for those who do not want to commit to owning a boat but still want to get out on the water. So many Texas lakes, so little time!
There are boat rental apps, concierge services and clubs available to make your lake excursion easier by providing direct contact with nearby captains, boat owners and clubs, different watercraft to choose from and even recommended trip options. Dive head-first into summer fun with these options…
Ready for a water adventure? Looking to try one of the latest water sports?
Do you feel the need for speed? Lift Foils is a super fun way to cool off and get active with your family or friends– without a boat. Whether you are a total beginner or a life-long surfer, the Lift eFoil helps you fly on water and guide your own adventure. The all electric, silent motor glides through water, letting you do what you are comfortable with. The speed can get up to 35 mph and you can ride for up to 100 minutes without having to charge the motor.
Talk to me, Goose!
Join up with a local for lessons, like Unhooked Sports in Austin. Paul Graykowski will take you out on the water, give you a brief lesson and coach you through the process of learning to fly. With his suburb guidance, you’ll be zooming around the lake in no time! Here’s how it works: you start laying on the board (about half the size of a stand-up paddle board). With the remote in your hand, you gently increase the speed, pull up to your knees, keep the throttle going and eventually stand up. Once you’re comfortable, you “lift” off the water and fly (up to around 3-4 feet over the water). Experienced foilers can carve through the water, learn tricks and maneuver like a Top Gun!
Want to Hop on the Lake?
Lake Hop is a boat renting app that has something for everyone. Whether you want a relaxing day on the lake, fishing, or a day of watersports, Lake Hop has you covered. You are able to choose from a variety of boats and captains based on what you want to do, as well as the location you want to be in. It’s as easy as a lazy day on the water!
The booking process looks like this:
Step 1: Visit www.GoLakeHop.com
Step 2: Sign up for a free Lake Hop account.
Step 3: Search for available markets by lake or state.
Step 4: Filter by boat type and/or experience including watersports, fishing, and leisure.
Step 5: Select a date and duration.
Step 6: Enter payment information and send your booking request to a Lake Hop host.
Step 7: Make sure your ride is confirmed by the host. (Lake Hop gives hosts 24 hours to accept and confirm the booking request. Once confirmed you are ready to lake like a local!)
Get paired with a knowledgeable and funny boat captain to enjoy a 4-hour experience on any Texas lake. That four hours evaporates on the water like a Texas rain on a hot sidewalk! Book for a smokin’ (aren’t they all?) Texas date and gather your friends and family for the most perfect summer day.
Join the Cool Club: Freedom from Worry with Freedom Boat Club
How easy does this sound? Pay a membership, call them to let them know you’re coming. You arrive at the marina and a boat (that you don’t own) is gassed up and ready for your day of freedom on the lake!? Freedom Boat Club, a boat club with three Austin locations in downtown Austin, Lake Travis and Lake Austin and a Dallas location on Lake Louisville, is seeing members join in record numbers as a way to get on the water because waitlists to buy a boat are years long with dealership inventories at historic low levels.
Here’s how the boat club works: Members pay a one-time entry fee and monthly dues, and in return, they have full access to a fleet of boats. Freedom covers the cost of the boat, storage, maintenance, and cleaning, so members can arrive and enjoy a day on the water.
Freedom Boat Club of Austin has experienced record growth with around 800-900 members, says owner Bill Marquardt. Bill says that the membership dues are approximately what folks would spend for a monthly boat slip at a marina. Sounds like a no brainer to me!
Cover photo from Freedom Boat Club
Marika Flatt is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine and was named “Outstanding Austin Communicator” 2021 by Women Communicators of Austin. Flatt was the voice of the Weekend Trip Tips on NPR’s Texas Standard for five years pre-pandemic and is a regular travel contributor to TV shows across the state.