Teaching Your Kids to Surf
We’re super stoked to see so many parents in the water teaching their kids to surf these school holidays. Teaching your children to surf is a special gift and teaching them how to stay safe in the ocean is so important.
As a surfing mum or dad it’s awesome watching your little grom squeal with excitement as they catch their first wave on a kids surfboard, but there are a few things you need to know to ensure your kids stay safe, have fun and want to get back out there to try it again.
Time it right
Do yourself a favour and don’t take your kids out when the water is cold, on a windy day or in unfriendly surf conditions. Kids hate being cold so summer is a great time to get them out there, the water is warm and you’ll get to spend more time in the waves. If the surf is messy and the wind is howling it can be frustrating for both of you, so wait for a clean day with minimal wind.
Always start off in the white water. It’s harder to paddle into unbroken waves and they’ll most probably nosedive. Wipeouts are inevitable, but they can also scare kids out of the surf. The white water is friendlier and your kids will get a longer wave, giving them more of a chance to stand up.
Even though you might be tempted to send your kids out on the old 6’6’’ shortboard you have in the shed, or your own shortboard, a bigger board is a better choice.
The bigger the board, the easier it is to paddle and the more stable it is when they stand up. Although mals or mini mals are fine, we recommend a softboard, a safer and more durable option. A trip to the local hospital is the last thing you want and we’ve all seen some nasty accidents caused by fibreglass boards. The Surfboard Warehouse stocks a range of softboards that are perfectly suited to beginner surfers.
Make it fun
School is over for the year and holidays are for fun, so even though you might feel like giving them an in-depth lecture on the correct way to surf, save it. Stay clear of the technical jargon, give them the basics on surf safety then get out in the water. After all, that’s where the fun is!
Yes, we’d all like our children to grow up to be the next Mick Fanning or Stephanie Gilmore, but pushing them into waves before they are ready might end in tears. Do this and you might have to wait even longer until they are interested to try it again. The last thing you want is to scare them or make it an unpleasant experience. Most of the time kids will indicate when they are ready to learn to surf, most of the time they are the ones nagging to get out there!
Sharing your love of the ocean is a great way to spend time with your children and you’ll find that you have as much fun as they do.