For many people, the big summer vacation centers around a week-long trip to the beach for some fun in the sun, sand, and surf. But for those far from the coast, the local lake is the summer spot to enjoy water sports aplenty. The usually calm waters—unless a thunderstorm rolls in—make having fun with the whole family a more relaxing affair, plus you don’t have to deal with blowing sand, salt water, or rip currents. You just need the right lake gear.
Though both types of trips center around water activities, the stuff you need to have a great time is more centered around either a boat or the shoreline, or both. So, to kick off your next vacation, we’ve assembled a wide variety of lake gear, from SUPs and pontoon boats to grills and waterproof speakers, that’ll get you out on the water.
1. Sea-Doo Switch Pontoon Boat
Ever wonder why there isn’t a boat that steers like a personal watercraft? Now there is, as Sea-Doo debuts its brand-new Switch. The PWC maker seems pretty confident, offering three sizes (13, 16, and 19 feet), with the longest able to ferry nine people. A modular deck and two engine options provide the versatility to tow a skier, fish the afternoon away, or simply cruise out for a dip. We especially appreciate the included trailer, which makes heading to the lake even easier.
The roof rack required to schlep a kayak is often excuse enough not to lug one to the lake. While only 18 pounds, the new Oru Lake unfolds into a capable 9-foot by 32-inch boat with a weight capacity of 250 pounds. The comfy 18mm memory foam seat allows for long excursions. All you need is a checked bag’s worth of space in the trunk and two minutes to deploy it.