Paddleboarding is an awesome pastime. Easy to learn and fairly inexpensive, this hobby has gained a lot of traction lately. Adults and children alike love to spend time on the water. Some parents go as far as to take their kids with them on their SUP board. While this is a great opportunity to spend quality time with their children, are these parents truly aware of the most important safety essentials?
If you think that doing things together as a family is important, consider giving paddle boarding a try. If you enjoy the experience, bring your kids over to have fun together on the water. Just observe the most important safety rules in order to prevent injuries. Here are some basic safety tips for children on paddleboards.
Make sure your children know how to swim before taking them on a paddle board ride. While there’s no need for the kid to swim like a dolphin to enjoy this kind of adventure, he or she should feel comfortable being in the water. At a minimum, the kid should be able to thread water. Never allow a kid who can’t swim on a paddle board, even if you are an experienced user. Introduce your kids to such water sports only after they become comfortable with swimming. The younger they are when they learn how to swim, the better. This is a skill they are going to use a lot throughout their entire life, so make sure you pay them swimming lessons during their early childhood.
Regardless of how good a swimmer your child is, proper equipment is always a must. Essential safety gear can save lives, so ensure your child wears a life vest. The vest needs to be the right size for the kid. Also, he or she should be wearing it correctly. If you don’t know which is the right way to wear a life vest, consider asking a professional water sports trainer for advice or seek free training materials online.
Your kid should also wear waterproof sunscreen, sunglasses, and a sun hat. A first aid kit and a whistle may also come in handy. Also, bring water and some snacks, just to ensure you prevent your child from becoming dehydrated.
If your kid can’t use a SUP on their own just yet, help them on your board. Have the child climb onto the board and make sure they are comfortable before you join them. For better stability, consider using a wider SUP board. Anyway, you should know that most children have trouble keeping their balance, as they usually move around a lot. You can’t ask a restless kid to stay still. You can reassure them that nothing bad can happen if they fall off the board. In time, they will learn how to keep their balance and even stand on the board with ease.
Some young children may need additional equipment, such as a SUP seat. Beware, though, SUP seats are available in a wide array of shapes and sizes, so you may have to do in-depth research to find the best one for you. However, your efforts will be well-worth it, as your kid will be able to enjoy the ride without you having to use one arm to hold them at all times.
Never allow a young child to paddle board on their own, without adult supervision. Closely supervise your children, even if they are excellent swimmers. You can never know when they might get in some unexpected trouble. If you don’t know how to swim, make sure you allow your kids to use a paddleboard only in locations with proper professional supervision, such as organized beaches. Professional lifeguards are the most qualified individuals to watch over the health and safety of surfers and SUP boards users, regardless of their age and skills.
When bringing kids with you on a paddle board, pick a safe location without strong currents or waves. The best place to allow your kids to get used to the SUP is probably a lake. If you are an experienced surfer, you may enjoy strong currents. However, a young child may not be that enthusiastic about this adventurous experience. This is why you should avoid such currents, at least until your kid gets used to being on a paddle board. To make your kids enjoy the SUP experience right off the bat, try to find a spot that provides plenty of room for exploration. This is the best way to avoid collisions with other paddleboard users.
These are only a few tips to help you keep your kids safe on paddle boards. By following them, you have great chances to gain a paddleboarding partner for life. Kids love water and adventure, so there’s no reason why they shouldn’t become addicted to this rewarding water sport.…