Paddleboarding is a fun and healthy way to spend time with your family outdoors. Not only do you get fresh air and sunlight, what may seem like a leisurely day paddling on the water actually works all the major muscles in the body and can be a fun and rewarding experience. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure a safe and enjoyable paddle session with children:
Choose calm waters: Go for a place with calm, shallow water where kids can hold on comfortably in case they fall off the board, such as a lake or a calm part of a river. Avoid strong currents, high waves or busy boating areas as these can make paddleboarding difficult and dangerous for children.
Wear the proper safety gear: Make sure everyone is wearing a properly fitting life jacket or personal flotation device (PFD). Make sure PFDs are approved for children. Also, consider using a leash to keep the board attached to you or an adult for added safety.
Teach Basic Paddleboarding Skills: Before you hit the water, teach kids basic paddleboarding skills, including how to balance themselves on the board, how to hold and use the paddle, how to get on the board and how to steer and turn. Demonstrate and practice these skills on the ground before getting in the water.
Use a stable and suitable paddleboard: Choose a wide and stable paddle board that is designed for beginners or family use. A larger board will provide more stability and make it easier for children to balance.
Paddle Together: Have an adult or experienced paddler accompany each child on their own board. This ensures close monitoring and allows immediate assistance if needed.
Encourage good hydration and sun protection: Remind children to drink water regularly to stay hydrated. Preparing fruit and vegetable snacks is also a good idea to stay hydrated. Apply sunscreen to protect their skin from the sun's harmful rays, especially between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and consider dressing them in sun-protective clothing like rash guards and hats.
Set realistic expectations and take breaks: Understand that children can tire more quickly than adults. Set realistic expectations for the duration of the paddleboarding session and take breaks if necessary.
Make Your Getaway Fun and Enjoyable: Above all, focus on making the paddleboarding experience enjoyable and fun for the kids. Encourage them to explore, play games and take breaks to swim or splash around in the water. Celebrate their accomplishments and create lasting memories together.
Remember that safety should always be a top priority when paddling with children. By following these tips and using your best judgment, you can create a positive and memorable experience that will allow children to enjoy the water and develop their paddleboarding skills. Don't forget to bring a trash bag on your adventure and let's create a sustainable environment together.
Have great adventures with your children! 🌞
Nicole and the great Sun Vibes SUP team