How To Get Your Kids On Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP Kids)November 19, 2016
Stand up paddle boarding is one of the few outdoor activities that can turn out to be exciting and a kid can enjoy as much as mom and dad. We called it as SUP Kids. When looking for an alternative activity that can bond a family together other than football match and bike riding stand-up paddle boarding offers an alternative.
Kids nowadays only know of PlayStation, Netflix and smartphones games, but it’s the high time to change that mindset of a child and show them other ways to spend their time and have fun too.
To get started, you need SUP gear which consists of,
1. A standup paddle board
3. PFD (personal floatation device)
4. Proper clothing (short, light T-shirt or bathing suit)
5. Leash for tethering the SUP
6. Sun protection equipment such as sunglasses and sunscreen
Follow these guidelines and your child will not only be safe but also will have fun and ultimately learn how to ride a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP)
🎯 Safety comes first
Kids get excited very first especially if the activity in hand is new to them. Protecting your kid shouldn’t be an option but should be your number one priority. Every child should wear personal flotation devices (PFD) and helmets. Taking necessary precaution against accidents is very vital. You never know when your kid will take a mouth full of salt or when that wave will hit.
🎯 Your child should be an swimmer before trying a Stand Up Paddle Board
A kayak is very different from a stand-up paddle board since it has a strap, unlike stand-up paddleboard. Swimming skills are then required irrespective of a live vest option, the supervision and guidance of the parent. Risking a kid who doesn’t know how to swim by riding a paddle board it’s a big mistake since both of you can be swept away by a wave and if your kid doesn’t know how to swim then as a parent you have a reason to worry and you have to be very keen in case the kid falls off. Also they must wear leash all the times.
🎯 Finding the safest location to SUP
Crowded places are not the best places to take your kid for lessons. Areas with large crowds distract your child because you keep on avoiding boards and other kids and it’s a frustrating experience. Look for calm, shallow waters and a body of water with restrictions to motorboats. Additionally, watch out for the wind especially that strong wind which is capable of endangering the kid and the parent as well. Teaching the kid near the shore is the safest strategy to apply since the wind will likely blow the kid towards the shore. Remember a kid needs a lot of attention when learning. The best environment that you’re likely to enjoy SUP and train your kid is lakes, bays, and very calm waterbodies.
🎯 The right equipment is needed
Getting your kids their kit is a requirement but you have to purchase the right kit which offers comfort. Paddles should be quite short and the narrower for convenient purposes. Purchasing 30 cm wide boards creates a discomfort and as a result, the kid can’t be able to stand in the center of the paddle. A smaller board is advised as it helps the kid in turning when the need be. Purchasing the right equipment will not only make your kid a perfect paddle but will also give the kid comfort.
🎯 First basic lessons
There some basic lessons that a kid should know to be good at the sport. The number one lesson to teach is falling and getting back up. You should teach the kid how to fall away from the board and into the water and how to get back on board when this happens. Kids should not stand when paddling they are supposed to kneel and paddle until they have the confidence of standing up. All the steering and strokes can be practiced while kneeling. These are the first basic guidelines you can use on day one of your training adventure.
🎯 Don’t push kids too hard
Kids have limits and a point of exhaustion. As a parent, you should be able to notice an element of fatigue and give your kid a break. Patience with the kid is required from the parent as a kid automatically cannot perfect on the skill with the first lesson. Have fun and don’t teach them like it’s an exam they have to score high. Laugh with them, encourage them and give credit when they do well. This will put morale in the kid and motivation while enjoying the training.
Conclusion Stand-up paddle boarding in addition to being a means to have fun also helps the kid to build self-confidence, independence, coordination, their fitness level and learn the basics of balance.