OK, so last summer, or perhaps the summer before, stand up paddle boarding officially became your family’s “outdoor sport of choice”. Congratulations! SUP families are active, healthy, stewards of environmentalism, the envy of the neighborhood, and producers of the world’s next generation of excellent citizens! It seem that you’ve already accomplished so much, and you are still ahead of the cool-curve. However now isn’t the time to rest on your laurels! Oh no, there are far too many milestones to achieve, techniques to master, and places to visit to hang up the paddle now and simply glide along. Here are a few goals you can share with your family over the coming season’s stand up paddle board adventures!
1. Learn to ride the waves!
Time to get those kids stand up paddle boards out into some surf! GromSUP’s Stoke 7’2″ is uniquely designed for kids to practice SUP surfing with a wide, stable deck, sufficient rocker, and 2 + 1 fin set up. Now that your kids have mastered flat water paddling, if they are comfortable, try bringing them to the ocean on a mellow day. You can help by wading out into waist deep water on their first few waves, here’s how:
- First, make sure their leash is secured so that if they fall, their SUP doesn’t go flying into the shore and injure someone. It’s best to avoid the busy bathing parts of the beach.
- Wade out to where the water is a little over waist deep, and have your grom stand on the board, balanced and with the paddle in hand, pointing towards the beach. The waves shouldn’t be cresting much higher than chest high for you while standing in waste deep water.
- Hold your kids stand up paddle board by the tail, standing behind the board and wait for a wave to approach. Instruct your kid to paddle towards the beach, and provide a smooth push to propel him or her into the wave.
That’s about it! Remember, practice makes perfect! There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube as well if you’d like some further coaching coaching!
2. Give back to the community
Stand up paddle boarding families have a track record of exemplary environmental stewardship, so if you haven’t already, we strongly suggest taking the whole family, kids and all, to participate in a beach clean up! Beach clean ups are a great way to teach your kids about the importance of protecting the areas in which they love to play, and to meet other awesome families! Organizations like the Surfrider Foundation hold events in many communities all over the country. If you don’t have a local chapter, there are certainly other organizations that can help out, or you could start your own (We’d love to hear about it if you do!).
The best part about a beach clean up is… you guessed it, playing at the beach afterward! So be sure to bring your kids stand up paddle boards along with your own, perhaps a picnic lunch, some sun screen… you know the drill!
3. Introduce a friend to SUPing
Perhaps the coolest thing you can do with your paddle boards is to teach a friend how it is done! By now your children certainly have friends they’ve told all about the awesome days they have had, playing on their kids stand up paddle boards. What would be more fun than bringing a couple of their friends along for your next trip??! Don’t just bring the children, invite the mom’s and dad’s too, after all, stand up paddle boarding isn’t just for groms (that’s a little inside joke, when we started GromSUP there weren’t good boards on the market for kids, but we’re happy to have helped change that!).
What are your plans with your kids and stand up paddle boarding this summer? We’d love to hear them, comment below!