When is the time to consider the purchase of your kid’s first SUP? Many families purchase a stand up paddle board to begin paddling and then add a second board as the family starts to venture out on day trips. Loading up coolers and small children, 70 lbs and lighter, that typically ride on the board with their parents is common. Stable boards such as the Jason Ryan or Blondie are a good choice for families. As children grow they will want to do some paddling of their own.
At what point do parents consider the kid’s first SUP? The answer will of course vary from child to child. Some kids will want to paddle their own board from a very early age while others are content to ride along on their parent’s board. A general rule of thumb however, is when children are able to paddle along for more than just a few minutes. Children have yet to fully develop, hence their strength and cardio base are still under construction. With that in mind start out slow. Short trips near shore in protected areas are best. Safety is always the number one concern on the water, and keeping trips short allows children to develop their paddle power without exhausting them. Children will need PFDs rated for their weight and a leash is highly recommended. Keeping a spare leash in your gear bag can come in handy in the event a tow is needed. As children become stronger paddlers they will work up to longer trips with the family.
What board is appropriate for children? The Three Brothers boards Woodrow is perfectly sized for little ones at just 8’ in length and it allows them to use correct form as opposed to using an adult sized board. The goal of course is for children to be able to use proper technique just like adults and having equipment that fits them is key. Don’t forget the paddle! Kids will need a paddle sized to their frame. Adjustable paddles are a good choice as it will allow adjustment as they grow.
Kid’s first SUP can be a great way to discover all the possibilities of the water world and for the family to spend time together outdoors.