Surfing is an exhilarating beach activity loved by many families around the world. Starting your kids with the basics while they are still small will set them up nicely for taking on the more advanced skills of surfing later on. |
We offer some tips to get your little ones started.
Children who spend a lot of time at the beach are going to be able to pick up surfing a little easier. Days spent running through sand, jumping over little waves on shore, building sandcastles and other games that make family activity holidays at the beach so much fun will make them familiar with the seaside environment.
Make sure your wee ones are learning to swim, float and generally feel comfortable around water before they start learning to surf. Then, begin by buying your kids boogie boards to practice on. Boogie boards are light, inexpensive, and children love them! Plus, they have a leash that connects your child to the board, keeping them from losing it in the water. Keep your little ones in shallow water and let them ride the little whitecap waves back to shore. This is small scale surfing and makes for an excellent way to start!
If you are a surfer yourself, you may want to put life jackets on your kids and sit them on your board as you wade with them out into the water, to give them a feel for the board and waves.
If your kids are four years of age or older, they could be ready to get on a surf board by themselves. Outfit each child in a wetsuit that fits well, as kids are affected by cold water faster than adults. Nothing is more uncomfortable on family activity holidays than catching a chill out in the water, and even in warmer water the wind may still make wet skin cold.
Rent a surf board that is between 7 and 9 feet long, with a foam top. A longer board is going to make paddling easier and the foam top will feel much better if it ever hits your child (or you!) during a wipe-out. If your offspring is too young to paddle for themselves, you can help them by steering from the tail of the board while they lay on their tummies, setting them up for a wave and guiding them along until the wave carries them towards the shore.
Once your tribe gets the hang of surfing laying down on their boards, it will be time for them to try standing, by placing open palms onto the surf board, applying pressure and stabilising the board before standing. Legs should be a little wider than shoulder width apart once up, with knees slightly bent. It’s best to practice this skill on the sand first, away from waves that make balancing a challenge. When planning your family activity holidays at the beach, remember it is about more than just the sport or activity! It’s about getting outside and enjoying some bonding time together, and a fun day of learning to surf is just the way to do it.
Richard Edwards is the Managing Director of Summit & Blue, an adventure holiday company offering independently crafted family activity holidays 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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