Have you ever had a conversation with a kid and admired how limitless the world feels to them? Maybe you were that kid, or maybe that kid is your daughter, son, sister, or brother. No matter who it is, something to admire about children is that they see the possibilities around them as endless, and when on the water, the amount of “fun” that is had is equally as endless.
But being a kid in today’s world is a bit different than when most adults today were kids. The kids of this day and age have different priorities and worries, leading to an increase in screen time, early social media pressures, and an increased need to spend time outdoors. We think it’s time to let kids be kids again, leading them to a lifetime of loving the outdoors and paddle boarding out on the water.
The Benefit Of Being Outdoors
There are many reasons why we recommend paddle boarding for kids, but one of those reasons is that paddle boarding is great exercise. As young paddlers spend time in the sun soaking up all the vitamin D, their bodies get great doses of movement needed to keep them healthy and happy.
Alongside exercise, paddle boarding lets kids socialize with others. In a day and age where technology tempts youth to isolate themselves in the world of social media, spending time outdoors allows kids to counteract the negative effects of spending too much time online. In fact, experts at Harvard Health note that time outdoors allows children to develop key skills outside of a structured setting like school, which is a great way to grow social skills and learn new things.
Beyond those benefits, paddle boarding is FUN! Whether your kid is 5 and likes to imagine there’s a world of wonder beneath them as they paddle board, or they’re 12 and want to get into SUP surfing or SUP fishing as they grow their skills, paddle boarding is filled with fun for every child. As they have fun on their paddle board, they’ll foster a love for the water that carries on into adulthood.
Step-By-Step Guide On How To Teach Your Child To Paddle Board
For those who are parents or have younger siblings, we’re sure there’s no greater joy than seeing the kids in your family smile. It may sound like a simple detail, but at the end of the day, spending time with kids on the water is sure to foster a love for the outdoors, catering to the fun and carefree feeling of being nothing more than just a kid. So how exactly do you equip a child to paddle board? We’ve got you covered with some key tips!
Help Your Kids Be Comfortable With The Water
The first step is to make sure your kids are comfortable in the water. This includes teaching them how to swim and teaching them safe practices in and around the water. We recommend kids learn how to paddle on a smaller-sized paddle board for youth like the Grom so they have an easier time paddling and finding their balance.
Practice Correct Paddling Techniques On Land First
Before your kids set out on the water solo, it’s important to lay a paddle board on a soft patch of grass and have your child stand on the board. Remember, this is a completely new feeling for them, so it will take some practice to make them feel comfortable. This is a great opportunity to prep them on how to properly hold a paddle and the correct motions to steer their board in all directions.
Paddle Board With Kids In Calm Waters
In order to make it an easier learning process for your kids, select a calm body of water and avoid rivers and surf breaks. Calm water makes it easier for little ones to balance sitting or standing, and also ensures less unknown variables in the water like an oncoming current or high tide.
Teach Your Kids Safe Ways To Fall And How To Get Back Up On Their Paddle Board
Once comfortable with all the steps above, it’s time to teach your kids the safe ways to fall on a paddle board and how to get back on their board if they were to fall into the water. Usually, we don’t have much choice of how we fall, but teaching your kids to fall to the side of their board will protect them from injury. You want them to avoid bracing their fall on their hands because they could injure their wrist if it catches on a rail. Teaching them to get back up on their board is straightforward, but will take practice.
- Put a life jacket on your child and be aware of local PFD guidelines.
- Check the forecast first to avoid bad weather conditions, as storms and wind can pick up with little to no warning. We also recommend you don’t paddle in offshore winds.
- If your child is paddling by themselves, make sure the board isn’t too big for them to paddle. We recommend our kids paddle board, the Grom, for easy maneuverability.
- Make sure your child knows how to pull the quick release on the leash in order to avoid getting tangled in it. If the child knows how to use it, the leash is very safe and helpful.
- Never let your child paddle without supervision on the water. We recommend paddling alongside children to help in the case of any emergency.
- Dress your child for the correct water and weather temperatures.
What’s the Best Type of Kids Paddle Board?
When searching for a stand up paddle board for you kid, its best to set them up with something they feel confident on. For this reason, we always recommend a stand up inflatable paddle board. Why? Where do we start:
- Stability. Inflatable paddle boards are by far the most stable SUP type out there. Their larger side walls give them increased height on the water, which adds both buoyancy and stability. This stability is what builds confidence in a young paddler, and adds effortless hours in the sun.
- Durability. Inflatable stand up paddle boards can take a beating. You’d be surprised what the modern inflatable SUP construction consists of. Each board is made from with layers of military grade PVC, ensuring that they can outlast even your most destructive little one.
- Transportation. Inflatable paddle boards are by far the most convenient paddle board in the game. Why? Because of their ability to deflate and fit into an easy to carry backpack. This backpack can easily fit in most car’s trucks, saving you the time and hassle of strapping an epoxy paddle board to a roof rack.
Why The Grom Is A Great Choice For Kids
The Grom is a smaller-sized version of our best-selling inflatable paddle board, the Pioneer, and is the perfect pick for kids and teenagers up to 140 lbs! Its durable build offers supreme stability so that children can easily find their balance and have fun on the water alongside friends and family. We wanted a board that our kids could handle and maneuver on their own, yet be stable and user-friendly to allow them to comfortably progress their paddling skills. It has an all-around shape for easy turning and a soft-brushed traction pad for optimum comfort and hours of fun on the water. It comes in two different colorways to fit the likings of every kid, along with a leash, center fin, manual hand pump, kid-sized paddle, and travel bag for easy storage!