Children are invariably curious to try new activities. As adults our previous experiences can often stay in our minds and as parents we want to protect our children from what for us was possibly not a positive experience. However, times have changed and equipment and teaching methods have advanced so what may have not been great for us will probably be enormous fun for them.
Below is a list of a few of the classic comments that are made when children ask to try a new activity.
Windsurfing is too difficult as the equipment is so heavy:- Years ago this was the case and it put many people off. With the advances in science and technology the materials used to make the sails, booms and masts have become so much lighter and the designs on the kids rigs have changed to make them so much easier for them to use. If there is a child who really does not have the strength but does have the enthusiasm, they will simply be given a sail that is a little smaller. There is no excuse for them not to try and more often than not it is a positive experience and they are keen to carry on. Book them on an RYA windsurf stage 1 course where they will be taught the correct techniques and watch them go.
It is too expensive to buy all the equipment:- Most watersports centres such as Lagoon Watersports in Brighton provide all the equipment. This is not just the boats and boards but also the wetsuits, buoyancy aids, harnesses, impact vests and helmets. All they will need to bring on the day is swimwear, towel and if possible something they can wear on their feet. Little beach shoes can be bought in supermarkets or old trainers or plimsolls serve just as well.
They are not a very good swimmer so they cannot learn:- All the time the children are on the water they will be wearing a flotation device so their heads will always be above water. A lot of venues where children will be learning, such as Lagoon Watersports, have shallow enclosed areas in which to learn. The lagoon at Lagoon Watersports in Brighton is only waist deep so if they fall in, or throw themselves in, they can stand up straight away.
If the weather is bad they will not enjoy it as they will get wet in the rain:– Children are far more resilient than we give them credit for! Normally if it is raining we keep them indoors or hurry them along. Doing watersports they are going to get wet so will be dressed in wetsuits. They love the fact they are being given the freedom to get seriously wet and almost embrace the less pleasant weather conditions. If it gets too windy or there is thunder and lightning, there is always a bit of theory to be done or rope tying to be learnt until the weather passes through.
What happens if the boat tips over or they fall in:- When children are on the Kids Dinghy 1 and 2 courses they are taught how to right a boat if it capsizes. To do this they must first tip the boat over and that is one of the skills they definitely love to take with them. If left to play with the boats on their own they take huge pleasure in tipping the boats over and then righting them again. If they are windsurfing or stand up paddleboarding they will spend ages simply jumping on and off of the boards.
Once they have learnt one of the sports it will be too difficult for them to carry on, I do not want to buy a boat, etc:- Once they have learnt how to sail, or windsurf, or SUP it is a shame if they do not carry on. There are a lot of clubs now that offer watersports and at very affordable prices e.g. Lagoon Watersports in Brighton offers a Kids Club that costs £250 for the year and once that fee is paid there are no hire costs, the children can use the equipment when they want and join in on onward training sessions and get to meet other kids who all enjoy the same sport.