Thinking about SUPing with the kids? Great idea! Standup paddle boarding is fun, challenging, and a great way to make incredible memories with your family – and encourage a lifelong love of playing on the water.
No-Fail Tips for Paddle Boarding with Kids
Ok, first: your child is not going to hop on a paddleboard and be a pro in three minutes. Or… they might, and you’ll be jealous because it took you a while to get the hang of it. Regardless:
1. Emphasize Safety.
Safety first, folks. It is best to go paddle boarding when conditions are smooth and calm. When you’re a beginner, going out in rough, windy waters is frightening. It’s also unsafe. Start calm! Also be sure your child has an appropriately sized life jacket, a SUP leash, sunscreen, and constant supervision.
2. Start Them Young!
Don’t get us wrong: the right time to start SUPing with kids is now. It doesn’t matter if they’re 5, 15, or 25. Introducing younger children to the sport is a good idea, though, so they can become comfortable and progress in their skills. Go on their timeline, not yours. That is, if you’re 10-year-old is fine going for a paddle solo (with you on your own board), great. If not, have him/her ride along with you.
3. Right Size the Paddle Board.
Choosing the appropriate board is critical to ensure safety, stability, and fun. Now, to start, get a board that is big enough for both of you. Add your weight to your child’s weight and select a board that will accommodate the total. If they’re ready to go solo, make sure their board is not too big for them to maneuver but is wide and long enough to offer stability.
4. Make It Kid-Friendly.
In addition to a kid/parent-friendly paddle board, consider an AccuDock paddle sport dock. These models feature a low freeboard, which allows for a much easier, safer transition onto the board for both you and your kid.
5. Go Easy.
Remember, your child may have a shorter attention span or will become bored or frustrated quickly. If so, let it go. The goal here is to have fun and teach them the basics so they can progress. Let them set the pace.
6. Have FUN!
There’s nothing better than a day on the water (or a half-hour, if that’s what your kid can handle at this point in their development!). Be safe and enjoy the time you spend paddle boarding with your kids!