Paddle boarding with kids is great fun. It is an epic way to get the whole family out on the water, in the fresh air and to help them ‘trust’ the water from a young age. But, as every parent knows, nothing spoils a day out quicker than cold, wet, hungry kids.
Here are some of the things we’ve learned from past experiences.
What do I need to take with me for stand up paddle boarding with kids?
The supplies needed for stand up paddleboarding are minimal, even with children! You’ll need a stand-up paddleboard, a paddle, and personal flotation devices (PFDs) for each person as the essentials. However, a DryBag, change robe, lots of water and snacks are also a great idea! Plus, some dry clothes for afterwards in case they get wet.
Choose a launch area for the whole family
Pick a launch spot with lots of space and interest for kids so they can play while you’re pumping up everyone’s paddleboards (or if you can persuade them, get them to help to pump up the boards themselves!). Take a football, buckets and spades, a picnic rug and chairs for them to sit on if they don’t feel like taking part. A couple of change robes are also really handy to keep them warm before and after their SUP adventure.
Allow double the time you think you need
However long you think it’s going to take you to get ready, allow double. This is especially important if you’re trying to catch the tide. So, bear this in mind when planning your time to be out on the water, to be back etc.
Ensure the adults launch first
If your kids are paddling separately don’t let them launch until you’re already on the water. You can drift out quickly on a SUP before you get the momentum from the first stroke and that’s the last thing you want from a family paddleboarding trip!
Ensure everyone is wearing a leash and a PFD
Setting a good example is especially important when it comes to safety. Ensure the whole family is wearing a leash and a PDF to keep you and your kids safe whilst you are out at sea.
Let the kids paddle the adults
Another fun thing to do is to let the kids paddle the adults. Kids love to take on this responsibility and it makes them feel really involved in the activity. Just prior to doing this just ensure that they are using the right paddle for them, or that the paddle they are using is the correct length.
Factor in a picnic stop
Paddleboarding can get tiring when you are out for a long time, especially for kids. Kids also have a short attention span so taking frequent breaks can alleviate them getting too worn out as well as prevent them from getting bored of the activity – something you really don’t want to happen with paddleboarding!
The prospect of stopping for a picnic can be a fun activity as well as refuelling them for their next half of SUP’ing. For extra excitement make the picnic fun and let them choose a few of the snacks which go into it. Ones that give you energy are also a massive bonus!
Pack layers to keep you all warm
The last thing you want is kids with freezing cold hands and feet whilst you are out on the water especially during the chillier months. Ensure you have packed enough layers for you all whilst you are out on the water as well as afterwards. Including, wetsuit gloves and shoes.
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