As a parent who enjoys and understands the benefits of paddle boarding, it’s only natural to want to share your hobby with your kids. Granted, it is meant for the individual, but you can still introduce your kids to the beauty of nature and the outdoors through paddle boarding.
With a couple of small people on board your paddle board, it becomes a totally different activity all together and demands greater care and vigilance one of which is to ensure the toddler is wearing a toddler life vest.
However, by following certain safety precautions, your kids will have fun on the paddle board when out on the lake. Below is everything you need to know on how to paddleboard with kids.
1. Teaching kids to be comfortable in the water
Paddle boarding is a water sport after all and the kids should know how to swim and handle themselves in the water. Begin by taking them to swimming lessons. These will come in handy in the event that one of them drops into the water.
For young kids less than 5 years old, also introduce them to the paddle board and teach them to sit comfortably on the board. Kids that are older than five years can learn how to paddle board. Get a small paddle that will be comfortable for them to use.
2. Choose a calm spot
When you are out paddle boarding with your kids, you can introduce them into the world of paddle boarding by starting out with calm waters. It will be much easier for them to balance on their butts and gain confidence needed to finally be in a large body of water.
The spot you choose for kids paddle boarding should be safe, which is a no brainer. Protected bays, smaller lakes and away from rough waters and strong currents will help you quickly reach your kids in case they fall into the water.
3. Teaching the kids how to fall
One of the most important lessons that kids can learn before taking them paddle boarding is how to react when they fall into the water.
While people don’t choose how and when they fall into the water, knowing what to do in case it happens can help prevent injury. And not only do they need to know how to fall, but the kids also need to know how to get back up on the paddleboard in case it happens.
Falling into the water at the front of the paddleboard can make it hard to get back on than if the kid was to fall from the side.
Practice these skills in a swimming pool or a shallow body of water. Once the kids have learnt how to fall off and quickly get back onto the paddle board, then they can now accompany you on your toddler paddle boarding adventure.
4. Use a larger and more buoyant paddle board
When kids paddle boarding, you will need to consider the combined weight of both you and the kids. Paddle boards are rated based on weight of the paddler. If it is too light, then buoyancy will be affected and water will get onto the board.
If on the other hand the paddle board is too heavy then steering becomes difficult. Choose a paddle board based on the total weight of both you and the kids.
5. Ensure the kids wear PFDs
For adults, wearing a personal floatation device is a personal choice. You are in a better position to decide whether the location you choose to paddle board requires a PFD. On the other hand, the kids should wear PFDs or infant life jackets at all times.
Even while the kids may be proficient in swimming, there are many instances that could put them at risk of remaining under water for longer than usual.
For example, they might get under the paddle board momentarily, or get hit in the head as they fall into the water. You might also accidentally hit the kid on the head with the paddle. A well-fitting life jacket for kids will bring them afloat and help you easily access them and pull them out of the water.
6. Get the kids of the paddle board first
Getting on the paddle board and then bringing the kids on top can be difficult. Instead let them first get on top of the board and find the most comfortable sitting position. Then you can get on the paddle board and position yourself slightly behind where the kids are sitting.
When it’s time for you to get onto the paddle board, you want to make sure you do not tip it over and send the kids into the water. The best way to get onto the board is from the back. Pull yourself on it and find the right balance from a kneeling position.
This position should be comfortable for both you and your kids. Once you find it, you can now stand up and paddle.
7. Carry a few essentials for the kids
While it is possible for you to go for a long time without hydrating, the same cannot be said for the kids and even while you may be kids paddle boarding on a fresh water lake with the best kids paddle board, the water will often not be safe for drinking.
Carrying water will ensure that your kids remain hydrated throughout your toddler paddle boarding escapades. Always carry a waterproof bag to store some of the essentials that you are going to need.
You will also need to apply sunscreen on the kids. You may be able to stand out in the sun for a long time but the kids may suffer under the direct sun. Also, make sure that it has an SPF of 30.
Globo Surf Overview
Toddler Paddle boarding is an excellent way to introduce them to the great outdoors and slowly turn them into little adventurers. Due to the nature of the paddle board and the fact that it is designed for a single person, a few safety measures need to be observed. Having done that, you can now enjoy some great bonding moments with the kids when paddle boarding.