The future of any sport lies in getting the next generation involved and excited about it. This is why it is so important for us to expose kids to paddleboarding. The paddleboard industry is banding together to accomplish just that.
Kids’ paddleboarding can take many forms from playing around on the family’s recreational board that anyone can use, to smaller profile kid specific paddleboards and paddles, to kids’ classes in many races, to summer camps for kids to learn paddle skills, have lots of fun, and get completely hooked. Every year new opportunities are arising for kids to test out paddleboarding for themselves.
The biggest surprise to me since starting Neverbored was how much kids take to it. They are naturals on the board, balance is rarely a problem for them since the boards have so much volume. And many kids tend to be fearless, so they just get out there and go for it. They make their own fun and it usually looks something like paddling a bit, jumping off the board, swimming a bit, paddling a bit, etc.
SUPIA is the Standup Paddle Industry Association and it is responsible for bringing all facets of standup paddleboarding together in one central area. There are retailers, manufacturers, reps, etc. involved in this organization and we are all working really hard to advance the sport and make it accessible to everyone. I have said before that paddleboarding is my happy place, and it’s amazing to be part of a group of people who feel the same way and make it their life’s work to expose as many people as possible to the joys of it. It truy is a sport for the whole family…from junior to grandma and grandpa, everyone can paddleboard.
Last year was the debut of SUPIA’s Youth Day. Unfortunately it was in May and things were still pretty cold around our parts. This year, it has moved to June and those of us hosting activities get to choose what day(s) in June we want to host a free program catered to exposing youth to our wonderful sport.
Last year’s events took many forms across the country and with estimated participation over 300 kids. This year we are looking to get at least twice as many kids paddleboarding. Neverbored is planning to host an event this year. The goal of the event is to give kids who might not otherwise get to try paddleboarding the opportunity to do so and have lots of fun in the process. If you are interested in participating let us know. We are still working on our program, but we are focused on making it as safe and fun as possible. Kids get to learn about how to handle and use the equipment, understanding and respecting the water, and they get to enjoy a new activity. And if you’re not in our area, check with your local paddleboard shop to see if they are hosting an event.
Tags: paddleboarding ri, paddleboard shop, standup paddleboarding ri, local sup shop, sup for kids, stand up paddleboarding for kids, paddleboarding in ri, neverbored, standup paddleboard association, kids paddleboarding