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How Old Do You Have to Be to Paddle Board?

How Old Do You Have to Be to Paddle Board

Key Takeaways
● While there is no minimum age limit, children under the age of 18 must have an adult present on the board with them.

Paddle boarding is the kind of hobby that lasts a lifetime. It allows you to spend some time among the waves and gives you the opportunity to embrace the aquatic world fully. It’s something the whole family should be able to enjoy, so how old do you need to be to paddle board?

While some say you can start paddle boarding as young as five, it is recommended that you wait until your kids are at least 8 years old before you start letting them paddle in the open water. Even then, all children should have adult supervision until they hit 18.

In this guide, we will take you through everything you need to know about the age restrictions on paddle boarding and any extra info that might help you get your kids learning.

What’s the Minimum Age to Start Paddle Boarding?

What's the Minimum Age to Start Paddle Boarding

The MINIMUM age for paddle boarding is 5 years old. This should be taken as the absolute lowest point since paddle boarding in open water can be dangerous.

At 5 years old, children should be able to paddle board with an adult in the water close by. This person should be an experienced paddle boarder and should be able to keep a CLOSE eye on the child at all times.

For children under 5, paddle boarding can be done in SHALLOW, calm waters within reach of the shore. This should only be done with an adult supervising at all times and with the understanding that paddle boarding carries certain RISKS.

Do Teens Need Supervision?

While teens may be old enough to use an inflatable SUP board without adult supervision, it is always recommended that they paddle in the company of at LEAST one experienced paddle boarder.

This is not only for safety reasons but also to provide encouragement should things start to go wrong. Having someone on hand who can HELP with technique and provide support can be invaluable when you’re starting out paddle boarding.

How to Prepare Your Child for Their First SUP Experience

How to Prepare Your Child for Their First SUP Experience

If you want to introduce paddle boarding to your child, there are a few steps you can take to make sure their first experience is as SAFE and enjoyable as possible.

1. Make sure your child is familiar with paddle boarding BEFORE they get out on the water. This could include watching videos, reading books or simply talking to them about paddle boarding.

2. Provide your child with the CORRECT paddle board equipment and safety gear, such as a paddle board leash and a lifejacket.

3. Make sure your child is COMFORTABLE in the water before taking them paddle boarding.

4. Ensure that you paddle in shallow places and a calm body of water CLOSE to shore, and regularly check the weather forecast to ensure paddle boarding is safe.

5. ALWAYS paddle with a partner and keep an eye on your child at all times. The partner should be a skilled paddle boarder in case your child FALLS. 

With the right preparation and guidance, paddle boarding can be a WONDERFUL experience for your child. It’s an activity that allows them to stay fit and have fun at the same time, as well as learn MORE about nature.

Pro Tip: Make sure the stand-up paddle board is the right size for your child. You should not use your own board as it will be more difficult for a young child to use it properly. An adult board is going to be too big.

What’s the Best Body of Water to Introduce Your Child to Paddle Boarding in?

What's the Best Body of Water to Introduce Your Child to Paddle Boarding in

When paddle boarding with kids, it’s best to start in calm, shallow waters CLOSE to a beach.[1] This will give your child the confidence they need to paddle SAFELY and will ensure that they are always within easy reach of the shore.

You should also be aware of any RULES and regulations regarding paddle boarding in your area. Some beaches may not allow paddle boards, so it’s IMPORTANT to check beforehand to ensure you’re not breaking any laws.

Once your child has mastered paddle boarding in a SAFE environment, you can start exploring more open waters.

What Kind of Gear Does Your Child Need to Start Paddle Boarding?

What Kind of Gear Does Your Child Need to Start Paddle Boarding

Aside from paddle board equipment, your child will also need to have the APPROPRIATE safety gear. This SHOULD include a paddle board leash, a paddle, a life jacket, and sun protection.

It’s also important to ensure that your child wears the APPROPRIATE clothing for paddle boarding. A rash guard and a pair of paddle board shorts or swim trunks are ideal for this activity, as they will PROTECT your child from the sun and the elements.

Finally, you should make sure your child has a paddle-boarding BUDDY with them at all times. This will ensure that your child paddle boards in a safe and ENJOYABLE manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Two-Year-Old Go on a Paddle Board?

No, paddle boarding requires a minimum age of 5 years old.

How do I Teach My Child to Paddle Board?

It’s best to start paddle boarding in shallow and calm waters close to shore. Make sure your child is fully familiar with paddle boarding before taking them out on the water, and provide your child with all the necessary paddle board equipment and safety gear.

Do You Need a License to Use a Paddle Board?

No, paddle boards do not require a license. However, you should be aware of any rules and regulations regarding paddle boarding in your area before getting out on the water.

To Conclude

To Conclude

Paddle boarding can be a wonderful experience for BOTH children and adults. With the right preparation and guidance, paddle boarding can provide your child with an exciting and enjoyable activity that they can ENJOY for years to come.

Always ensure paddle board safety by providing your child with the CORRECT paddle board equipment and safety gear, paddle boarding with a partner, and paddle boarding in shallow and calm waters CLOSE to shore.

We hope this guide has been able to help you start planning your and your child’s first trip to the water so that you can try out paddle boarding together.

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Lisa Hayden-Matthews

Lisa Hayden-Matthews

An avid Skier, bike rider, triathlon enthusiast, amateurish beach volleyball player and nature lover who has never lost a dare! I manage the overall Editorial section for the magazine here and occasionally chip in with my own nature photographs, when required.

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