The beaches and bays in Ocean City, Maryland are good for more than just sunbathing and sandcastles. Literally an ocean of possibilities awaits those interested in taking advantage of the scores of water sports retailers and renters in the resort.
Offerings run the gamut from peaceful kayaking adventures along the Assateague National Seashore to family-friendly parasailing outings to extreme sports experiences on some of the fastest small boats on the East Coast.
Just book a room at the Princess Bayside and you’ll be near the source of the action.
Here are our top picks for the best of Ocean City, Maryland water sports.
Honorable mention: Shark’s Cove Marina
Madison Ave, Selbyville, DE 19975
Phone: (302) 436-8500
Located just over the state line in Fenwick, Delaware, Shark’s Cove has been an area staple since 1999.Cruise the Delaware coastline at 600, 800 or 1000 feet in a parasail ride, or rent a WaveRunner, boat, kayak or paddle board by the hour.
Quick pitch: Offers parasailing, boat, wave runner, kayak and paddle board rentals
10. Advanced Marina
122 66th St, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone: (410) 723-2124
Advanced Marina carries boat and WaveRunner rentals, but the real star here is its full-service marina and impressive showroom. Featured boat lines include Chaparral, Chaparral Vortex Jet Boats, Robalo, Encore Bentley and JC Pontoon Boats.
Quick pitch: Offers board and wave runner rentals; retail
9. OC Parasail
5311 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone: (410) 723-1464
One of the most enduring water sports businesses at the beach, OC Parasail has been around since the early 1980’s. Its operators have more than 75 years of combined experience during over 200,000 safe, smooth flights. OC Parasailing is also customizable, letting you chose the height for as wild — or mild — of an adventure as you like.
Quick pitch: Specializes in parasailing
8. Top Gun Water Sports
39084 Harpoon Road, Fenwick Island, DE 19944
Phone: (302) 537-9283
With six locations — three in Ocean City and one each in nearby Berlin, Fenwick Island and Long Neck, Top Gun might be the most versatile water sports hotspot in Ocean City. Top Gun is also an exclusive carrier of WaveRunner jet skis.
Quick pitch: Offers jet ski rentals and sales
7. Bayside Boat Rentals
5307 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone: (410) 524-1948
Family-owned and operated for more than a decade, Bayside Boat Rentals prides itself on its friendly and knowledgeable staff, helping vacationers find their perfect spot for an afternoon of fishing, crabbing or sunbathing, or enjoying the fast-paced action on several jet ski or jet boats, available to rent.
Quick pitch: Offers boat and jet ski rentals; coupons available on website.
6. Paradise Water Sports
12913 Ocean Gateway, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone: (410) 213-7627
Voted best parasailing and jet ski rentals in 2013, Paradise Water Sports is an exclusive carrier of Seadoo jet skis. Paradise also specializes in parasailing, with a friendly and experienced crew ready to help you lift off to a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Ocean City and Assateague.
Quick pitch: Offers jet ski and parasailing rentals
5. Odyssea Water Sports
5003c Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone: (410) 723-4227
Along with offering ramp and storage space, Odyssea Water Sports rents both paddle boards for cruising the Assawoman Bay, or jet skis on the open waters of Ocean City. The shop also rents pontoons big enough for the whole family, with two-, four-, six- or eight-hour rental times.
Quick pitch: Offers pontoon, paddle board and jet ski rentals; coupons available on website.
4. 48th Street Water Sports
4701 Coastal Hwy, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone: (410) 524-9150
Located right in the heart of mid-town Ocean City, 48th Street Water Sports sets itself apart with its location on the picturesque Isle of Wight Bay.
Billed as an escape from the busy, bustling summer crowds, the waterfront venue includes a diverse range of activities, from catamaran sailing instruction and rentals, to kayak eco-tours and paddle fitness classes. Stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and paddle boat rentals are also available.
Quick pitch: Offers sailing, windsurfing, paddleboat, kayak, stand up paddle board rentals, as well as kayak and SUP eco touts, kayak yoga classes and sunset and night paddling
3. Sea Rocket
308 N 1st St, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone: (410) 289-4386
The hugely popular Sea Rocket Adventures has been drawing big crowds in the Ocean City resort from nearly three decades. Choose from several family favorite activities, including the signature Sea Rocket boat ride, parasailing, and the patented “Adventure Combo,” which combines sailing with your choice of parasailing, kayaking or paddle boarding.
The new, inflatable banana boat rides also allow up to a dozen riders up to 25 minutes of watersports playtime.
Quick pitch: Offers rides on the Sea Rocket, as well as a variety of parasailing options suitable for the entire family
2. OC Jetovator
120 52nd St, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone: (410) 524-0209
Jetovator is a one-of-a-kind experience, essentially a water-propelled flying bike that performs aerial tricks and maneuvers. Ages 18-65 can “fly” one of the unique machines with the help of expert flight instructors.
No experience is needed, and most riders are able to get the Jetovator into the air within minutes of your first ride. OC Jetovator also records the experience, and gives you the movie on a CD, so you can relive the experience again and again — and show all your friends and family.
Quick pitch: Offers hover board and Jetovator rentals; videos are optional, for a fee
1. Talbot Street Water Sports
311 Talbot St, Ocean City, MD 21842
Phone: (410) 289-3500
Talbot Street Watersports boasts four of Ocean City’s premier watersports attractions all at one convenient location. The OC Rocket is the fastest — and one of the newest — speedboats in town. The Duckaneer recreates a pirate ship adventure, taking you, your family and your friends on a magical journey filled with buccaneer battles and quests for sunken treasure. The Happy Hooker is a family friendly two-hour fishing trip, and the Assateague Adventure takes you on an eco-adventure to the nearby national park.
Quick pitch: Offers four signature rides: the OC Rocket, Duckaneer, Happy Hooker and Assateague Adventure
Whether you’re looking for speed and adventure or mild and safe fun for the kiddos, Ocean City has several water sports options. Grab a towel, a waterproof camera, and prepare to make memories.