As a working mom or dad, you may be struggling to make time for fun, fitness, and time with the family. Look no further than the sport of stand up paddle boarding!
I am a PRO at paddling with kids. And want you to become a pro, too. I was pregnant with Ziek (now 3) and already mom to Xander (now 6) when we opened Epic Boardsports on July 1, 2011. I have found over the years that the sport of stand up paddling is the perfect way to get time together as a family while staying fit. I wanted to write this blog entry to share with you the ways I have successfully spent many hours on the water with my kids:
- Keep expectations low – especially at the start. Keep sessions short and sweet until the junior paddlers are acclimated.
- Keep snacks, water, and maybe even a couple toys (for the younger, ride-along paddlers) on hand.
- Use leashes. Younger paddlers may become fatigued, or the wind may change direction, leaving you to do most of the work for the paddle home. A leash can be a great tool to pull your junior paddler home.
- Encourage them. (“Great work! Keep paddling! You’re doing awesome!”)
- Scenery is key. Find a place to paddle that has an abundance of wildlife or other cool things to check out (dolphins, manatees, birds…..) Kids are more interested in the natural world than in becoming a proficient paddler.
- Think dinner. If your kids like to fish, bring a pole along with you! They can catch dinner while you paddle!
- Take breaks often – let them swim (this breaks up the activity) or just rest and ask them about their day before paddling some more.
- Think light and sized right. If they have an interest in paddling their own board, get them the right equipment from the start. Sometimes a small surf sup for you can double as a flat water board for them.