If you already love paddleboarding as a hobby or sport, you know just how freeing and fun it is to get out on the water and ride. And who’s more fun to share your favorite, wholesome hobbies with than your kiddos? Encouraging active, healthy lifestyles that help you experience this beautiful planet is what we’re all about here in the YOLO Tribe!
Your kids, however, might need a little convincing to get their heads up from their phones and devices and pick up interest in some physical activities. Believe it or not, 8-year-old kids are already spending 6 or more hours per day online - watching videos, playing games and just wasting time in general.
So, if you’re looking to involve your kids and show them the beauty of this YOLO life, we’ve got you covered! But, before you pick out a board for them, and get them to the beach, be sure to read through the following tips and make sure that your SUP Adventure is as safe as it is fun.
1. Make sure that your child knows how to swim (if they are paddling solo)
It is a good idea for your child to learn how to swim before they jump on that board. It is always encouraged that riders wear life jackets but please be careful and make sure that your kid has enough experience and swimming practice before you get on the water.
2. Stay safe
In our previous blog, we wrote about safety measures and gear for your SUP Adventures, so we invite you to read this blog post once again. Always make sure that your kiddos are wearing a life jacket, even if you’re instructing them on how to get on the board in shallow waters. In fact, it couldn’t hurt that you get one as well and set an example.
3. Pick the right SUP Board
As an experienced SUP Boarder, you might already have found the perfect YOLO board, but when selecting the right board for a child, you will want to prioritize quality. A good quality board will not only last years if you take care of it properly, but it will also provide a stable and reliable board for smooth adventures with your kids on the open waters.
4. Check the weather forecast
Remember to check the weather forecast in advance. It’s not just that you could get caught in the rain (you’re prepared to get wet anyway) - some waters can become dangerous if you don’t mind the weather. Especially if you are in anything other than inland waterways, the current, the swell, and the force of the wind will all need to be considered before embarking on your journey.
5. Start with calm waters
Rivers and oceans can be a lot of fun for experienced, and semi-experienced SUP Boarders, but if you’re out there with your kid for the first time - it could also be a little bit scary. And that’s not the right way to introduce them to this sport. We suggest choosing a calm body of water, a lake for example, for beginners and young boarders as well.
6. Stay stable on that SUP Board
The first time they get out and test out the waters - you want your kids to be sitting or kneeling on the SUP board. Calm waters or not - before they get confident in their “sea legs” - it’s always a good idea to keep them stable and safe. We don’t want them to get scared right at the very start, so instilling some confidence by gradually moving to a standing position is always a good idea.
7. Sunscreen protection is a must
Just as you should apply sunscreen lotion on your skin when you’re out and about in the sun, your kids should stay safe from sun rays as much as possible as well. It’s very easy to lose track of time when you’re having fun on the open water, and sunburns can be annoying and also very dangerous. So make sure that you bring your sunblock with you on the board in case you venture far away from the shore.
8. Check your SUP board weight limit
If you’re sharing your board with your kid - making sure that your board can support yours and your child’s weight is important. If you’re looking for an ultra-tough board, you’ll be happy to know that the 11’10 SUP+ can carry as much as 335lbs with no problem! Our Hammerhead Boards support up to 275lbs, and YOLO Inflatables can carry up to 220lbs.
9. Set an Example
We all know that kids learn better from examples. Positive or negative. So be patient, be confident, and show them that you’re the master of Stand Up Paddleboarding! Wear a life jacket, apply sunscreen, start from the kneeling position to let them know it’s ok, and your kids will have a good role model to mirror on their SUP adventures.
10. Make your SUP Adventure Fun!
Although you, yourself, might enjoy the peace and tranquility of calm waters, and God knows we need those peaceful moments, if you’re paddleboarding with kids - make sure that they stay engaged! Learn interesting facts about the area you’re in, draw out a route for your adventure, and just get creative! If you hook them while they are young, you’ll have a paddling buddy for a lifetime, so make sure that they have fun on that SUP Board.