Editor’s note: This article was updated Sept. 8, 2020.
Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is a super fun way to spend a day on the water. If you’re interested in trying it with your child there are a few things to consider before getting started.
In his article for Thoughtco.com, seasoned kayaker, canoeist, and standup paddleboarder George Sayour outlines tips for parents who want to safely enjoy the activity with their kids.
His recommendations are great:
- Take some lessons before trying this with your kids. Parents need to be comfortable and competent on the paddleboard before loading on any kids.
- Size matters. Make sure that the paddleboard you’re using is big enough and buoyant enough for two.
- Avoid open waters. Paddleboard in safe areas without strong waves and currents.
- Safety first. Paddlers should always be wearing a PFD.
- Prioritize swimming before stand up paddleboarding. If kids can’t swim, they aren’t ready for the board.
- There is a right way to board the paddleboard. Seat kids on the board before getting on yourself.
- Kneel first for best results. Start paddling from a kneeling position instead of trying to stand right away.
- Have fun! You never know what lifelong love of water sports are forming for your child because of the time you’re taking to play today.
Mom and AfL Role Model Tanya Koob is also a big fan of stand up paddleboarding and she wrote a blog post outlining why it’s a great activity to introduce to the family. Check out her top five reasons and the beautiful paddleboarding photos she took throughout Western Canada. They will inspire you to head out on your own SUP adventure.
And, by the way, if things don’t go according to plan, don’t worry. Active mom Van Colden explains why it’s still worth it.