Sport Rulebook

Starting Your Kids Surfing: Tips for Safety and Success

Starting Your Kids Surfing

Surfing is an exciting and fun activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. If you are considering starting your kids surfing, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to ensure that they have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Defining Goals

The first step in starting your kids surfing is to define your goals. Do you want your child to learn how to surf competitively, or do you simply want them to enjoy the water and learn a fun new skill?

By defining your goals from the outset, you can manage your expectations and ensure that your child gets the most out of their surfing experience.

Ages 3-5

If you have young children between the ages of three and five, you can still introduce them to surfing. However, you’ll need to take a different approach.

At this age, kids are still developing their motor skills and coordination, which means that safety should be your primary concern. One way to get your young child comfortable in the water is to start with a boogie board.

This will allow them to get used to the waves and learn how to balance on the board. Once they are comfortable with the waves, you can move on to a soft surfboard.

Ages 6-11

If your child is between six and eleven years old, they will have better motor skills and coordination, which means that you can start teaching them some basic surfing skills. However, safety should still be a top priority.

Start by teaching your child how to paddle on a soft surfboard in calm water. Once they are comfortable with this, you can move on to catching small waves.

Ages 12 and Up

If your child is twelve years old or older, they are ready to start learning more advanced surfing skills. At this age, they can handle a hard surfboard and can start learning more about wave selection and positioning.

For Future College Athletes

If your child is interested in surfing competitively and wants to surf in college, they will need to start training early. Look for surf schools and coaches that have experience working with competitive surfers, and ensure that your child is getting plenty of practice time in the water.

For Future Professional Athletes

If your child dreams of becoming a professional surfer, they will need to dedicate a significant amount of time and effort to their training. Look for coaches who have experience working with professional surfers, and ensure that your child is getting plenty of experience surfing in different conditions.

Safety Concerns

When it comes to surfing, safety should always be a top concern. Make sure that your child is wearing the appropriate safety gear, including a wetsuit, leash, and proper surfboard.

Teach them about ocean safety and ensure that they are aware of any potential hazards before entering the water.

Surfing as a Safe and Beneficial Activity

Surfing is not only a fun activity, but it can also be an excellent way to stay active and healthy. Here are some of the benefits of surfing:

Enjoying the Outdoors

Surfing is a great way to get outside and enjoy the beauty of nature. Being in the water and feeling the waves can be a calming and rejuvenating experience that can help reduce stress and anxiety.

Staying Active

Surfing is a fantastic form of physical activity that can help improve your overall health and fitness. Not only does it burn calories and improve cardiovascular health, but it can also help build strength, especially in the core and upper body.


Surfing is a social activity that can be enjoyed with friends and family. It’s a great way to meet new people and make new friends, especially if you’re part of a surf club or group.

Exercise for the Mind as Well as the Body

Surfing is not just about physical exercise; it’s also an excellent way to exercise the mind. Learning how to read the waves and make split-second decisions can help improve cognitive function and focus.

World Surf League

If you or your child is interested in surfing, there are many resources available, including the

World Surf League. This organization is dedicated to promoting and growing the sport of surfing and hosts many competitions and events around the world.


Surfing is an excellent activity for people of all ages and skill levels. By following the guidelines above and focusing on safety, you can ensure that your child has a safe and enjoyable surfing experience.

Remember to start with achievable goals, consider your child’s age and skill level, and put safety first. Finally, remember that surfing is not only a great way to stay active and healthy but can also be an enjoyable way to spend time with friends and family.

Choosing the Right Surfboard

One of the most important decisions you’ll make as a surfer is choosing the right surfboard. The size and shape of a surfboard can have a significant impact on your ability to ride waves and enjoy the sport.

Here are some tips for choosing the right surfboard based on weight and skill level:

Board Length for Children under 65 Pounds

If your child weighs less than 65 pounds, they will require a small surfboard. A board that is six feet or less in length with a soft top and rounded edges will provide the necessary stability to get them started.

It is essential to avoid small or hard boards as they are not suitable for young beginners.

Board Length for Children Weighing 66-100 Pounds

If your child weighs between 66 and 100 pounds, they will need a slightly longer board to accommodate their weight and height. A surfboard that is seven feet long, with a wide base and a thicker foam core than the board for younger children, will provide the stability and maneuverability they need.

Board Length for Children Weighing 110-130 Pounds

A child weighing between 110-130 pounds will require a more significant and robust board to accommodate their weight and height. An eight-feet long soft-top surfboard is suitable for children in this weight range.

Such boards have an ample surface area, an adequately rounded nose and tail, and fin setups that are well-placed to handle the waves and provide stability.

Board Length for Teenagers Weighing over 130 Pounds

If your teenager weighs over 130 pounds, they will require a board that is nine feet long or more. It is essential to choose a board that has a suitable balance between stability and maneuverability.

The board should have a wider base, a thicker foam core, and the right fin arrangement to enable them to ride longer and larger waves.

Safety Tips for Surfing

Surfing can be a fun and exhilarating sport; however, it is important to remember that it also involves risks. Here are some tips to help ensure that you and your children stay safe while surfing:

Always Surf with Supervision

Surfing is a fun sport, especially for children. However, children should never surf alone or without adult supervision.

The person supervising should be a good swimmer and familiar with the beach and surfing conditions.

Life Jackets for Younger Children

Younger children and beginners should wear life jackets. The life jacket should conform to the child’s weight and should be designed to allow for paddling.

It is essential to ensure that the life jacket fits correctly and is fastened securely.

Hydration and Nutrition

It is important to stay hydrated and eat nutritious food before and after surfing. Cold water can be dehydrating, so you should bring plenty of water with you when surfing.

Consuming carbohydrates before surfing can provide you with the energy you need for a long session.

Checking the Weather

Always check the weather conditions before surfing. Waves can become hazardous during bad weather.

Tides and swell size can affect your surfing experience and safety. Stay aware of the ocean conditions to avoid unfavorable weather patterns.

Following Lifeguard Advice

Stay informed about the surf conditions and the advice of professional lifeguards. They are trained experts and can provide you with the necessary safety measures required to ensure your well-being while surfing.

Staying Close to the Beach

It is essential to stay within a safe distance from the shore. Ensure that you stay within areas where you can touch the bottom and can reach the shore easily if necessary.

It is important to be mindful of changing beach conditions from high tide, low tide to riptides.


Surfing is a fantastic sport, but without the appropriate measures, accidents can happen. These tips can help ensure you and your children are safe while enjoying the waves.

Teaching safety measures alongside selecting the right surfboard can guarantee a fun and memorable surfing experience. The fun, the sun, and keeping safe can coexist in the world of surfing.

In summary, this article has covered essential topics related to starting your kids surfing and how to stay safe while enjoying this fun and rewarding sport. We’ve discussed how to choose the right surfboard based on weight and skill level, as well as safety tips to keep in mind, such as staying hydrated, wearing life jackets and following the advice of lifeguards.

Remember to prioritize safety while having fun, and always supervise children while surfing. Teach children to respect the ocean and to develop a lifelong love of surfing that balances safe principles while having an enjoyable experience.


1) What type of board is best for children under 65 pounds? A: A board that is less than six feet long, with a soft top and rounded edges, will provide the necessary stability to get young beginners started.

2) At what age do children typically mature enough to surf a hard surfboard? A: Children are typically ready to move on to a hard surfboard when they reach around twelve years old.

3) What should you do if you encounter a hazardous wave while surfing? A: Stay calm, use your board as a shield, and wait for the wave to pass by.

4) How do you properly fit a life jacket for a child? A: Choose a life jacket that conforms to the child’s weight and fits properly, fastening it securely and adjusting it to sit snugly on the child.

5) What should you do if you get caught in a riptide while surfing? A: Swim parallel to the shore to escape the riptide’s pull before swimming back to shore at an angle away from the current.

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