The best rock climbing areas tend to be located in or near wilderness, national parks, mountains, and forests. There are exceptions, of course! Still, when we took a family trip to the jersey shore this summer, there was no rock to be found. As usual, my husband and I sought out something both “active” and “family friendly” to try with the kids.
Surfing, Kite Surfing, Kayaking
Ryan has wanted to try surfing for years, but that’s a solo endeavor, as the kids aren’t quite “surf” ready (they still like their boogie boards), and I’m not a huge fan of swimming.
Years ago, we tried kite surfing as a non climbing beach option. Again, too much of a solo excursion, and a bit of a high level of entry to figure out the kite-surfing-wind scenario.
Kayaking has always been a good back up, but we never really loved it (we’ve done a bit of rowing, as well). The kids can join but there isn’t much excitement to go with it unless you have rapids and/or want to go in the surf.
So this year, we found the one that clicked (for me, anyway): Stand Up Paddleboarding.
Stand up paddleboarding (SUP)
Stand up paddleboards can be rented at most kayak and surfboard rental locations. They are extremely popular for yoga, and seem to be a Hawaiian trend that has (as most things do) headed to the East Coast. Paddleboarding is great for lakes, bays, and other less dynamic bodies of water. It is also something that you can stay relatively dry doing, should you stay in the calmer waters. Hot weather is not a mandatory component, though life jackets probably should be (especially if you aren’t staying close to shore).
Here are some tips from the experts (see which ones I’m breaking above, as I’m sure there were a lot!).
Here’s a video with some how to tips (wish I had read this before we went out!)
And another video (don’t watch the whole thing, it’s quite long!) about Yoga on a SUP. . . Who knew!? I’m quite excited at the prospect of having something like this to do as I look for low impact physical things to do when climbing is not an option.
I love that paddle boarding isn’t just for adults. The kids can go on the board with me for now. As they get older and/or show interest, they can get their own board and ride or race it, as well. For more from moms that paddleboard with their families, check out the great posts below: