How To Teach Your Child To Paddle Board
Tip #1 - Build Experience In The Water
Before you ever take your child paddle boarding we highly recommend that they already have some pre-paddling experience and a good comfort level in the water and are already strong swimmers. Take things slow. If you skip this step you run the risk of possibly scaring them or not having the best experience...and we all want our kids to have a good time so they want to do it again. So don't just throw them in there, get them comfortable in the water first and maybe take them canoeing or kayaking so they can get that feeling for being out on the water beforehand so they don't have a sensory overload the first time paddle boarding.
Tip #2 - Tandem Paddling
Take your kids tandem paddle boarding and have them sit on the front of your paddle board while you provide the paddle power. You can start doing this at pretty much any age even as young as 2 years old, just always be responsible, make sure they wear a life jacket and never EVER push them beyond their comfort zone. Make sure to always ask them how they are feeling, let them know everything you are doing and communicate with them in a calm reassuring tone of voice so they know they are safe with you. When your child is about 4-7 years old they can then stand up with you on your board together, at first have them stand with no paddle with their back pressed against the front of your body while you are paddling so essentially you are doing the balancing for them while they are standing at first...from here your child will want to try and stand in the front of the board on their own while the board is moving...and from there all you have to do is put a paddle in their hand and you can both be tandem paddling on the same board together...which we promise, will be a thrill for both them and you!
Tip #4 - Take A Lesson
If you are already experienced at paddle boarding and water sports and want to teach your child yourself then this may not be necessary. But if you do not have much experience on the water or paddle boarding then it would be a really good idea to go ahead and book yourself a lesson. A professional paddle board instructor will give you the information you need to stay safe and teach you the techniques needed to quickly progress your skills to the next level. Taking a lesson is a great idea for anyone interested in learning a new action sport.
Tip #4 - Balance
The first couple of times that they attempt to stand up on a paddle board on their own you should walk alongside them in the water waist deep so you can keep a hand on the board and help them balance the board while they are trying to stand up by themselves for the first time. This is not only good for helping them with the balance, but it helps them to feel comfortable and confident because they feel safe from you being there next to them...soon after they will be telling you to let go of them board so they can do it on their own...now just run back and grab your own board and catch up top them so you can go on your first paddle together...and we'll see you out on the water!