A MOM’s GUIDE – SUP WITH THE KIDJuly 23, 2017
Normally paddling can be fun and adventurous, but you will need proper planning for it to be as exciting. Kids surely enjoy staying in water and of course, SUP is a new adventure for them. When you dedicate a full day to go paddling, you need to figure out strategies that will allow you to work as a team. This is important as it helps you connect well with your kids.
1. Be ready
The essentials: for every paddling session, you need some basic items including a camera, food and sunblock. For both the kids and yourself, you need to apply sunblock well not forgetting areas such as the ears, around the neck and the part under the nose. This makes you safe from the reflection off the water while paddling. You also need snacks as you are bound to get hungry during the day. However, water is more important so you will need to carry some to avoid dehydration both for the kids and for you.
Paddling is an adventurous and fun event. You therefore need a camera so that you can capture and relive every moment. Before departing for the adventure, it is also important to purchase an airtight bag where you will put all your accessories such as your phones, wallet and keys and attach them on board. These products are available online in case you seek to acquire one.
2. Getting wet
Board size– when purchasing a paddling board, you will need to consider the weight of your kids and yourself too. While kids do not weigh as much, it is important to consider the fact that they are growing up and their weight will increase with time. Purchasing a bigger board is therefore wise.
If you plan to let your kid/s board alone, buying a rope is a precautionary measure. In case of strong winds or they tire out, you will be able to pull their board close to yours.
Personal flotation devices (PFDs)– – these are important both for the kids and you. For children under the age of sixteen, it is advisable for them to use over the shoulder PFDs that are in buoyant foam as opposed to the manual inflatable or the waist only ones. You should make the kids aware that these devices are meant to help them in case of an emergency. In addition to that, make them aware that in case they fall off the board, the main aim would be getting back in it, as it is their “BASE” while out paddling. In addition to that, attaching them with leashes is very important.
Safe unloading– – with a board, the PFDs, the paddle and the kids all in the car, you might find the unloading process very tiresome. In that case, you can put the PFDs and the leashes on the kids while in the car. Doing the same for yourself too makes the work easier and you do not have to deal will the heavy workload of unloading.
Water Safety – – when you reach the water, always make sure that you paddle with everybody else getting wet. Letting the kids practice with their PFDs on makes the event more interesting. Remind them there is nothing to fear and that in case of an emergency they should always get back to the “BASE”.
Weather conditions– – before taking off, you should look out for favorable weather conditions such as the winds. During paddling, you might get tired therefore; the presence of wind will make your work easier. It is important to note that the water conditions always change. Make your kids aware of this, as it can be a great life skill. When the weather conditions get worse, paddle to the nearest land and call for help.
Next, you should spot a safe area where you can paddle with your kids. Practice is necessary especially if you are paddling with your kids for the first time. They tend to get excited and as a result, they move around causing instability to the board. Letting the children seat in front of you is an additional precautionary measure as it allows you to have a sight on them all the times.
3. Having fun
After you have taken a considerable amount of time preparing and getting wet, it is time to go back to the main agenda, which is having fun. Depending on your hobbies and likes, find any source of fun in the water. For instance, there is an abundant amount of wildlife on the water. Therefore, while paddling, you get very close to them. You can see them running or flying away making the event a fun activity. You can also choose to sit on board spreading your feet into the water and if your kids love being outdoors then this if a memory that will last with them forever.
It is important to note that making someone aware that you are going paddling with the kids is a wise decision. In case of anything, people will know where to look for you.