Paddleboarding with Kids – Tips for a Safe Experience

Spending time in nature together with your kids, is a pleasant and relaxing activity, especially when you go paddleboarding. SUP is considered a safe activity, one that doesn’t require a certain level of proficiency to be enjoyed by everyone. However, when you bring children with you, there’s a certain safety level you’ll have to impose. Therefore, regardless of whether your kid has his/her own board, or if you decide to take him/her on yours, be mindful of the following:

The right gear

Under no circumstances, no matter how much of a proficient swimmer your kid considers him/herself to be, should he/her be on the water without a lifejacket, or a personal floatation device. This will help keep your little one safe at all times, even if or when he/she falls off the board. Additionally, don’t forget to check the gear’s state, as some units might require more maintenance than others.

If your child wants to use a separate board, then make sure it is the right size and type for the water body you plan on adventuring on. Moreover, don’t forget to check the paddle length, as well as ensure your kid wears an ankle leash.

Skin protection

No matter how much you plan, or not, to stay under the sun, it is always best to protect your skin with sun lotion. All the body parts that are going to be exposed to the sun, depending on what you plan on wearing, should have a layer of lotion on them. Otherwise, you and your child risk getting burned. Additionally, make sure to protect your head, by wearing a hat or a cap, to prevent heatstroke.

Water and Wind

Water can be quite unpredictable, changing quickly from tranquil to rough. Therefore, it is recommended to avoid waves or rapids, especially when bringing your child with you. If the area you plan on going through seems rough, or if the water is too deep, it is best to turn around. Additionally, if the wind has just started blowing, then it’s best to take cover on land and wait for it to pass. You should never endanger yourself or your child.

Technique

As paddleboarding is a complex sport, which uses several muscles, it is highly essential to do some warm-up exercises before venturing on the water. This will prevent cramps or sore muscles. Additionally, make sure to review the correct paddling posture, as it will enhance or hinder the overall entertaining.

Supervision at all times

When venturing on the water, it is best to supervise your child at all times. If you can’t do it yourself, then ask another adult to keep an eye on your kid, regardless of the child’s experience level with paddleboarding.

Comfort and Hydration

Make sure the both of you, you and your child, are comfortable before jumping on the SUP. Let your child start by sitting on the board, then, gradually, as his/her confidence level rises, and the risk of him/her falling off lessens, new stances can be introduced. Kneeling and then standing might require some time to be mastered, so never rush your child.

Stability is determinant of the activity’s comfort level as well. Research conducted by specialists at Standuppaddlesupply.com shows that stability can be had to a sufficient extent regardless of the skill level with a stand up paddle board that is thicker, wider, and features a rounded design of the nose, aiding in balance upkeep through its build.

Furthermore, aside from being comfortable on the board, make sure you maintain a proper hydration level, as spending time under the sun will make you sweat. Also, by spending time near water, dehydration will kick in faster, so it’s better to drink lots of water to avoid dizziness. Therefore, every 10 to 20 minutes, be sure to remind your child to drink water.

Talk with your kids and explain

Before actually using a board, make sure your children understand the concept and how the board can be used. Make sure they understand the rules and the consequences that might arise if they don’t follow the rules. Teach them how to react when something unexpected happens, and, if necessary, you can even do practice drills to help them prepare.

Conclusion

While paddleboarding is, generally speaking, an easy activity, your kids should be fully prepared before venturing on the water. If certain rules are followed, your entire family will be able to have a fun time, without any incidents. Keep close to the shore, wear the correct gear, and you’ll be able to provide your child with a great summer memory.

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