Kids, as young as 7 and 8, are seen on the waves having the time of their life. Choosing the type and make of your child’s next SUP is a decision that requires some research. While most people are buying inflatable SUPs for their children, there is merit in purchasing your child a wooden SUP or alternatively making your own.
Let’s face it, paddleboarding is a productive and stimulating hobby. There’s nothing as joyous as watching your kids take an interest in your passion or starting a whole new passion together.
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What Are The Advantages Of Wooden Boards Compared To Other SUP Types?
You’ll find that many websites and blogs recommend inflatable boards for kids over rigid wooden boards. That’s because kids tend to be quite clumsy. Inflatables are easy to carry and are safer for kids to have on their own.
On the other hand, hard boards are relatively heavy and easy to break with careless use, which is bound to happen with kids. Not only that, but rigid SUPs are generally more expensive. For kids at the learning stage, breaks and cracks wouldn’t be the most budget-friendly accident.
But still, what makes hard wooden boards a better option than inflatables?
Even though kids are at a learning stage, proper equipment should be given to them to start with their skill-building from an early age. Though inflatable boards are easier to use, wooden paddleboards provide better durability, performance, and maneuverability. These features make the hardboard a better option.
What Are The Common Components Of Wooden Paddle Boards?
Rigid boards have different compositions, which include fiberglass foam and plastic.
Wooden paddleboards generally have a hollow core or may have foam as well. This wooden core is coated with epoxy resin. The overcoat serves as a protective layer that helps the board stay durable over time in the environment experienced in lakes and oceans. Epoxy coating also helps smooth the board so it can glide on the water easily with little to no friction.
The hollow wood provides the board with the buoyancy needed to float on water. As mentioned above, foam is sometimes used for this purpose. The core is responsible for the overall strength and sturdiness of the board.
- Best performance on beaches, lakes, and bays
- Easy maneuverability
- Perfect speed and agility when it comes to mounting waves
- Ideal for skill building
- More difficult for kids to handle
- Hard to carry and travel with
- Relatively more expensive
- Prone to scratches and even breakage due to careless usage.
How To Take Care Of Your Wooden Paddleboard?
There are no special tips and tricks for your wooden SUP general care. A freshwater rinse after use and storage away from the sun in a dry place will enhance the boards’ longevity. Once it’s completely dry, placing the board in a SUP bag will help protect it from accidental scratches.
Depending on the type of wooden board you have, the manufacturer will also have their own recommendations and instructions for long-term care.
What Other Child SUP Options Are Available Other Than Wooden Boards?
While Hard boards and inflatables are the only two categories, within each category, there are diffrent manufacturing components used. Here are two common and more budget-friendly options suitable for kids’ paddleboards.
Hard (Plastic) hardboards
Plastic hard boards are rather easier to buy as they are the least expensive category of paddleboards. They are readily available and are the most used for beginners and kids. Plastic boards are a great alternative, but they come with their own share of cons. The material makes the board rather heavy to carry around and transport. Along with that, maneuverability and swiftness of the board are compromised as well.
Inflatables are the most sought option due to their easy storage and lighter weight. An inflatable would be the best option for infrequent light and causal SUP sessions.
The board’s material generally provides good grip for children and sturdiness when inflated. For kids, the inflatable is usually seen as the safest option, but it does limit their skill-building when it comes to surfing and SUP maneuvering.
Is A Premade Wood SUP Better Than A Customized Specialist-Made One?
While premade ones are certainly a more accessible option, self-made or customized ones bring about their own joy. Some local surf and paddleboard shops make tailored SUPs customized to the individual.
Why would you need a customized paddleboard?
If you are a pro or just can’t find the right SUP for your needs, a specifically tailored board for your height, weight, and SUPing style is a good option.
Finding a board specifically suited to their physic can be difficult for kids who want to take the sport seriously. Each kid has different skills and areas they wish to master. Due to these reasons, a customized and specialized one may be better. Plus, you’ll get to pick the color and the design too.
With all the positives mentioned above, customized boards can be costly. If you have a stretchable budget, you can opt for a customized paddleboard. Otherwise, your options are premade or building your own.
Can You Build A Wooden Paddleboard On Your Own?
Yes, the beauty of the wooden paddleboards is that they are relatively easy to build if you have the right skills and knowledge, plus the right equipment and a love for DIY projects. If that’s you, then making a DIY paddleboard for your kid is a viable option. Additionally, letting your child help is a great way to increase the parent-child quality time.
All the equipment you might need can be found in a local hardware store. All you’ll need is space big enough to do this DIY project. There are plenty of tutorials and step-by-step guides available online, with a variety of difficulty levels.
What skills do you need to build a wooden SUP?
Though building a paddleboard is not too hefty of a job, you’ll still need some of the basic crafty skills. Cutting, smoothening, curing, and shaping are essential parts of building the board. If you are not somewhat of an expert, it would be advised to not do so without proper practice and safety gear.
Paddleboards may seem to have a basic structure, but so much thought goes into every curve of the board. You must have some carpentering skills to shape and cut the board. The equipment used and the process involved are not for the faint-hearted or the carless.
Is it worth the time and effort?
Building a paddleboard is not all about the end product but also about the whole experience. Being able to spend hours with your kids in the garage and letting them help in the paddleboard building process will only enrich the whole paddleboarding experience for them. The association of positive memories with the sport will help kids develop a more profound love and appreciation for it. Kids having a board that their parents built for them will always be a cherished item.
As far as performance is concerned, DIY boards will have compromised performance than store-bought ones. But, since the board is for kids, it would work just fine. Kids grow fast, and a new adult board would be needed anyway. So, it’s a win-win situation.
Here’s an example of a simple DIY plywood SUP build. There are many other options for different skill levels and wood types that best suit your needs.
Wooden paddleboards are beautiful and durable, but they are also environmentally friendly if sourced from sustainable wood. On top of that, the board’s performance isn’t compromised by inflation levels.
Yes, they do require a bit more care than other types of boards, but that could also be part of the learning experience for your child.
Whatever your final choice getting out on the water and spending quilty time with your children is the main point. Thanks for reading. We hope you have fun on your next SUP adventure.