The New Kid-Friendly Cool Off…

boy in lifejacket swimming I cannot say this was my first time on a Stand Up Paddle board (SUP)…. but it was a first for my family. See I grew up windsurfing every weekend and windy day for most my youth and on non-windy days we just took the board out with a paddle. We didn’t have a name for it. Until now…

Well, my oldest daughter wants nothing more than to be a surfer. But seeing as we live in a land-locked state we had to do the next best thing – SUP!

Stand Up Paddling is super family friendly, and perhaps our new favorite addition to any time spent at a lake. Here is what we noticed:

Tips for SUP with Kids

  • Scout out local lakes/rivers/beaches before just appearing there with a board. Make sure you are comfortable with the beach access, distance from car, and general crowd. Generally: know as much as you can before you go.
  • Along with this, know the rules of the lake you are on, no-wake-zones, and general policies.
  • If you are worried about boat traffic, go to a lake that prohibits motorized boats.
  • Make sure all kids, have a coastguard approved life jacket. If you rent the board, often times the shops with give/rent life jackets as well.
  • Stay near the shore until you are comfortable with the board and/or your kid is able to swim back to the board if they fall off.
  • SUP, paddle boarding as a family
  • Bring good beach shoes if the area is rocky. KEEN sandals, Chaco, and Tevas came in handle for the beach players.
  • Take the board out by yourself first. Get the hang of balance and paddling before adding a kid on front.
  • Learning to balance on paddleboard

Teaching kids to balance on a paddleboard

  • Start on your knees (and stay there if needed) if you are having trouble balancing. Same for your kids.
  • If the board has a rough or grippy surface, rashguards might be nice for the kids if they are repeatedly falling off and climbing back on.
  • Play games on the board. One of our favorites is “chicken” (the toddler version) which involves all the kids standing on the board and the adult rocking it until they fall off. Last man standing wins. Just be careful of the little ones, we had a board flip and one get momentarily stuck underneath.
  • girl and dad on paddle board Toddler on paddleboard, SUP beach lake play at Pineview Reservoir


3 comments on “The New Kid-Friendly Cool Off…
  1. Pingback: Five Easy Outdoor Sports for Kids! - the kid project

  2. Hi, I am wondering what reservoir this is? I just stumbled by your blog. We are a local Salt Lake family looking for a great spots to SUP and to swim with our young kids and dog if possible. I would love your advice if you mind sharing!

    Thanks, Sage

    • This is Pineview Reservoir up east of Ogden. There is a free public beach area on the north side of the lake – cross the dam, and it is .5 miles BEFORE the marina on the right!Only about 5 minutes after crossing the dam.

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