Surfing, the thrill of riding waves and connecting with the ocean’s power, is a sport and lifestyle that captures the hearts of many. If you’re a parent and a surfer, you’ve likely dreamed of sharing your passion for the waves and the ocean with your children.
Surfing with kids can be an incredibly rewarding experience, fostering not only a love for the ocean but also lifelong memories. There’s a saying that the family that surfs together stays together.
In this guide, we’ll dive into the world of surfing with kids, offering practical tips and insights to ensure a fun, safe, and memorable surfing adventure for the whole family.
Start with Safety: Ocean Education is Key
Before you hit the waves, it’s essential to prioritize safety when surfing with kids. Educating your children about the ocean’s ever-changing conditions, potential dangers, and how to respect its power is the first step.
Teach them about rip currents, wave sets, and the importance of understanding tides. Ensure that your kids are comfortable in the water and can swim competently.
Choose the Right Surf Spot: Kid-Friendly Breaks
Selecting the right surf spot is crucial when surfing with kids. Look for mellow, beginner-friendly breaks that have small, rolling waves and sandy bottoms. Beaches with lifeguards on duty are also a wise choice, as they provide an extra layer of safety.
Research surf spots in advance, considering factors like accessibility, facilities, and crowds.
Kid-Friendly Beaches In Hawaii:
Waikiki is known for its gentle, rolling waves and is an ideal spot for kids to learn how to surf. The sandy bottom and consistent, smaller waves create a welcoming environment. Numerous surf schools in the area offer kid-friendly lessons, making it a fantastic choice for families.
Pokai Bay Beach Park
Located on the west coast of Oahu, Pokai Bay is protected by a reef, resulting in calm waters and smaller waves. The bay’s shallow and sandy bottom makes it perfect for kids to practice and gain confidence in the ocean.
Ala Moana Beach Park
This beach park features a protected area with a seawall that breaks the waves, creating a calm “baby beach” where kids can safely play and learn to catch smaller waves. The park also offers ample facilities and shaded areas for picnics.
Invest in Proper Gear: Kid-Sized Boards and Safety Equipment
To make your child’s surfing experience enjoyable and safe, invest in the right gear. This includes a kid-sized surfboard that is both buoyant and stable, ensuring that your child can balance and paddle easily. Soft top surfboards are a great choice for kids as they are not as hard as conventional resin and fiberglass surfboards which can help avoid bumps and bruises.
Additionally, consider equipping them with a wetsuit suitable for the water temperature to keep them comfortable and warm, Rash guards for sun protection. Teach your children the importance of sunscreen and protecting their skin from longterm sun damage.
Recommended Beginner Equipment:
- Kid-Sized Surfboard: The Foundation of Fun
One of the most crucial pieces of equipment for a young surfer is a well-suited surfboard. Kid-sized surfboards are designed to accommodate their smaller frames and skill levels.
- Wetsuit: Staying Comfortable and Warm
A wetsuit is a must-have for young surfers, as it not only keeps them warm but also offers protection from the sun and potential rashes.
- Leash: Ensuring a Secure Ride
Attaching a leash to your child’s surfboard ensures that they won’t get separated from their board in the waves. This security measure is crucial, especially for young surfers who are still developing their board-handling skills.
Seek Professional Instruction: Surf Schools and Coaches
Enrolling your child in a reputable surf school or hiring a qualified surf coach is an excellent way to ensure that they receive proper guidance and instruction.
Surf schools offer lessons tailored to different age groups and skill levels, providing a structured learning environment that can boost your child’s confidence and skills.
Teach Ocean Etiquette: Respect for the Environment
Surfing with kids provides an ideal opportunity to instill respect for the environment. Teach them about ocean conservation, including the importance of picking up trash and respecting marine life.
Encourage them to be mindful of their surroundings and to leave only footprints in the sand.
Patience is Key: Go at Their Pace
Remember that children learn at their own pace. Be patient, and avoid pushing your child into waves that may be too challenging for their skill level.
Positive reinforcement and praise for their efforts can go a long way in building their confidence and fostering a love for the sport.
Fun and Games: Keep It Enjoyable
Make the experience enjoyable by incorporating fun and games into your surf sessions. Play beach games, build sandcastles, or have a picnic by the shore. This will help create a positive association with the beach and surfing, making it something your child looks forward to and creates fond memories that will last a life time.
Safety First: Know When to Call It a Day
Safety should always be the top priority when surfing with kids. If conditions change or your child becomes tired or uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to call it a day. It’s better to end a session early than to push too hard and risk a negative experience.
Capture the Memories: Document the Journey
Surfing with kids is not only about teaching them the sport but also about creating lasting memories. Bring a waterproof camera or invest in a surf photographer to capture the joy of riding waves with your child. These photos will serve as precious mementos of your surfing adventures together.
Encourage Independence: Building Confidence
As your child progresses in their surfing journey, encourage independence. Let them paddle out on their own (under supervision) and make decisions about when they’re ready for a wave. This fosters a sense of confidence and responsibility.
Share the Stoke: Surfing Bonds Families
Surfing with kids is a shared adventure that can strengthen family bonds. It’s a chance to connect with your child in a unique and meaningful way, building shared memories and an enduring love for the ocean.
Surfing With Kids Can Be An Amazing Time!
Surfing with kids offers a chance to pass on your passion for the waves and create cherished moments as a family.
By prioritizing safety, providing the right gear, and making it a fun and enjoyable experience, you can ensure that your child’s surfing journey is not only memorable but also a lifelong source of stoke and connection with the sea. So, grab those boards, hit the beach, and let the adventures in the waves begin!