Safety hasn’t always been rule number one for us. We used to say safety third after enjoyment and looking good but since having Ocean (our son) Safety has definitely become the most important part of our lives. We are adventure seekers at heart so bringing Ocean into this world we wanted him to see and experience all the things we love even at an early age! His first swim in the Ocean was in Hawaii when he was just 6 weeks old. And his first time on a paddleboard was at about 2 months. We wanted to share some important tips for integrating a baby into your SUP Adventures.
Make sure you have a very stable paddle board! The last thing you want to do is tip the board over. Use a wide table paddle board that you alone are very confident paddling on. We love paddling the Endurance Air with our baby because as a touring board it can hold a lot of weight and covers ground with ease. Our first time paddling with Ocean I was holding him in my arms on the board while my husband paddled us around and we were extremely stable in about one foot of water in a lagoon.
Take it slow! At first just paddle around in shallow waters to get your baby comfortable and feeling safe just sitting on the paddle board with them. Don’t travel far from shore. Your baby may be over the paddle sooner that you wanted.
Pick the right day! You want to go out on a nice calm, warm enough day. Check the winds, tides, and weather to make sure there’s no unexpected dangers. It helps if you have done the paddle before and know the area.
Make sure your baby is wearing a lifejacket and wetsuit if needed! We found an awesome wetsuit for our one year old made by Knee High Surf Co. and there are many varieties of infant and toddler PFD’s.
Have fun! We paddle board because it is fun. Now that Ocean is getting bigger he wants to jump off the board and play in the water more. A few times he has pushed the board all the way back in shallow water. It’s a little less time paddling but were outside in the water as a family and what matters most is creating the stoke.
Christian is a professional stand-up paddleboard athlete that is a team rider for Pau Hana Surf Supply, Kialoa, and Kokatat. She specializes in stand-up whitewater paddling, expedition SUP, SUP Yoga, SUP Surfing and is also an accomplished rock climber and ice climber. She loves sharing her passion for the water with others and helping people connect with the outdoors.
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