Top tips for a successful surfing session with the kids!
1: How to best tackle the wetsuits
Getting into a wetsuit is one thing, getting someone else, and a little one at that, is a whole other ball game. There are arms and legs going everywhere, parents are frustrated, the kids are hot, flustered and they will not stop whinging!
Top Tip: Pop all hands and feet into carrier bags before you attempt putting on the wetsuit, now hands and feet should just slide in, saving precious surf time, avoiding time wasting faff, and stopping the whinging! (Just don’t forget to remove the bags afterwards.)
2: Make sure everyone stays warm!
Warm kids mean happy kids. Invest in a decent wetsuit, especially for winter surfing or body boarding. Neoprene from head to toe if need be with hoods, gloves, and boots. Trust us; this makes all the difference when having fun in the sea with the little ones.
3: Don’t expect too much.
If you’re a parent who loves the sea, of course you may have dreams of your offspring following in your footsteps. But try as you might, they do have a mind of their own, and the surf may not come as such an excitement for them. But if you step back a little, give them some time to experiment with the equipment, play with the board on the beach if they wish, and just let them have fun.
Don’t forget to praise the big and the small wins! Remember, you started somewhere once, so just breathe, and let the kids find their own enjoyment in the sport.
4: Get lessons from the experts
It can be hard sometimes teaching other people something that comes more naturally to you. So if the group family lessons aren’t going as smoothly as you’d hoped and the realisation hits when the kids over-confidently proclaim “I know how to surf!” just mere seconds before a wave takes them out and they take an unplanned nose dive because they didn’t listen when you suggested to move back a little on the board. Let’s avoid this kind of frustration and not give up: get involved in a local surf club where you, and the family can meet and learn with other people.
We’d recommend Sorted Surf School if you’re in and around the Bournemouth area, but wherever you decide to go, sometimes it’s just easier to leave it to the experts, so you can all enjoy surfing at your own levels.
5: Keep the snacks on hand
Surfing at any age is exhausting, especially when you’re little, tackling a massive board! When the adrenaline kicks in and we’re having fun we probably stay out longer than we should. Keep a flask of hot chocolate or tea on shore, with some snacks for the well-deserved post-surf energy boost. Not only will a hot drink keep you warm, the boost in energy will help tired, chilly, wet bodies transform into tired but satisfied, happy bodies. Remember you still need to remove the wetsuits, and put away all the boards, so you’re going to need a little more energy!
6: Grab a big board
A common misconception for beginner surfers is that they think smaller boards are easier, when in fact they’re just frustrating and make catching a wave almost unachievable.
If you and your kids are learning to surf, you’ll need a foamy. Anything from 7-9ft. Their love of surfing will grow a lot quicker if they are on a board that they can actually stand up on. The foam board’s size means balancing during those first pop-up attempts is a lot easier. It’s really nice, especially for children when learning, to have that almost instant achievement of standing up, it really gives them a boost and the motivation to keep trying. Then once you have the bug, you’ve learned the basics, and your confidence has grown, you can think about downsizing the board.
7: Wear something bright
If you’re out having fun in the surf with your little ones, chances are many other people are too, and it can be hard to keep an eye on them because everyone looks very similar in a wetsuit. Either invest in a bright coloured rash vest to put over their wetsuit, or a bright coloured head band. This way your eyes can easily pick them out in even the most crowded of line ups; losing the kids amongst all the others is one worry you just don’t need on a family surf day!
8: Record the memories
Invest in a Kitvision Action Camera. There are many choices depending on the specs and your budget; from the action-lover’s Escape 4KW to the more family friendly Splash 1080p Action Camera. We all know kids grow up too fast, so be more prepared and carry an action camera with you wherever you go. There’s nothing more fun that splashing around in the waves recording those first surf pop-ups, or the big splashes!
Make sure it’s charged up and packed the night before, the micro SD card is in, all required accessories and mounts are included, and then you’re ready to roll. Simply press record and enjoy capturing every triumph, funny moment, splash, and wipe out.
9: Our best and favourite tip above all . . .
Grab the whole family, get out there and give it all a go; find your own adventures, learn, play, and capture it all, and create those moments that will become the stories you’ll talk about for years to come.