Everyone has different interests, and that’s one thing that makes the world so diverse. When you become a parent, it’s natural for you to want to share those interests with your kids. If you’re a lover of all things surfing, for example, it may be one interest that you want your child to learn about. However, you may be wondering whether it’s safe for kids to be on surfboards and riding waves.
The great news is that kids can participate in surfing, but there are some things to consider. Age is one of them, however, there are different opinions surrounding how old a child should be before they mount their first board. As a rule of thumb, they should at least be comfortable in the water and interested in learning. On that note, here are some methods for encouraging a love of surfing in your little ones.
Encourage Physical Activity
Before your kids can get the hang of surfing, they may need to get used to physical activity. Although most kids aren’t short of energy, encourage it anyway. Get them accustomed to water activities especially if you want them to take to surfing. For instance, you could go swimming on a regular basis which could build their confidence in the water, especially when it comes to the push and pull of the ocean current. You could also play volleyball on the beach.
While getting your kids to share in your love for surfing is great, don’t limit them to just that sport. Give them the chance to try a range of different sports, as long as it keeps them active.
Not only will this allow them to explore their own interests, but they’re developing healthy habits in the process.
Remember that your kids will only be young once, so this is a way for them to make the most of their youth. Being young is having the freedom to explore whether it’s surfing or anything else.
Plan a Surfing Vacation
Have you ever had the luxury of going on a surfing vacation before? If you haven’t, this is a perfect chance for you to create a first for the entire family. Planning a surfing vacation gives you the opportunity to teach your kids more about the activity and make it exciting. You can let them be a part of the planning process from choosing a destination to getting necessary equipment like surfboards, wet suits, and earplugs.
Some of the world’s best surfing destinations are Ulu Watu in Bali and Playa Grande in Costa Rica. You want to choose a destination that has good waves, that’s safe, and that’s also child-friendly. If you do end up going to Costa Rica, Mal Pais is said to be family-friendly.
For those that are going to be traveling with a baby, be sure to consider them when planning your trip. Seeing as they’ll be too young to mount a surfboard, you and your partner may have to take turns sitting with them. Pack a bag full of beach-friendly toys to keep them entertained.
Go Over Safety Rules
Before teaching kids how to surf, it may be best to talk them through it. This way, they know what to expect before hitting the water. You can show them surfing videos on YouTube so they can visually see what it’s like.
After giving them a breakdown, take your first trip to the beach. Let them know what the surf safety rules are and set boundaries to prevent accidents from happening. One surfing safety rule to follow would be to stick to beaches with lifeguards. It’s also advisable that you stay with your child at all times when they’re in the water. Another safety tip is that they should have protection from the sun in the form of sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays. They will also need to always wear sunscreen with SPF higher than 30.
It would be a good idea to let them practice on the sand before getting them into the water to ride waves. When you think they’ve gotten the hang of the basics, then you can put it into practice in the water. Make sure they’re comfortable and build their confidence by encouraging them at all times.
Make it Fun
As with anything pertaining to kids, making it fun can make it more appealing. Find ways to make learning about surfing and the actual act itself something they look forward to. An idea would be to buy them surfing gifts such as boardshorts in their favorite color or a one-on-one surf coaching session. Another cool gift idea is a surfing watch as it’s something they can use every day.
Another way to make surfing fun is to create videos they can upload to a YouTube channel so it’s something they can be proud of. It’s also a good way to create memories that they can look back to one day in the future.
Surfing is a physical activity that can be exhilarating, challenging, and fun. Making it a family affair is a way to create a tradition that bonds you and your little ones. By encouraging them in the ways mentioned above, hopefully, surfing is something that will stick with them for a lifetime.