It’s not always easy to find an activity that suits both adults and kids. Water activities are the best during summer time and we are lucky in Florida to have lots of springs and rivers. The Indian River is a great spot to start and at 321Boat, we have many options, including paddle board rentals.
CAN YOU TAKE A CHILD ON A PADDLE BOARD?
We get a lot of questions about the practicality of paddle boarding with kids and family, but the truth is that paddle boarding is a very safe activity that’s great for children. Read on to learn how to make the most of the experience.
WHAT IS PADDLE BOARDING OR SUP?
According to Wikipedia, Standup paddleboarding (SUP) is a water sport born from surfing with modern roots in Hawaii. Stand up paddleboarders stand on boards that are floating on the water, and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. The sport was documented in a 2013 report that identified it as the outdoor sporting activity with the most first-time participants in the United States that year.
BENEFITS OF STAND UP PADDLEBOARD
Spending time with family is important, and finding activities that everyone can enjoy can be a challenge. Paddle boarding is the perfect solution – it’s a fun way to get outdoors and get some exercise, all while spending time together. What might seem like a leisurely day on the water is actually a great workout for the arms, legs, and core.
Because you’re working to maintain balance while paddling, you’re also getting a great foot and leg workout. Paddle boarding is a great way to promote balance and endurance, and it’s a low-impact workout that’s easy on your joints.
Paddle boarding is not just a great way to get some exercise, it’s also a great way to build confidence in children. There’s nothing like seeing the smile on a child’s face when they finally nail the ability to stand up and paddle the board forward. As their skills improve, you’ll see their grins getting wider and wider.
Being outside and on the water is also great for stress relief, something that we could all use a little more of right now. Regular doses of fresh air and nature are important components to maintaining good mental health for the whole family. So put down those screens, and let’s get outside!
Having fun and quality family time does not mean being reckless. You don’t want this beautiful day to end badly.
Let’s talk safety, because it’s better to be safe than sorry.
DO YOU NEED A LICENSE TO PADDLE BOARD IN FLORIDA?
You do not have to register a paddle board in Florida.
According to Florida Statutes “A non-motor-powered vessel less than 16 feet in length or a non-motor-powered canoe, kayak, racing shell, or rowing scull, regardless of length” are exempted from registration at the FLHSMV.
NO MINIMUM AGE IN FLORIDA
There is no minimum age to paddle board in Florida. But the boating regulations of Florida wildlife and conservation say that you still need to have some protections.
- Unless the paddleboard is being used within a “swimming, surfing or bathing area,” the paddleboard must have a USCG-approved life jacket for each person and a sound-producing device on board while on the water.
- Persons on the paddleboard are not required to wear the life jacket while on Florida waters, unless they are less than 6 years of age
Florida law requires that life jackets must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for life jackets is based on body weight and chest size.
HOW AND WHERE PADDLEBOARDING
In central Florida, and and more precisely at our beautiful location in Brevard County, we have everything you need to enjoy a paddle boarding adventure with your kids, whether you’re beginners or experienced outdoor adventurers.
LEARNING HOW TO PADDLE
POSITION ON THE PADDLE BOARD
When starting to paddle, starting on your knees is a good thing.
Once you are comfortable on your knees, it is time to get up. Lift one knee after the other to get into a crouch, always with the paddles perpendicular to the paddle, and then stand up slowly.
The ideal position is to place your feet on either side of the carrying handle. Position them perpendicular to the axis of your board: contrary to surfing, where your feet are placed parallel to this axis.
HOW TO GET BACK ON THE PADDLE BOARD
The main fear your child may experience will probably be falling in the water and not being able to get back on the paddle board, but this shouldn’t be a concern. If your child is preoccupied with this thought, encourage them to jump off the board into the water in a safe area and try getting back on, as this will show them that there’s nothing to fear; falling in is one of the fun parts of paddle boarding, on occasion, and will allow you to cool off when things heat up.
The only thing they need to keep in mind when they start to lose their balance is to try to fall in the water and not on the paddle board; it doesn’t hurt to fall into the water and it’s not scary or dangerous when you’re wearing a life jacket. To get back on the paddle board, you have to put the paddle on it to have your hands free. Then you have to grab the board towards the middle, pulling up with your arms to get back on.
SWIMMER OR NON-SWIMMER?
You child can stand alone on their paddle board, but as a general rule, kids will need to know how to swim first. Before that, you can always have your child stay on your board with you. Don’t forget to have your child wear a properly fitted life jacket, no matter how strong a swimmer they are. Not only is it required by law, but it’s the #1 way to keep your child safe on the water, especially while engaging in new activities.
Before you set your kid off on the board, there are a few things you should do first.
Make sure you lay your board on the grass and have your child stand on it. This way, they can get used to the feeling of being on the board. If your kids are old enough to go on the paddle board by themselves, take the opportunity to show them how to properly hold a paddle and steer their board while you’re still on land.
Then, go on a calm body of water. You want them to be able to focus on learning how to stand and balance in the water, without having to worry about getting splashed or knocked over. The calmer the water is, the easier it will be for them to stay upright. And they have one less thing to worry about while trying to learn something new!
As any parent knows, kids tend to need a lot of stuff when you leave the house. It can be hard to keep track of everything. That’s why always make sure to pack a bag with all the essentials before heading to paddleboard. Some of the best things you want to bring with you are :
- A life-jacket to be safe
- Bug spray because we have a lot of bugs ( mosquitos, no-see-em …)
- A hat and sunscreen; in Florida the Uv index is really high
- water for hydration especially during hot days
- A few snacks to keep the kids happy
- Waterproof or quick dry clothes
- A cell phone : don’t forget your cell phone in case of an emergency. While there is always a risk of losing the phone if the bag falls in the water, it’s worth it for the peace of mind of everyone.
A good thing to do is also to dress in layers during winter time – this will allow you to adjust to changes in temperature and weather conditions.
THE BEST PLACES TO PADDLE BOARD WITH KIDS IN OUR AREA
Even if our state is well known for its beautiful state park of Key Biscayne thanks to Miami Vice, or the gulf of Mexico and its amazing beaches, there is a lot to explore right next-door.
The Indian River Lagoon and Banana River are two of the most popular spots for paddle board in Florida.
Paddle-boarders of all ages and experience levels can enjoy paddling through the scenic waterways and getting a close-up view of the abundant wildlife.
The rivers are home to large populations of dolphins and manatees, which are often seen swimming alongside people. In addition, there are numerous bird species that can be spotted in the trees along the riverbanks. For kids, it is a great way to get outside and learn about the natural world.
Spending an afternoon on the Indian River Lagoon or Banana River is sure to provide a memorable experience.
The banks of the Eau Gallie River are home to some great paddleboarding locations, like Ballard Park in Melbourne.
This Park sits on a quiet stretch that’s perfect for beginners or those looking enjoy an easy ride with their family and friends while bonding over nature together! There isn’t much boat traffic so it’s never difficult getting photos taken by excited marine life such as dolphins jumping out from beneath you – especially if they’re hungry.
OARS AND PADDLES PARK
Further on, continue to Dragon Point (where is the rest of the structure of Annie the dragon and then head to Oars and Paddles Park. This 4.7 acre park provides exceptional opportunities for canoeing, rowing, kayaking, and rowing with access to the Banana River via the Whiting Waterway.
There is a small pavilion with picnic tables, restrooms, parking, and a playground all connected by a pedway.
WHY RENTING WITH 321
With many years of experience er, we can give you the basic tips to get started.
We will provide life jackets for every member of your party (except any four-legged friends you choose to bring). Calling to book our paddleboard is always a good choice, but you can always stop by and ask if you did not have the time to call us.
Also, don’t hesitate to ask our team for advice about their favorite spots! We are here for you!