paddleboard with kids

How to Paddleboard with Kids [Tip & Tricks for a Fun and Safe Time on the Water]

Choosing to paddleboard with kids can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Not only is it a great way to spend time together as a family, but it also provides children with the opportunity to learn about water safety, explore nature and get some exercise.

With the right equipment and preparation, you can make your paddleboard outing memorable for all of you!

The benefits of paddleboarding as a family activity

Paddleboarding has a number of great benefits, it is a great way to spend quality time together as a family while also getting some full body exercise and fresh air. It is a low-impact activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. Paddleboarding can also be a great way to explore nature and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors.

Paddleboarding is a great way to bond with your children and teach them new skills. It is a great way to get young kids balance and stability practice, once they are implementing important safety tips on the water, they have a new healthy and happy hobby.

Safety Precautions Before you Paddleboard with Kids

When paddleboarding with children, it is important to take extra precautions to ensure their safety. Always make the following checks.

  • Wear a properly fitting life jacket and that they understand the importance of wearing it at all times.
  • Awareness of the rules of the water and know what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Keep an eye on weather conditions and water currents and avoid paddleboarding in adverse conditions.
  • Make sure that children stay close to shore away from the open ocean and always listen to the adult in charge.
  • Remind children to be aware of other boats and swimmers in the area and to always follow water safety guidelines.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Paddle Board Types and Sizes for Children

When choosing a paddle board for a child, it is important to consider their age, weight, and skill level. It is recommended to start with a smaller sup board, around 8-10 feet in length, with a wider and more stable design.

I recommend an adjustable paddle. With an adjustable paddle, you can easily make it smaller for the kids when they’re paddle boarding and then make it larger for you when it’s your turn to SUP.

As the child grows and becomes more experienced, they can move up to a larger board. It is also important to consider the weight limit of the board to ensure it can safely support the child.

Life Jackets and Other Safety Gear for Kids:

Life jackets are essential for children when paddle boarding as they provide flotation and aid in keeping the child afloat in case of an accident.

It is important to choose a life jacket that is properly sized for the child and that fits snugly but comfortably.

Other safety gear for children may include a whistle, a board leash to attach to the child and the board, and personal flotation devices (PFD).

How to Properly fit a Life Jacket on a Child

To properly fit a life jacket on a child, it is important to adjust the straps so that the jacket is snug against the child’s body. The jacket should not be too loose or too tight. The child should be able to move their arms and legs freely.

The jacket should also be worn high on the chest and the child should be able to breathe comfortably. It is important to make sure that the child can move around and swim comfortably with the jacket on.

Teaching your kids to paddleboard

Basic Paddling Techniques for Children:

When teaching children to paddle board, it is important to start with basic techniques such as the proper grip on the paddle, how to use the paddle to move forward, and how to change direction.

Paddling in the kneeling position is a great way to get used to the feel of the SUP and will feel much more stable.

Children should also be taught how to keep their upper body straight and how to use their core muscles to power the paddle.

It is also important to teach children the importance of proper paddling techniques to prevent fatigue and injury.

Younger children can sit on your own board while you paddle if you are comfortable with that. Older children probably will want to paddle by themselves.

How to Balance on a Paddle Board:

Balance is key to successful paddle boarding, and children should be taught how to maintain balance on a board.

This includes teaching them how to distribute their weight evenly on the board, how to shift their weight to stay centered, and how to use their feet to adjust their position.

Children can also be taught how to kneel on the board for added stability.

For younger children, you’ll want to have them experience what it’s like to sit on the paddleboard. You can have them explore the paddleboard on land and in the water, where they are most comfortable.

Have them sit on the sup board while you stand next to them holding the board and give them a slow, calm ride around a shallow area.

Safety Tips for Kids While on the Water:

Safety should be the top priority when teaching children to paddle board.

Children should be taught how to properly use all safety gear, including life jackets, whistles, and leashes. They should also be taught about the dangers of water and how to recognize and avoid potential hazards.

Children should be taught about the importance of staying together and keeping an eye out for each other. They should also be taught about the importance of staying within their skill level and not taking unnecessary risks.

Making the experience fun for Kids

Games and Activities to Play while Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding can be made more fun for children by incorporating games and activities into the experience. Some examples include:

  • Treasure hunt where children search for floating objects in the water.
  • Race where children compete to see who can paddle to a certain point the fastest.
  • Follow the leader where the children follow the leader’s board and try to imitate their movements.
  • Water tag where children try to touch each other’s boards with their paddles.

How to Encourage Children to Stay Engaged and Interested

To keep children engaged and interested in paddle boarding, it is important to make the experience interactive and engaging.

This can be done by setting goals for them to achieve, such as reaching a certain point on the water, or by incorporating games and activities as mentioned above.

It is also important to give children positive feedback and encouragement throughout the experience.

Another great way to keep your kids engaged is to try new spots, there are many beautiful paddle boarding areas to choose from.

Tips for Keeping Kids Comfortable and Safe in the Sun and Heat

To keep kids comfortable and safe while paddle boarding in the sun and heat, it is important to apply sunscreen to exposed skin and to wear appropriate clothing such as a hat and a long-sleeve shirt to protect them from the sun.

It is also important to provide a young child with water and snacks to keep them hydrated and to take breaks in the shade when needed.

Teaching children to recognize the signs of heat exhaustion and sunstroke is also important to ensure their safety.

Encouragement to Continue Paddleboarding as a Family Activity

Paddleboarding is a great way for families to spend time together, enjoy the outdoors, and stay active.

It is a low-impact and easy-to-learn activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.

I encourage families to continue paddleboarding as a regular activity and to explore new places and try different types of paddleboarding such as touring, racing, yoga, or fishing.


Paddleboarding with children can be a fun and enjoyable activity for the whole family if proper safety precautions are taken.

This includes choosing the right equipment, such as an appropriate-sized paddle board and properly fitting life jacket, and teaching children basic paddling techniques and safety tips while on the water.

It is also important to make sure children stay engaged and interested in the activity by incorporating games and activities and keeping them comfortable and safe in the sun and heat.

If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy Best Paddle Board for Surfing & Best Paddleboard for Dogs.

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