Stand Up Paddle Boarding, commonly known as SUP, has been making waves in the world of outdoor activities. This fun and engaging sport is not just for adults, but it’s also a fantastic way for kids to get out and enjoy the great outdoors.
SUP is more than just a game; it’s an adventure on the water that offers numerous health benefits. It’s a full-body workout that improves balance, increases strength and endurance, and even boosts cardiovascular health. But the benefits of SUP go beyond the physical. It also contributes to mental well-being, helping to reduce stress and improve concentration.
One of the reasons for the growing popularity of SUP among kids is its versatility. It can be a serene and relaxing activity, a competitive sport, or a platform for games and fun. Kids love the challenge and the excitement that comes with standing on a board and navigating the water.
In this article, we will explore some of the most fun SUP games that you can play with kids. These games are not just entertaining but also enhance the skills needed for paddle boarding. So, whether you’re already into paddle boarding with your kids or just getting started, these games will add a new dimension to your SUP adventures.
Stay tuned as we dive into the exciting world of SUP games for kids.
Game 1: Spin to Win
Spin to Win is a delightful and somewhat dizzying game to play on a Stand Up Paddle Board with kids. This game is all about balance, control, and of course, lots of spinning.
The rules of Spin to Win are simple and fun. Each player stands on their SUP and tries to spin their board around as many times as possible within a set time limit, usually 30 seconds to a minute. The player who completes the most spins within the time limit is the winner.
This game is not just about spinning your board, though. It’s also about maintaining balance and control while spinning, which can be quite a challenge, especially for beginners.
Playing Spin to Win is a great way for kids to improve their SUP skills. It helps them enhance their balance and control, develop their coordination, and get comfortable with moving and turning their boards. Plus, it’s a game that can be played individually or in groups, making it versatile and suitable for different situations.
Game 2: HORSE
One of the most entertaining games to play on a Stand Up Paddle Board with kids is the game of HORSE. This game is a fun way to improve balance and coordination while also encouraging friendly competition.
The rules of HORSE on a SUP are quite simple, making it easy for kids to understand and enjoy. The game starts with the first player performing a trick or a series of moves on their paddle board. The next player then has to replicate the same trick or moves. If they fail to do so, they get a letter from the word “HORSE”. The game continues with players taking turns to perform and replicate tricks. The first player to spell out the word “HORSE” loses.
The beauty of the HORSE game is that it can be as simple or as complex as the players’ abilities allow. For beginners, tricks can be as simple as standing on one foot or spinning the board. As players get more comfortable on their SUPs, they can attempt more complex tricks.
Playing HORSE on a SUP is not just about fun and games, though. It’s also a great way for kids to improve their paddle boarding skills. It encourages them to try new moves, enhances their balance and coordination, and builds their confidence on the board.
Game 3: Beach Start Racing
Another exciting game to play with kids on a Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) is Beach Start Racing. This game is all about speed, agility, and a whole lot of fun.
Beach Start Racing is a race-style game that begins on the beach. The rules are straightforward. All players start on the beach with their paddle boards lying flat on the water’s edge. At the signal (usually a whistle or a shout), everyone runs to their board, jumps on, and starts paddling as fast as they can. The first one to reach a predetermined point in the water is the winner.
This game is not just about paddling speed, though. It also tests the players’ agility and quickness in getting onto their boards and starting to paddle. It’s a thrilling game that brings out the competitive spirit in kids while also giving them a good workout.
Beach Start Racing is a fantastic game for improving kids’ SUP skills. It helps them get better at quickly getting on their boards, enhances their paddling speed, and improves their overall agility and coordination. Plus, it’s a game that can be played with any number of players, making it perfect for family outings or kids’ SUP parties.
Game 4: Paddle Baseball
Paddle Baseball is a thrilling and engaging game to play on a SUP (probably more exciting than actual Baseball!). This game combines the adapted rules of baseball with the fun of paddle boarding, making it a unique and entertaining SUP activity.
The rules of Paddle Baseball are simple yet challenging. The game starts with setting up a makeshift “baseball diamond” on the water using buoys or floating objects as bases. Each player then takes turns to paddle towards each base in order, just like running the bases in a traditional baseball game. The player who completes the circuit in the shortest time wins the game.
Paddle Baseball is not just about paddling towards a target. It’s also about speed, agility, and strategy. Players need to navigate their route, control their speed, and manoeuvre their boards to reach each base as quickly as possible. It’s a game that’s easy to understand but offers a fun challenge, making it enjoyable for kids of all ages.
Playing Paddle Baseball is a great way for kids to improve their SUP skills. It helps them enhance their speed and agility, develop their strategic thinking, and get better at manoeuvring their boards. Plus, it’s a game that can be played with any number of players, making it perfect for family outings or kids’ SUP parties.
Game 5: Fartlek Paddles
Fartlek Paddles is a dynamic and engaging game to play on a SUP with the kids. This game brings the concept of Fartlek, a Swedish term for “speed play”, to paddle boarding, making it a unique and beneficial SUP activity.
The game involves paddling at different speeds over a set course. For example, players might start by paddling slowly for two minutes, then paddle as fast as they can for one minute, and then return to slow paddling. This pattern is repeated over a set time or distance. The player who covers the most distance in the set time, or completes the set distance in the shortest time, wins the game.
Fartlek Paddles is not just about paddling at different speeds. It’s also about endurance, control, and strategy. Players need to manage their energy, control their speed, and plan their strategy to cover the most distance or complete the course in the shortest time. It’s a game that’s easy to understand but offers a fun challenge, making it enjoyable for kids of all ages.
Playing Fartlek Paddles is a great way for kids to improve their SUP skills. It helps them enhance their endurance and control, develop their strategic thinking, and get better at managing their energy. Plus, it’s a game that can be played individually or in groups, making it versatile and suitable for different situations.
Safety Tips for Playing SUP Games
While Stand Up Paddle Boarding games are a lot of fun, it’s essential to prioritise safety, especially when kids are involved. Here are some safety measures and precautions to consider when kids are playing SUP games.
- Proper Equipment: Ensure that all kids have the right equipment, including a suitable SUP, a paddle of the right size, and a personal flotation device (PFD). Wearing a PFD is crucial as it provides buoyancy in the water and can be a lifesaver in case of a fall.
- Sun Protection: Protect kids from the sun by applying waterproof sunscreen, and encourage them to wear hats and UV-protective clothing.
- Supervision: Always supervise kids when they are playing SUP games. Never leave them unattended in the water.
- Swimming Skills: Make sure all kids are comfortable in the water and have basic swimming skills before they get on a SUP.
- Safety Briefing: Before starting any game, conduct a safety briefing to explain the rules of the game and what to do in case of a fall or other emergencies.
- Weather and Water Conditions: Check the weather and water conditions before heading out. Avoid SUP games in rough water conditions or bad weather.
- Respect for Nature: Teach kids to respect nature and wildlife. They should avoid disturbing animals and should not litter.
- Hydration and Snacks: Ensure kids stay hydrated and have some high-energy snacks to keep them going.
Remember, safety should always come first when playing SUP games. By following these safety tips, you can ensure that kids have a fun and safe paddle boarding experience.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding is a fantastic outdoor activity that offers a unique blend of fun, adventure, and health benefits. When combined with games, it becomes an even more engaging and enjoyable experience for kids.
In this article, we’ve explored a variety of SUP games that kids can enjoy, including HORSE, Beach Start Racing, Spin to Win, Fartlek Paddles, and more. Each game offers its own set of challenges and benefits, helping kids improve their SUP skills while having a great time.
These games not only provide entertainment but also enhance balance, coordination, agility, and strategic thinking. They offer a fun way to get kids active, spend time outdoors, and develop a love for water sports.
So, why not give these games a try on your next SUP outing with kids? Whether you’re a seasoned paddle boarder or a beginner, these games are sure to add a new dimension to your SUP adventures. Remember to prioritise safety, and most importantly, have fun! After all, the joy of SUP is in the journey as much as the destination. Happy Paddle Boarding!