You love stand up paddle boarding (SUPing). It has helped make you healthier, stronger, more fit, and has brought more joy to your life than you could have imagined it ever would. As such, you want your child to feel the same way about it as you do. However, you’re also aware of the fact that if you try to get your kid excited about anything, there’s a good chance that they’ll feel the opposite. Is it possible that we’re (parents) all not as cool as we think we are? SUPing on the other hand is indeed exceedingly cool. It just takes some nurturing and subtle nudging to encourage your kid to come to that realization. Below are some helpful tips to making that happen.
5 Effective Ways to Get Your Child Pumped-Up About Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Show Stoke by Example
The best way to get your child stoked on something, is to not say a word. Instead, show them, and lead by example. If you don’t do this enough already, bring them along to the beach, lay down the towels and gear, and take your SUP out on the water to show them what you’ve got. The seeds to SUPing will be planted as they watch you paddle around and return to shore with a big smile on your face. Tell them about all of the cool things you saw out there (seals and other sea life, etc.) and the friendly interactions you had with fellow SUPers. It’s a great idea to pick spots where other kids are out having fun on SUPs of their own. It’s one thing to see their parents do something, but when they see their “peers” having a blast they are more likely to want to join in on the fun.
Choose Child-Friendly SUP Spots
As alluded to above, choosing the right spot to SUP with your kids is key. If they have a bad or even slightly negative experience they may never again pick up a paddle. Avoid open-ocean and unprotected waters or anywhere with waves, wake, or current when first introducing them to SUPing. Also, avoid crowds. While it’s great for them to see other kids SUPing, too many paddlers may make them uneasy and concerned about embarrassment if (when) they fall in. Pick places with calm, shallow, flat-water and impeccable scenery above and below the surface. Also choose areas with amenities (beach concessions, cafes, cool shops, etc.) that you can enjoy together apres-SUP so they see that paddle boarding isn’t just an activity, but a fun lifestyle. Canada offers a bounty of kid-friendly flat-water posts to paddle, including these amazing places in Greater Vancouver and throughout beautiful British Columbia.
Try a Lesson / Rental First
Introduce them to SUPing gradually by renting a board a few times. A lesson or two is also a great idea. This help them be successful right away and will ensure that they don’t develop any bad habits (i.e. improper standing and paddling form) which will cause them to fall into the water more often, and discourage them from participating again in the future. If you happen to live near (or are visiting) the White Rock BC area we welcome you to come down to try a Sea Gods rental or enjoy (you and your child) a 2-hour lesson from a certified Paddle Canada Instructor.
Get Them Some SUPing Swag
The swag surrounding a healthy lifestyle is often what introduces us to that lifestyle in the first place. When we were kids, we all wanted the cool brands worn by athletes (surfers, skateboarders, hockey or basketball players, etc.) before we even played or participated in the activities they represented. These small purchases can open the floodgates to interest, so introduce your kid to SUPing by adorning them in the swag that conveys how cool it is. How this is accomplished will look a lot different for tots than it is for pre-teens, so give it some thought.
These colourful SeaGods hoodies are a great place to start, but we also recommend checking out all available accessories and assorted gear that may get your kid pumped up to SUP. In addition, be sure to provide them (and you!) with peace of mind on the water by picking up a premium PFD / lifejacket.
Pick a SUP That’s Made for Them
Once that spark has ignited a flame and your child has expressed interest in getting their very own SUP (try to keep calm, parents) it’s time to shop around for a board best suited to them. Ultimately this is the most important consideration as it is the vessel that will carry them through the next few years, and will determine whether or not they will keep SUPing from adolescence into adulthood.
As parents ourselves, we have put a LOT of thought into the design and manufacturing of an inflatable stand up paddle board (ISUP) that is not only safe, convenient, and comfortable for your child, but one that looks awesome (to them) to ride.
Our kid’s ISUP will turn your child into a “SUP kid” in no time at all. The ASR paddle board system has thought of everything. For one, the three integrated rubber fins will get your little-one in and out of the water with no hassle. In addition, the adjustable paddle will grow as they do, while the sturdy inflatable board itself is easy for your little SUPer to carry, paddle, and maneuver. If they get tired and want to jump back onto your board, it is easy to hitch-up and tow behind your board until they are hungry for freedom again. And if you get your own Sea Gods board you will enjoy an action camera mount to record your together-adventures and create memories to last a lifetime.
View important specs and more on the Sea Gods ASR ISUP, and please feel free to reach out if you have any questions whatsoever.