What to Pack When Taking Your Kids Paddleboarding |
Paddleboarding, or stand-up paddling (SUP) is becoming an increasingly popular child friendly activity for families looking to try something a little different. Stand-up paddling is a child friendly activity because children of any fitness level can benefit from its emphasis on coordination, balance and building confidence. With these positives in mind, why not give paddleboarding a go? It’s easy enough to get into and your family will love having fun out on the water.
There are three different types of paddleboard, each suitable for various skill levels. These are stock, 14 foot and unlimited, with the stock board starting at 12 ft. For your children though, a board at around the 8-9 ft range is ideal and wouldn’t require the effort needed to paddle the larger models.
One of the advantages of the longer boards is that you have room for your children to perch on the board while the adult paddles. SUP boards are specific to a number of other things, including ability, type of paddleboarding and budget. Generally speaking, SUP boards are pretty expensive to buy outright and hiring is usually the best option, unless of course your family is serious about turning paddleboarding into a hobby. You’ll need a paddle as well, but a suitable hire point should provide for you and the family.
Obviously safety is paramount to turning paddleboarding into a child friendly activity. Some things to consider are where you and your family intend to paddleboard; is it going to be in a tranquil lake with perfectly calm waters, or are you heading out into the ocean where things like the current can be a factor. Going on an organised SUP activity across a lake is probably the safest introduction to the sport, but a well prepared voyage into the ocean can be a rewarding experience. Regardless of where you choose, you’ll need a life jackets or buoyancy aids for each family member. These start from £30 and up but as with the board and paddle, hire points should provide one for each family member. For added safety, make sure any SUP board you buy or hire comes with a leash so that in the event of someone falling they don’t lose their board.
You should also take into account the climate of the destination for your paddleboarding adventure. If it’s hot then pack rash vests for the children and if it’s cold then it’s imperative that you invest in wetsuits for them.
Paddleboarding is a child friendly activity that will bring out the best in young and old. You’ll learn on the calmer waters of the lakes and there will be plenty of opportunities for videoing dad as he tries to keep his dignity and his balance on the paddleboard he is mastering.
Richard Edwards is the Managing Director of Summit & Blue, an adventure holiday company offering independently crafted activity holidays for families to exciting destinations around the world, including France, Italy, Portugal, the USA and Canada. With unique itineraries and exciting activities like biking, hiking, white water rafting and canoeing, we create holidays for those looking for an experience a little more off the beaten track.
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