Tips on How to Prepare Your Kids for Surfing

That time is coming where parents are thinking of ways to get their children involved on their vacation breaks. Surfing is a great activity for children to be involved in because it teaches many life skills. Teaching your child to surf can be an interesting experience because kids go through different stages of surfing as they grow. Introducing your child to the waves can be tricky.

Here are some tips on how to do that:

AGE 1-2

Let your child discover the water. Forcing them is only going to make a bad experience in the water for your child. Let them listen to the waves and appreciate the sand too. This gives the child a “sensory sugar rush” and comfortable with the beach’s environment. Although at this age, your child is years away from surfing, it helps the child form a good connection with the beach.

AGE 3-4

Learn to have fun in the water. To become familiar with the water, play games. A game like “chase the water” where the child has to run to the receding water and then run away from it before it touches the child teaches your child how the ocean works without he or she even realizing it.

Next, this is an obvious one. Teach your child how to swim.

Lastly, take your child out on your surfboard (with a life jacket on) and paddle with your child on the front of board in calm water.

AGE 3-4

The first board is a boogie board. Have your child pick his or her own boogie board at the store to feel some ownership and excitement over it. Once he or she is old enough, let your child invite some friends to share time with them at the beach.

AGE 4+

Find a wetsuit that keeps them warm. Children get colder faster than adults, so if the water is below 70 degrees, get them a full wetsuit.

Get a foam longboard. This is the easiest surfboard to learn on.  To make things easier, don’t bother buying one. Whereever you’re surfing, they should be easy enough to rent.  Look for a board that’s between 7 and 9 feet.

Give them a push into the water. It’s likely that your child doesn’t have the arm and shoulder strength to paddle themselves into the waves. Try holding onto the tail as the wave comes, then guide them into the wave..


If your child shows a talent for surfing or expresses a strong liking to it, enroll them in school where they can progress their surfing.

To stay in touch with the San Diego Surf School or if you’re thinking about signing your child up for some lessons after reading this, visit our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.