Did you know that over 35 million people practice surfing all over the world? And it’s no wonder, this amazing water sport is great for thrill-seekers and lovers of the beach.
But to become an expert, you must start off at the beginning. And if you’re reading this, you probably have a little one that is interested in surfing. Luckily, our guide is here to teach you about surfing for kids. So get your surfing boards polished and get ready for this informative read!
Is Surfing for Kids Safe?
The answer is yes! Surfing is great for kids. But you may be wondering when to teach your kids to surf. Typically, the best age range to start surfing lessons is anytime after the age of eight.
It’s best not to start before 8 because most children still don’t have the cognitive and physical dexterity to excel in surfing. However, you can get your child prepared for surfing by helping them get comfortable in the water.
Here are some steps you can take to get your child prepared for surfing:
- Take them to the beach and allow them to get comfortable with the environment
- Allow them to experience ocean patterns on the shoreline
- Enroll them in swimming lessons and beach safety lessons
- Throw them into a small wave but ensure you are closely watching
All of these small steps will give your child the confidence to not be afraid of the ocean. And once they do start surfing, they will have the knowledge to stay safe!
How to Teach Your Kids to Surf?
If you’re an experienced surfer, then you can teach your kids how to surf. However, if you are not, then it’s highly recommended to seek the help of a professional.
And luckily, there are many options to choose from when it comes to surfing lessons. For starters, you can do group, private, or even family lessons. And all of these options have their pros and cons. So let’s dive deeper into them so we can better understand what we’re signing up for.
Group Surfing Lessons
Group surfing lessons can be a great option, especially if your child likes interacting with other children. And typically, group surfing program will do their best to keep the student to instructor ratio even.
So when looking into group surfing lessons ensure the class size is less than 6 kids. Anything larger than this group size will make it hard for your child to get individualized help when needed.
You should also be aware that some surfing lessons will require your child to meet the following requirements:
- Above the age of 8
- Weigh more than 50 pounds
- Taller than 50 inches
- Good swimming skills and range
- Ability to carry and handle a heavy surfboard independently
If your child does not pass the above requirements, they can wait another year or until they develop fully. However, another option is to get a one-on-one instructor. This option is great for kids who pass most of the requirements but maybe they don’t have the best swimming skills.
Individual Surfing Lessons
With individual surfing lessons, your child gets the benefit of learning surfing tips that are personalized to their abilities. Therefore, they are more likely to succeed, all while being safe.
Not to mention, surfing for beginners can be hard, especially for younger children. So it’s always recommended to start with individual lessons.
Unfortunately, these lessons can be very expensive. And it can be hard to find a good instructor who is willing to teach beginners. So when looking for individual instructors, ensure they have the following:
- 4 years of experience teaching or at least 20 recorded hours of fieldwork
- CPR and Valid Water Safety Certification
- Good reputation and reviews
- Fair prices
- Safety regulations and plans for emergency situations
- No felony convictions or other criminal history
- Open schedule with flexibility
All of these factors are what make a great instructor. So carefully vet out your instructors before choosing one.
Family Surfing Lessons
If you’re also interested in surfing, consider a family surfing class. Typically, these classes will have about 4 people per instructor. So they are small enough to get individual help when needed.
This option is also great for parents who have anxiety about their child learning to surf. Luckily, you will be right next to your child which may lower your anxiety.
Not to mention, it is also a great bonding experience for you and your child. In fact, after every class, you will be able to discuss what you learned about how you’re feeling. Overall, this option is great for any parent that wants to be involved.
Kids Surfing Camps
Lastly, another option is to enroll our child in surfing camps. Some of these options are stay camps. While others are daily camps, meaning you’re child does not stay at the facility overnight.
This option is great because your child will have days or even weeks to learn surfing.
Not to mention, these camps usually have daily routines. Therefore, the daily routine will help build confidence and endurance. And your child can also meet new friends and get even more excited about surfing.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing Any Type of Surfing Lessons
Choosing a surfing camp/school can be very difficult. However, here are some tips to follow when picking a camp that may make it easier. For starters, the camp should have an introductory course. Typically, it’s called the Surf Instructor Level 1 Course.
If a prospective camp does not have this course or other intro course, do not enroll your child! Even if they have a little experience in surfing, the first course shoulda always cover the basics and safety practices.
Children learn by interacting and having hands-on experiences. So, ensure the classes are interactive and fun. You can do so by looking at the class course or the itinerary.
Lastly, ensure the age group is right for your child. For example, some surfing camps have mixed-age children in one class. And this can become overwhelming for some children. So it’s always best to pick a class with children that are the same age as yours.
What Surfer Gear Will My Child Need?
Your child will need some surfing gear to start and most classes will not provide it. So if you have a boy, ensure he has rash guards for men, a surfing suit, life vest, surfing bag, and a surfing board. For girls, you’ll need a one-piece suit, surfer booties, and a surfing board.
Amount of Surfing Lessons per Week
During the initial training, a surf camp will offer about 3-5 lessons. However, if you’re doing group or individual lessons, then opt for 3 lessons per week.
You should have this schedule for at least a month. And then you can start doing 1 to 2 lessons per week, or until they feel more comfortable. But overall, your child should have at least 2 years of surfing lessons before they begin surfing without an instructor.
When Is the Best Time to Do Surfing Lessons?
The ocean tides are different throughout the year. For example, high tides start during the spring. And this is the time when expert surfers begin to surf because of the massive waves they catch.
But of course, your child should not be exposed to these kinds of waves until years later. So it’s best to join a surfing class during the calmer months which are typically in the late summer and early fall.
During this time, the tides are a lot more calmer because most tropical storms have subsided.
What if My Child Is Afraid of the Water but Wants to Surf?
Believe it or not, many children get obsessed with surfing but have an aversion to the water. Luckily, there are ways to fix this issue. For starters, if they enjoy surfing, they may enjoy land surfing.
What we mean by this is skateboarding, skiing, or rollerblading. Some of these sports require the same techniques as surfing. So they can practice these sports, and then move on to surfing once they feel more comfortable with the water.
However, the only way they will get comfortable with the water, is if they are exposed to it daily. So make daily trips to the beach and let your child interact at their own pace. Do not push them into the water because this could intensify their fear.
Surfing for Kids Is Easy and Fun
Surfing for kids is a great way to release stress, anxiety, and to have fun! So after reading this article, start buying your surfing gear and enroll your child in their first class.
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