Young children certainly feel the cold much more than us adults, that’s for sure! That said there are still days through the off season when the sun shines, the rain stops and those winds halt. At this point – especially during the middle parts of the day with thermometer readings into double figures and a well fitting, proper kid’s wetsuit in the mix – there could be an opportunity for some stand up paddle boarding fun with your kids.
Unlike watersports like surfing or windsurfing, where you’re submerged, stand up paddle boarding sees riders atop and out of the water (on the flat at least). With your kids in mind this is good news during colder months as they can be on deck with you and therefore up and out of the water.
Even with a good wetsuit evaporative cooling will occur. Getting wet and then having even a minimal breeze waft across neoprene will see this exacerbated. If your kids are wet they’ll cool down quick smart. Staying aboard your SUP, as a passenger however, your kids should be in a warmer position yet still having fun whilst being paddled around. All in it’s a way to get them having fun and staying afloat during depths of winter months.
A few things to keep in mind if you’re considering the above:
- Aim for the warmest of days. Forget bright but super cold periods. Ideally, it needs to be at least 10C+.
- Make your kids are wearing proper gear, like a 5mm kid’s wetsuit. Layer this up if you can with either a decent child specific, thermal rash vest or fleece on top of the wetsuit. Also a buoyancy aid. This will obviously keep them afloat should they take a dunking but it’ll also be another layer to keep warmth locked in.
- Don’t forget wetsuit boots and gloves for your kids! And hats.
- Paddle using a voluminous and stable stand up paddle board.
- Aim for a sheltered stretch of water with minimal tide, current and chop. Super light winds best.
- Remember lakes and rivers can be especially cold.
- Keep safety in mind at all times.