Spending time outdoors, it is oh-so important. Yet there is a growing tendency for people to stay inside: we work inside and then we play on our computers, spending even more time inside. What’s worse? Kids are doing this as well.
Water sports are a great way to get you and your kids out of the house. Most water sports can’t be done in a pool, so you’ll really have to go outside or enjoy the facilities at a summer sports camp. Plus, they are all lots of fun, so convincing kids to do them shouldn’t be a problem.
Below are the seven best water sports for kids to do during the summer:
1. Stand-up Paddleboard (SUP)
This is a relatively new water sport that has really taken off in popularity over the past couple decades. This popularity means that it shouldn’t be hard to find a place that offer it near you. There are many rental shops catering to this sport inside cities – so you probably won’t have to travel far for this one.
The sport itself? It involves standing on a board that looks a lot like a surfboard, but is actually far more stable, and paddling around. It may sound tricky – and, I won’t lie, there is the very real possibility that you are going to fall into the water – but it’s actually surprisingly easy.
One of the best water sports for kids is surfing. It has a reputation as a cool sport. So why not try it out with your kids?
There are lots of beaches offering rental equipment. Head out with the family and rent boards for the day, you can also get a private instructor for a few hours to help you get the hang of it.
It involves lots of swimming and swimming in waves, so make sure that your kids are up for it. If they are, then you can easily spend the whole day spotting waves and doing your best to ride them!
You can spend an entire summer canoeing. You can canoe on a local river or lake or make your way to a national park for a multi-day canoe-camping trip. It’s not an adrenaline builder, but it’s a great opportunity to get in touch with nature.
Canoes generally fit 2-4 people, making this a great activity for the whole family. It is also a pretty easy activity to learn. It’s as simple as moving your paddle through the water and doing so with increasing efficiency as time goes on.
It will also really help you and your kids to get in touch with nature. In a canoe, the water is right there, a few inches from you. It even feels like you are sitting in it. It also gives you a different perspective on the landscape; since you have probably only seen the world from the edge of the lake not the middle of it.
Great for many of the same reasons as canoeing. But kayaking is generally a solo affair. There are double kayaks but these are less common and more difficult to paddle.
It’s a great option for slightly older kids who might be looking to do things on their own. You can rent many kayaks and set out as a family, but your kids will still get a sense of independence.
5. Tubing down a river
This one is popular in many places. You do need to have access to a river with a sufficiently strong current and should stick to locations where it is a common practice.
It requires essentially no special skills. Though, your children should have a basic knowledge of how to swim before attempting it. You just rent a tube, sit in it, and let the current take you away.
6. White water rafting
This water sport needs to be done with a company specializing in it. They will make sure that you are well equipped and take you on a river that is suited to your level. You also won’t be able to do it with very young kids, as this activity often has age or height restrictions.
The adrenaline rush of it all will appeal to kids. It will also leave them with a really cool story to tell, one that may even make them want to spend even more time outside and in the water.
7. Skim boarding
This is a water sport that is simple and easy to practice. Also, because it’s done at the very edge of the water it can be practiced by those who don’t know how to swim quite as well (though, for safety reasons, you should still make sure that your kids have some knowledge of swimming).
It involves a small wooden board that looks a bit like a surfboard, that you ride on the thin layer of water that waves leave on the edge of the beach after crashing in. You run, throw down the board, jump onto it, and ride it. It’s best done on flat beaches, where this thin layer of water will extend far. It’s fun, easy and will appeal to kids.