Skip to content

Buy a paddle board today and get 10% OFF paddles & leashes at checkout

Previous article
Now Reading:
Paddleboarding with Kids: A Beginner's Guide
Next article

Paddleboarding with Kids: A Beginner's Guide

Paddleboarding is a great way for families to have fun outdoors. It's perfect for bonding over an active experience. We'll show you how to start stand up paddleboarding (SUP) with your kids. You'll learn about gear, safety tips, and how to have a blast, no matter the age.

As a paddle board brand called Starboard, we know a lot about this. We've been making quality inflatable and composite boards for 25 years. Our inflatable SUPs stand out because of their welded rails.

Key Takeaways

  • Paddleboarding is a great way for families to enjoy the outdoors and bond over a shared activity.
  • This guide covers essential gear, safety considerations, and tips to make paddleboarding fun for kids.
  • Starboard is a leading paddle board brand with 25 years of experience in building high-quality inflatable and composite SUPs.
  • Paddling with kids requires attention to stability, safety, and creating an engaging experience.
  • With the right preparation, paddleboarding can become a cherished family tradition.

The Joys of Paddling with Kids

Stand up paddleboarding is great for families spending time together outdoors. It's good, fun exercise that works your whole body. It also improves your balance and strengthens your core. Plus, being outside is good for your mind. Paddleboarding is also a confidence booster for kids. They learn to stand and paddle on their own.

Benefits of Stand Up Paddleboarding for Families

Outside the exercise, stand up paddleboarding lets families grow closer and make lasting memories. The calm water and easy movements of paddling with kids lead to talks, laughter, and a feeling of thrill. Kids also start loving water sports and nature more as they paddle.

A COVID-Friendly Family Adventure

In times of COVID-19, stand up paddleboarding shines as a safe family sport. It lets you keep your distance while having fun together in the sun. When beaches or water parks are hard to reach, kayaking with children is a good choice. Guided paddling tours for families and children's paddling lessons keep it safe for the little ones.

Essential Gear for paddle with kids

To have fun and be safe stand up paddleboarding with kids, you need the right gear. Choose a wider, stable board for you and your child's weight. Inflatable SUPs are also great because they're easy to take with you and store.

Stand Up Paddleboard Selection

Get an adjustable paddle that works for adults and kids. It's smart to rent gear if you're new so you can see if you like it before buying your own.

Additional Accessories

Don't forget personal flotation devices (PFDs) for safety, a leash to keep the board close, and a waterproof bag. You'll need the bag for stuff like sunscreen and your phone in case of emergencies. These extras make family paddling safer and more fun.

Gear Item Importance Recommended Features
Stand Up Paddleboard Provides a stable and secure platform for paddling with kids Wide, stable design to accommodate additional weight; inflatable for easy transport and storage
Adjustable Paddle Allows for customization to fit both adult and child users Telescoping or modular design to adjust the length as needed
Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) Ensures safety for all participants in the event of falling into the water Well-fitted, Coast Guard-approved PFDs for both adults and children
Leash Keeps the paddleboard tethered to the user, preventing it from floating away Sturdy, coiled leash that attaches securely to the paddleboard and user
Waterproof Bag Protects personal items and emergency supplies from getting wet Durable, waterproof construction with enough space to store essentials like sunscreen, phone, and snacks

Getting Started: Tips for Beginners

Starting your family's journey in stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is exciting. It's crucial to begin correctly for safety and fun. Here are the main things to keep in mind when starting with SUP.

Choosing the Right Location

As newcomers, opt for peaceful waters at first. This could be serene lakes or bays. Avoid places with strong currents or lots of boat traffic. This way, you'll hone your skills without too many obstacles.

Practice on Solid Ground

Start with land practice to understand the SUP board and paddle. This will boost your confidence and prep your family for the water. You can practice in your yard or a nearby park to learn the basics quickly.

Mastering Balance and Paddling Techniques

Once you hit the water, focus on your form to stay steady on the SUP board. Keep your back upright, tighten your core, and stand with feet apart. Learn simple paddling at first. This way, everyone in the family will have a safe, fun paddling time.

Beginner Paddling Techniques Advantages
Proper Stance and Balance Enhances stability and control on the board
Forward Stroke Propels the SUP in a straight line
Turning Techniques Allows for navigating and maneuverability
Falling and Remounting Builds confidence and familiarization with the sport

Making it Fun: Games and Activities

Keep kids happy and excited about stand up paddleboarding by playing fun games. Teach them to fall off and get back on. This builds their self-assurance and gets them used to the activity. Try "Paddle Battle" where they try to bump each other off by moving the board. For little ones, they can start by sitting or kneeling on the board. You paddle to move the board at first. Then, they can try standing on their own. This makes the whole experience fun and helps the family have a great time together.

Fun Paddling Games for Kids Benefits
Paddle Battle Builds balance, coordination, and friendly competition
Onboard Scavenger Hunt Encourages observation skills and exploration of the waterway
Paddling Races Develops paddling technique and a sense of accomplishment
Floating Obstacle Course Enhances agility, problem-solving, and physical activity

Adding these activities to your paddleboarding trips will keep everyone excited. It helps kids learn new skills and make special memories on the water.

Safety First: Precautions for Family Paddling

Safety always comes first when paddleboarding with kids. Make sure all kids can swim well. Also, there should be a spotter near you. They can be in the water or on another board. This person must have a line to tow with. Everyone, including adults and kids, must wear PFDs. This is crucial for safety.

Wearing Personal Flotation Devices

Fitting your family with life jackets is key for fun and safety on the water. Choose life jackets for kids that fit well. They should be snug but allow for easy movement. Make sure these PFDs are approved by the Coast Guard and in good shape.

Staying Close and Supervising Children

Start in a calm body of water, like a lake, if you're paddling with kids. Avoid windy or busy places. Stay near your kids, especially if they are on their own boards. Watch what they do to keep them safe. Also, having a spotter with a tow line nearby is a smart idea.

Advancing Skills: From Toddlers to Teens

As kids get better at stand up paddleboarding, they become more confident. It's vital to match their learning with their age and skills. This ensures paddleboarding is fun and rewarding for all children.

Paddling with Younger Children

Start young ones off by sitting or kneeling on the board. An adult can paddle them around at first. Then, let them try standing in shallow, safe areas. This helps them get used to the water and improves their balance and coordination.

It’s important to let them fall off and get back on. This teaches them not to be afraid of trying new things.

Encouraging Older Kids' Independence

Older kids can paddle on their own boards. Stay nearby to help and guide them when they need it. They should practice turning, speeding up, and getting back on if they fall off.

With your help and a lot of patience, children at any age can really enjoy stand up paddleboarding. This sets the stage for many great years of fun on the water.

It doesn't matter if your child is a toddler or a teen. The secret to successful paddleboarding is tailoring the experience to their skills. This builds a life-long love for paddle and kayak sports. And most importantly, it builds happy memories for the family.

Planning Memorable SUP Adventures

After learning stand up paddleboarding, it's great to plan special outings. These adventures will stay in your memories for years. You can explore beautiful waterways and the wonders of nature. This is perfect for spending time with your children.

Exploring Scenic Waterways

Start by looking into local lakes, bays, or coastal areas. Find places with beautiful scenery and calm waters for easy paddling. Aim for spots that mix peaceful settings with chances to see wildlife. Make sure they are safe for families. Whether it's a nearby lake or a wonderful coast, these places will make your trips amazing.

Packing for a Day on the Water

Getting ready for a paddling day means packing wisely. Don't forget sunscreen, water, and healthy snacks. They will keep you going strong. A waterproof bag is vital for your belongings. Put your phone, keys, and a change of clothes in there. Bringing a cooler for drinks and a towel to relax on is smart too. With this setup, your paddleboarding days will be smooth and fun.


Stand up paddleboarding is a great way for families to have fun outdoors. It helps you bond over a shared hobby and teaches children to love water sports. Follow our guide to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.

Safety is key, so always start in a calm spot. Use games and exploration to make your paddleboarding adventures exciting. The right equipment and mindset can turn paddleboarding into a favorite family activity.

Enjoy paddling with your loved ones and let the water's peace and the sport's excitement bring you closer. This guide lays the groundwork for a great SUP experience. Now, go out there and start your own journey, filled with memories that will stay with you forever.


What are the benefits of stand up paddleboarding for families?

Stand up paddleboarding is great for families. It provides a whole-body workout and boosts balance and core strength. Plus, being out in nature improves mental health.

It helps kids grow confident, too. They learn to stand and steer the board by themselves.

Is stand up paddleboarding a COVID-friendly activity?

Yes, it is. Families can have fun on the water while keeping a safe distance. This is important when beaches or busy areas are closed.

Stand up paddleboarding means you don't have to go where everyone else is. It's a peaceful way to explore the water.

What type of stand up paddleboard is best for families?

Choose a wide, stable SUP for families. It should support adults and kids. Inflatables are also good because they're easy to carry and store.

What other essential gear is needed for stand up paddleboarding with kids?

Besides the SUP, you'll need adjustable paddles and PFDs for safety. A leash for the board is a must. Don’t forget a waterproof bag for your things.

How should beginners start with stand up paddleboarding with kids?

Start on calm water like a lake without too much wave or boat traffic. Before you go into the water, practice balancing and paddling on the ground.

This helps everyone get comfortable. Once in the water, it's easier to try standing and paddling.

What safety precautions should be taken when stand up paddleboarding with kids?

Safety is key. Kids must know how to swim, and always have an adult watching. PFDs are required for everyone, and pick a quiet water spot to begin.

How can parents help their kids progress in stand up paddleboarding?

For little ones, start by paddling them around the shallow part of the water. Then, let them stand at their own pace. With older kids, guide them as they paddle independent boards.

What should families consider when planning stand up paddleboarding adventures?

Look for calm bodies of water near you. These should be safe and perfect for family paddling. Also, pack sunscreen, snacks, and a waterproof bag for your gear.



Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping

Select options