Why Kids Love Stand Up Paddleboarding

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Swimming, kayaking and canoeing are certainly fun water activities, but there’s nothing quite like stand up paddleboarding (SUP). All you need to do to partake in this unique water sport is to hop on a large board and use a paddle to push through the water. Beginners start in calm waters to get the hang of it, often in lakes, ponds, and flat oceans. Kids in particular absolutely love paddleboarding, especially at Catalina Island. 

Let’s explore some important information about paddleboarding and then we’ll dive into why kids are raving about this exciting water activity!

Paddleboard Facts & Information 

  • Paddleboard length: Range between 12 and 20 feet in length
  • How SUP got started: Began as an alternative for retired and/or older surfers 
  • Best places to SUP: Flat oceans, lakes, canals, ponds, and surf zones
  • SUP models: Racing, crossover versions, flat water paddling, and surfing 
  • Paddleboard components: Handle, blade, and shaft 
  • Types of SUPs: All around (used for light gliding), inflatable, fishing, yoga, touring (great for racing and long distance) 
  • SUP sizing: Paddle length should be customized to your arm length, height and your paddleboard’s height above the water 

How to Stand Up Paddleboard

Standing Up on the Paddleboard

  1. Bring the board into the water with the fin free from hitting the bottom.
  2. Begin kneeling on the board and start the first few strokes while in this position.
  3. Slowly start to stand up, one foot at a time. Make sure you’re in the middle of the board with feet parallel to the stringer. 
  4. Keep your knees bent so you stay steady on the board.

Paddling Forward

  1. Insert the paddle into the water as forward as you can (the paddle should be buried in the water).
  2. Keep the bottom arm straight and still and pull your top arm toward your body. Your top shoulder should rotate forward to extend your reach.
  3. Switch sides and the positions of your hands to paddle the SUP efficiently.

Paddleboarding Tips

  • Don’t hold both hands on the shaft of the paddleboard, keep one hand on the top of the paddle
  • Always keep your feet parallel and toes pointed to the nose of the board 
  • Avoid a surf stance as you’ll most likely fall off the board
  • Use your entire body, not just your arms – your arms will get tired! 
  • Take long strokes when paddling forward

Why Kids Love Paddleboarding

We’ve noticed paddleboarding is one of the most sought after activities at summer camp. Kids love this activity because it’s often completely new to them. For kids that don’t often get to enjoy the water, paddleboarding is a great way to try something new and enjoy swimming. 

As kids paddleboard, especially at Catalina Island, they can soak in some absolutely stunning scenery and exotic sea creatures. Not to mention, California sunsets are like no other, which makes the paddleboarding experience that much more enjoyable. 

Some other reasons why kids love paddleboarding include:

  • Super relaxing, especially for kids who may experience anxiety
  • It’s a great way to forget about electronic devices and connect with nature
  • Easy to learn
  • Fun to do independently or with friends
  • Sense of accomplishment learning something new

Contact us to learn more about paddleboarding at Catalina Island Camps!