Set aside your children’s technology and introduce them to the great outdoors on a stand-up paddle board.
The advantages of paddle boarding with kids are endless. It will help children improve their balance and strength, boost their confidence, and link them with nature at a young age. Not to mention the wonderful time spent together while learning from you.
So, how can you pique your children’s interest in paddle boarding, and more crucially, get them on a paddleboard safely? Read on to find out.
Top Tips for a Safe Family Friendly Paddle Board Session
Before we go into more depth about children’s safety when paddle boarding, here are three simple but very important safety tips that should be obeyed at all times.
- Make certain that no child is ever left alone in or on the water.
- If they are on their own board, do not allow them to paddle out of reach.
- Let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. This makes it easier to raise the alarm if you get into difficulty.
Ensure Your Kids Are Confident in The Water
The first step is to ensure that your children are at ease in the water. This involves teaching kids how to swim and teaching them safe water habits. It’s important to note that no matter how confident your child is in the water, do not take your eyes off them. Constant supervision is vital when taking your child out paddle boarding.
Ensure Your Child is Comfortable on the Paddle Board
Ensure your child feels comfortable on dry and firm ground on the paddle board before taking them anywhere near the water. There is no minimum age for paddle boarding; however, when paddle boarding with toddlers and children less than 5 years old, we recommend having your child sit on your paddle board with you.
Make Your Child Wear a Buoyancy Aid
No matter how strong you believe your child is as a swimmer, they should always wear a buoyancy aid. More importantly, before going, make sure that both your buoyancy aid and your child’s buoyancy aid are properly fitted. This is vital to ensure the buoyancy aids won’t fall off in the middle of a struggle.
Go Out in Safe Conditions
For starters, choose a calm body of water and avoid rivers and surf breaks. Children gain confidence and feel more stable in calm water. Begin by sitting on the front of the board or holding your children between your feet. Expect them to move around, so make sure you have a firm board and are ready for any unexpected movement.
Before you leave, thoroughly plan your trip. The water may assist or hinder you more than you realise on rivers, so always make sure to go upstream on the way out and downstream on the way back. This prevents you from fighting the current when you’re exhausted. Think about the wind rather than the current if you’re on a canal; paddle against the wind on the way out (when you’re fresh) and downwind on the way back.
Teach Your Child how to Fall Safely
This tip is primarily for children aged 5 and up. Once your children are familiar with all the preceding procedures, it is time to teach them how to fall safely on a paddle board and how to get back on their board if they fall into the water.
We usually don’t have much control over how we fall. However, educating your children to fall to the side of their board will keep them safe. You don’t want them to brace their fall on their hands as the impact could sprain their wrists.
Paddle Board Safely with Quroc
Here at Quroc, we are passionate about enjoyable, effective and safe paddle boarding. Visit our page on paddle board safety for more information on how to enjoy your paddle board at ease and away from danger.