Do you think it is time to put aside your kid’s electronic devices and introduce them to the amazing outdoors? Well, paddle boarding is one of the most fun outdoor water activities for families to do together.
Spending quality time with your kids doing outdoor adventures such as paddle boarding is crucial to their health. Paddle boarding will help with the overall growth of your child into adulthood.
This article will help you decide if it is time to finally take your kid paddle boarding.
When Can I Introduce Paddle Boarding to My Kids?
With a calm water body and appropriate safety gear, your kid can start learning paddle boarding or stand-up paddling (SUP) at any age. However, kids who are not confident swimmers and do not have the coordination to paddle and control the board themselves need to be passengers at the start.
Therefore, you need to find a more stable and bigger board than you will use when paddle boarding alone.
At the age of five or six years, some children may be ready to put on the leash and start paddling on their own. However, do not worry if your kid is not yet ready to paddle board alone as it may take a few more years for some kids. Waiting until they ask for their board is the trick.
To obtain their paddle board, a child should be good at following directions and confident in swimming.
Reasons For Paddle Boarding With Your Kids
The following are the benefits of paddle boarding with your kids:
- It is a great way of spending outdoors together as a family.
- To get some sunlight and fresh air which can help with releasing stress.
- You get lots of full-body exercises.
- It increases leg, arm, and core strength as well as promotes balance and improves endurance.
- It is a great way of building confidence in kids, especially when they can stand up on their own.
What Do I Need To Paddle Board With My Kids?
The things that you need for paddle boarding include a paddle, a stand-up paddle board, and personal floatation devices.
You must note the weight limit and size of the board when choosing a beginner paddle board.
Wider boards can be balanced easily, and they are great for paddling with kids. If you are paddling with your kid on the same board, ensure that it can handle both of your weights.
Where To Go Paddle Boarding With Kids
Technically, you can do paddle boarding in any type of water body. However, when teaching your child paddle boarding, starting with ponds and lakes is better than rivers or open oceans. This way, you will not be worried about fast-moving currents or large waves.
When your kids get more comfortable and confident, you can transition to the open ocean and moving water.
Guide to Teaching Your Kid How to Paddle Board
The following are the simple steps that you can follow to your kid how to paddle board:
- Allow your kid to get comfortable with water
The first step that you need to do is let your kid get comfortable in the water. This involves teaching them the safety practices in water and how to swim. If your child is less than 5 years old, they should sit with you on your paddle board. If they are 5 years or older, they can have their paddle board but ensure it is the right size for them.
- First, stand on the paddle board on land
Before going paddle boarding on water, let your child first stand on the board laid on the grass. Since it is going to be a new experience for them, it will take a while before they can be comfortable standing on a paddle board.
If your kid is old enough to paddle alone, you can prepare them on how they can hold their paddle properly and correctly steer their board in any direction they want.
- Paddle board on calm waters with your kid
Teach your kid how to paddle board on a calm water body and avoid surf breaks and rivers. This is because calm water is easier for them to balance standing or sitting, while also minimizing unknown variables that may occur.
- Teach your kid how to safely fall and get back on the paddle board
If your kid is 5 years or older, this step applies to them. Once they can follow the above steps comfortably, teach them how they can safely fall and get back on the paddle board in case they fall on the water.
There is no right way to fall into the water. However, to protect your child from any injuries, teach them to fall to the side of the paddle board. Teach them not to use their hand to brace the falling because they could twist their wrist if it hits the rail. It is straightforward to teach them how to get back on the board.
- Get out there!
Once you are comfortable that your kid can paddle board, it is time for adventure. Depending on the age of your kid, you can let them sit on the board with you paddling or let them paddle on their own.
Start paddling on the shallow end so that you can stand on the water and let your kid navigate. Ensure that they can paddle in a straight line as well as make turns before going too far.
Safety Measures For Paddle Boarding With Kids
The following tips will enable you to paddle board with your kid safely:
- Both you and your child should wear a life jacket.
- First, check the weather forecast before going paddle boarding. Avoid paddling in offshore winds and be aware that with less warning, wind and storms can pick up quickly.
- Ensure that you know how to paddle board. Your kid is the only beginner on board!
- Ensure that the paddle board can handle both your weight and your kid’s. However, if your kid is paddle boarding alone, ensure that the size of the board is right for them.
- If your kid knows how to use a leash, let them wear it as it is helpful and safe.
- Paddle board with a group or a friend as they are helpful in case there is an emergency.
- Dress your kid for the correct weather and water temperatures.
- Let your kid understand that they should never paddle board alone.
How To Keep Your Kids Entertained While Paddling
The idea of paddle boarding can wear off quickly for most kids. Here are some tips to help you keep them entertained during the paddle boarding adventure:
- Carry with you a toy that they can play with.
- Give them a few facts about the water body such as geography or wildlife.
- Let your kid identify a landmark and paddle towards it.
Paddle boarding is a great way to get your child started on outdoor adventures. It is a good way of bonding with your kid and has fun at the same time. There is no age limit for getting your child started on paddle boarding. If they are ready, they can get started on their new adventure anytime.
Hopefully, this article has given you information to help with teaching your kid how to paddle board.