If you love paddle boarding, then chances are you’d like to introduce your children to it. Or if your children are into watersports in general, they may have seen someone paddle boarding and asked if they could give it a try. Paddle boarding can indeed be a great activity for the whole family, but also a challenging one. There are some risks that should be accounted for as well. Here are a few essential tips for people who want to paddle board with their children safely.
Go Slow and Start Early
You should get your children started as soon as possible if you want them to become good paddle boarders as they grow up. You can start by letting them ride on the nose and board somewhere safe.
You should pick protected water areas with no current so that you’ll be able to quickly locate your child if they fall off. A calm beach, protected bay, or lakes are usually perfect for this. As they grow, you can switch them to their own paddle board, but take baby steps. Some will be ready to ride on their own by the age of 6, but others are slow learners, so take your time.
Get the Right Board
If you’re going to board with a child, you first have to make sure that the paddle board is big and buoyant enough. I would suggest you find a good paddle board retailer online and get a quick look at their selection. The paddle board should be big enough and capable of carrying the weight of both you and your child. The board should be just heavy enough to handle both of you, however, so make sure that you check if the paddle board is rated precisely for your combined weight. A board that is too heavy will be harder to maneuver.
Don’t Forget the Floatation Device
Since paddle boarding is derived from surfing, it’s customary for paddle boarders to not wear vests while boarding. However, this isn’t a choice when it comes to kids, so make sure that they have a personal floatation device on at all times.
And don’t expect that just because they’re already great swimmers that they don’t need one. One of them could end up hitting their head on the board after a fall and lose consciousness. Or they may get trapped under their board. In those instances, a PDF could literally be a lifesaver.
Make Sure they Can Actually Swim
Unlike other water activities like kayaking, the chances of falling off when paddle boarding are very high. So, your child will need to be a competent swimmer before you even think about it. Even with a flotation device, your child may not float in a safe position, so they’ll have to be comfortable enough in the water in order to not panic and reposition themselves.
Teaching your kids how to paddle board is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors and will give you one more thing to do next time you’re at a beach or on vacation. Just make sure that you follow these few simple tips if you want to stay safe and have fun.