If you’re a standup paddleboarding mom or dad of young children, chances are your kids will see you paddleboarding and want to join you in the fun. When you think they’re ready you can stick them on the front of the board and paddle them around. However, in no time they’ll be pushing to paddle on their own. While you may at first be hesitant, here are the steps to to teaching your child to standup paddleboard safely.
1. Your Child Must Know How to Swim and Wear a PFD
There are two prerequisites to teaching your child to paddleboard. First, they should be able to swim. Kids need to be comfortable in and around water and be able to swim on their own, even though you’ll be right there with them. Secondly, your child must be wearing a PFD. Both of these prerequisites should be nonnegotiable.
2. Choose a Safe Area to Paddle
Whenever you allow your young child to standup paddleboard it should be in well-protected calm waters. Protected lakes and bays and calm beaches are all fine places to teach your child to paddleboard. There should not be any current, waves, or motorboats in the areas where your are teaching and allowing your son or daughter to paddle.
3. Giving Your Child a Paddleboard Paddle
Its not easy to find a kid-lengthed paddleboard paddle. And unless your child will be paddling with you regularly, you probably don’t have one. You therefore need to adapt one of your paddles to their height and strength. Two options that work well for kid-sized paddles on a paddleboard are canoe paddles or half of a kayak paddle. When all else fails, they will have to use your paddleboard paddle. If you can remove the stem and handle, do that to remove some of the weight. Have them hold the shaft with 2 hands instead of the proper way of placing one hand on top of the paddle handle and the other on the shaft.