Watersports trends for children - the best tips for little sailors
Watersports trends for children
The best tips for little sailors
Finally, the best time for little water rats has come. Warm days and the summer holidays attract families to, on and into the cool water. A great pastime, because activities in the water not only promote physical fitness, but also shape a child's personality. Here we present the best watersports for children and tell you what to look out for.
Stand-up paddling is ideal for watersports beginners about seven to eight years old. Those who want to get on the board in flowing water or in the sea should already have a more practiced foothold. For younger children, calm swimming lakes or quarry ponds are well suited.
It's best to explain the standard paddling techniques to your kids before their first try and show them the basic strokes so they know how to go straight, slow down and turn. Shorter kids' boards and paddles are easier for them to handle. A leash also connects the child to the board so they can always reach it if they take a tumble.
Canoeing & kayaking
Those who prefer to sit while paddling with the family can take a tour in a kayak or canoe. This watersport is uncomplicated and suitable for almost everyone. In any case, get a paddle for each of the children, no matter how experienced or strong they are. That way no one will be bored during the trip.
Do you prefer more calm waters? Then a canoe is the right choice for you. In the bigger ones there’s room for several people and you can move around better. Are your children older and you want to ride rapids? Then kayaks are more suitable for your trip.
Skimboarding is based on the principle of aquaplaning. After a short run-up on dry land, you throw your board onto the water and jump on it – this is great fun for kids! Your first proper slide after many unsuccessful attempts is a real experience. And although you generally stay close to the beach, you shouldn’t let your child out of your sight.
Skimboards are usually not expensive and their small size makes them very easy to carry, even for children. Another advantage is that the kids can basically teach themselves to slide and don’t need any formal instruction.
Requirements for water rats
Your child has the best prerequisites if he or she can swim and has at least the bronze swimming badge. Non-swimmers should make their first attempts in shallow water.
No matter how calm or deep the water is and how much experience your child already has, wearing a life jacket is an absolute must. Mom and dad should be good role models.
On long days with lots of sunshine it’s often hard to avoid sunburn, especially on the water. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a head covering are obligatory from a medical point of view!
Check the regional weather forecast before you go. That way you’ll always be informed about the wind conditions and any impending thunderstorms.
If your child is interested in windsurfing, you should contact a surfing school. Here you can get individual advice and check whether your kid already has all the necessary prerequisites for the sport. When choosing a watersports school, make sure that the instructors have a valid training and testing licence and that the school is recognized by an international professional association.
The basic equipment for windsurfing always includes a good wetsuit as the wind evaporates the water on wet skin and causes a drastic cooling effect, even on very warm days. In addition, special learners’ boards and rigs for children guarantee quick learning success, which boosts motivation. It's best to ask at the surfing school what equipment they lend on site.
Whether in the sea or in a lake – there’s a lot to discover underwater. Equipped with diving goggles and a snorkel you’re almost ready to start. It makes sense to also protect your feet and wear water shoes. Flippers are a good alternative, of course, as they help you glide faster and easier through the water.
Since snorkelling usually involves floating on the surface of the water for a long time, you should make sure that everyone is wearing sunscreen or, even better, a wetsuit or swim shirt. For kids who have difficulty breathing through their mouth, try a snorkel mask that covers the entire face and allows breathing through the nose.
Sailing is also a popular watersport for children. On the so-called Optimist, which are sailing dinghies for small beginners, children can learn how to steer a boat and train their motor skills. This also teaches them how to take responsibility, which increases their self-confidence. Optimists are designed so safely that even if they capsize, they have sufficient buoyancy and can be easily righted again.
Nevertheless, your child should be able to move around safely on the boat and also climb back in from the water. In a sailing course children learn all the important moves in a fun way and can even get their basic sailing licence. Typical organizers of sailing courses include private sailing schools, sailing clubs, youth organizations and universities.
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