Safe Paddleboarding with Kids

Watersports have always been a popular family activity, but in particular, stand up paddleboarding has experienced a remarkable surge in popularity over the past several years.

One of the main factors contributing to the impressive growth of the sport is the fact that it is generally a safe activity that paddlers of all ages and skill levels can enjoy.

it is generally a safe activity that paddlers of all ages and skill levels can enjoy

But even though SUP is considered a low-risk, family-friendly sport, there are still several important safety considerations to keep in mind whenever you’re out on the water.

Parents need to be especially aware of SUP safety practices. In this article, we’re going to lay out seven simple steps that you can follow to ensure that your kiddos aren’t in harm’s way during your family SUP adventures.

 

Paddleboarding Safety Tips for Parents

Paddleboarding infographic care of InflatableBoarder.com

 

Safety Tip #1 — Choose the Right Conditions

Whenever you’re dealing with an outdoor watersports activity such as stand up paddleboarding, the weather and water conditions are always necessary to take into account.

While there are times when experienced paddlers may choose to brave extreme conditions, it’s advisable to avoid windy days, choppy conditions, and strong currents when paddling with children.

avoid windy days, choppy conditions, and strong currents when paddling with children

Another thing that we’d recommend is avoiding an area with boat and personal watercraft activity, as this increases the risk of accidents, and can also result in rough waters.

 

Safety Tip #2 — Adult Supervision is Required

Regardless of your child’s experience level, adult supervision is essential.

No matter how many precautions are taken, unforeseen accidents can and do take place — having an adult present at all times will ensure that your kids are protected.

Parental supervision is also helpful when it comes to keeping rowdy or unruly children in check, preventing situations which may naturally arise due to “kids being kids”.

 

Safety Tip #3 — Don’t forget the PFD

A PFD (personal flotation device) is an affordable paddling accessory that saves lives and should always be used, regardless of a paddler’s age.

Whenever your family is spending time on the water, parents and children alike should be wearing an approved PFD.

Paddling with Kids

Always use a PFD and don’t forget to attach your leash.

Safety Tip #4 — Always Use a SUP Ankle Leash

Another inexpensive but vital piece of SUP safety gear is an ankle leash.

This easy-to-use accessory will ensure that your child’s board is always within reach, even if they happen to fall off.

When the parent is paddling a child around, the adult should be the one wearing a leash while the child is seated on the nose of the board.

the adult should be the one wearing a leash while the child is seated on the nose of the board

Safety Tip #5 — Educate Your Kids

Before paddling out, take a few minutes to educate your children on topics such as paddling safety, technique, and best practices.

Properly preparing your kids with essential details like these will better prepare them for time on the water and give them added confidence.

Also, remember to be patient with your children — don’t rush this step and be sure to take the time to answer any questions that they might have.

 

Safety Tip #6 — Avoid Overexposure to the Sun

Especially crucial on hot, sunny days, sun protection is an often-overlooked issue that can be dangerous for children.

Standing on top of the water results in a significant amount of sun exposure

Standing on top of the water results in a considerable amount of sun exposure, making things like wide-brimmed hats, long sleeve swim shirts and sunscreen paddling essentials that no parent should be without.

The British Association of Dermatologists reports that more than 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed annually in the UK, and extensive sun exposure is thought to be the culprit in the vast majority of those cases. Because damage from UV ray exposure builds up over time, sun protection should begin at an early age.

 

Safety Tip #7 — Stay Hydrated

Last but not least, parents should always pack an appropriate amount of drinks and snacks to keep kids hydrated and happy while on the water.

A reusable water bottle and fruit are environmentally-friendly options that will help to keep the waterways free of wrappers and plastic bottles.

small-child-on-sup

Paddleboarding with small children is possible too.

A reusable water bottle and fruit are environmentally-friendly options that will help to keep the waterways free of wrappers and plastic bottles.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article has given you some actionable, easy-to-follow steps that will keep you and your family safe on the water. Paddleboarding is a fantastic activity that’s fun for all ages, and maintaining a “safety first” mentality will protect your children and result in many fun and memorable family SUP adventures.

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Jason Paul
Jason is a lifelong watersports enthusiast and editor of InflatableBoarder.com, a website that specializes in inflatable paddle board reviews and in-depth SUP gear write-ups. You can connect with Jason on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter.
Jason Paul

@isupreviews

https://t.co/XqsKSgYdNW is an online publisher of inflatable paddle board reviews, iSUP buyer's guides, SUP videos, and more.
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