Introducing your kids to paddle boarding would give them a fun-filled experience. If you wish to do so, choosing the right kids stand up paddle board (SUP) is the first step. There are paddle boards that come in various sizes, weights, and shapes to make paddle boarding a fun activity for kids.
As a parent, your child’s safety comes first so you want to choose the safest and most reliable paddle board for your child. If you’re on the lookout for SUPs, this article has all the factors you need to consider before choosing a stand up paddle board for your child.
Types Of Kids Paddle Boards
There are two types of kids paddle boards you can choose from. These paddle boards have different distinctive features that you need to consider to determine which is best suitable for a child.
Hard Paddle Board
Hard paddle board or solid SUP comes in a variety of materials but for children, you might want to go for a plastic hard paddle board. Hard paddle boards are affordable and weigh more than other paddle boards.
The advantage of a hard paddle board is that it’s easier to paddle. It’s also very stable which increases safety and it doesn’t require pumping. Hence, it’s easy to use.
The major drawbacks of solid SUPs are its size and weight which makes it a bit too heavy for kids. Also, it’s not portable and easy to move around.
Inflatable Paddle Board
Inflatable paddle boards or inflatable SUP are made from a combination of layers of fibers and high-grade PVC plastic. Inflatable SUPs can be inflated and deflated after use. They have an anti-slip surface that increases stability.
The upside of inflatable SUP is its lightweight and portability. This makes it easy for kids to push into the water and it also makes it easy to store and move around.
In addition, Inflatable SUPs have a softer surface which makes them super child friendly.
The downside of inflatable SUP is that it costs more than other paddle boards. The inflation process can take up to thirty minutes.
How To Choose A Beginner Paddle Board?
When choosing a beginner paddle board, you need to consider are the following.
- Ease of Use: You need to consider the ease of usage between the two paddle boards. Inflatable SUP is lightweight, portable, and easy to move around which makes it easy to use. Solid SUP doesn’t need to be inflated so it saves you time. However, it’s heavier and less portable.
- Maintenance: You should also consider the ease of maintaining the paddle board. While inflatable SUP is easier to use and more suitable for beginners, it requires higher maintenance. Furthermore, Exposure to UV rays can lead to puncture and damage. You also need to know how to store inflatable SUP as instructed by the manufacturer or it can suffer damages.
Damage to an inflatable SUP is more difficult to repair because you will be using vinyl repair glue which is complicated to use. A hard paddle board is easier to maintain and only requires a large and dry space to store it. Likewise, fixing a hard paddle board is easier because it involves resin which is a less complicated solution.
- Functionality: To identify the best paddle board for kids you need to consider the functionality. Inflatable SUPs have an anti-slip surface that provides stability. Additionally, it has a softer surface that increases comfortability and safety. Solid SUP is very stable, nonetheless, its hard surface is not very child-friendly.
- Durability: To ensure that you won’t need to buy a replacement months later, you need to consider the durability of the paddle boards. Inflatable paddle boards are made from high-grade PVC and it’s also easy to store which makes them very durable. A hard paddle board is also durable, however, it can suffer breakage and scratch if not properly stored.
- Size, Thickness, and Weight: You need to be certain that the paddle board is the right size for your child. You should go for a long, wild, and comfortable board that will make learning fun and easy for your kid.
In terms of weight, it is recommended that you get a board that’s twice the weight of your child. As the child gets better at paddling, he will require less volume. This way, the paddle board can grow along with your child.
For beginners and kids, the appropriate thickness for an inflatable SUP is between 4 – 6 inches thick. This will provide enough stability in the water and it will also be easier to get started.
You can consider getting an inflatable SUP for beginners which is designed specifically for kids and people who want to learn how to paddle. You can also consider solid SUP for kids which comes in the right weight and size.
- Cost: Inflatable SUPs cost more than solid SUP because they offer different levels of functionality. Before buying an inflatable SUP you should ensure you have carried out the necessary comparisons so you can get the best return for your money.
Are Longer Paddle Boards More Stable?
The length of a paddle board influences the weight and volume it can hold. Longer paddle boards can hold more weight and volume than shorter boards which makes them more stable. On longer paddle boards, the weight will be evenly distributed in the front and back which Increases its stability.
When To Buy Your Kid A Paddle Board
Paddle board manufacturers make paddle boards for kids starting from five years old. However, before buying your kid a paddle board, there are some things you should ascertain.
Firstly, be sure that your kid is comfortable in the water. Take your kid on a ride on your paddle board and let them experience the fun. Sooner or later, your kid might request for their own paddle board.
Secondly, ensure your kid can swim comfortably. When kids can swim, they will be more comfortable in the water and it will be safe to buy them a paddle board.
And lastly, that your kid is big enough to use a lightweight paddle. You can help them tow their paddle board occasionally, but ensure they can do it themselves because that’s the whole point of buying them a paddle board.
Can Kids Use An Adult Paddle Board?
Kids can use adult paddle boards, however, this will depend on the age of the child. Adult paddle boards might be harder for kids to control but they will increase comfortability and speed up the learning process.
Paddling can be a fun and exciting way to spend some outdoor time with your kid. It also allows them to explore their hobbies and engage in sports. So choosing the right kids stand up paddle board is necessary to ensure their safety and make their learning process more fun.