Looking for something to do with your kids? Why not hit the water and try paddle boarding?
Stand Up paddle boarding (SUP for short) is a great family activity. Not only is it a great way to enjoy nature and reduce stress (and let’s face it, we could all use a little less stress these days), but paddle boarding has lots of health benefits as well.
There are many health benefits of paddle boarding. While paddling, you use almost every muscle in your body from your legs to your arms. Your legs and core muscles are constantly working to keep you balanced on your board, while your upper body are used to propel the board in the water.
The best part is my kids are usually having so much fun, they forget that paddling is an exercise!
Having Fun on the Water
First and foremost, paddle boarding with your family is fun. Since it’s a low-impact activity, we can talk (and laugh) while paddling around the lake.
In the past few years, paddle board technology has come a long way. Inflatable paddle boards make it affordable to own and storage is much easier than a traditional hard board. Let’s face it, with multiples in the car, there’s not much room left. Also, there are many places near you to rent paddle boards and give lessons if you want to dip your toes into the sport first.
Getting Started with SUP
If you are completely new to SUP, you’ll most likely want to get started on calm water such as a lake. Most people find it easier to learn balance on a paddleboard where there is no current or waves rocking the board.
Inevitably, there will be a few falls in the beginning. Just like riding a bike, balance is very important. Be sure to remain patient with your kids (and yourself) and offer lots of encouragement.
Choosing the Right Board
While most all-around boards are about 11 feet in length, kids generally have an easier time with a shorter board. It’s important to find the best paddle board for kids, which will help them propel the board easier and maneuver it.
Also, it’s important to not that kids should wear a personal floatation device (PFD) such as a life jacket at all times when on the water.
The Love of Nature
You don’t have to live near the beach in California to enjoy paddle boarding. Most lakes, rivers or large creeks can be perfect places to get out and enjoy nature. My family loves to get out and spot the wildlife (turtles, beavers, and yes a few snakes).
Paddle boarding can take you to some of the most beautiful places that you might never have seen if you weren’t on the water. The low-profile nature of the boards allows you access to places that even some boats can’t reach.
With the face-paced society we live in, and all the other things that are currently going on in the world, it’s important to take a moment and reconnect with nature. You’ll be amazed at how your kids will immerse themselves in their surroundings.
Paddle Boarding is a Family Activity
One of the things I love about taking our kids out paddling is everyone puts their phones down and screens are turned off (except for the occasional photos). We all face so many distractions in the palm of our hands nowadays – parents included – that it’s nice to be able to take a break from it all.
Have young ones who are not ready to paddle on their own. They can share a board and either sit or stand in front of you. Most paddle boards are rated between 250 – 400 pounds.
Alternatively, if you’re looking to get on the water, but you are worried a SUP isn’t right for you, you might try kayaking. Most likely, there are many places near you to rent kayaks and SUPs to try them out before making the purchase.
I can promise you the time you spend paddling with your kids will create memories that will last a lifetime.