Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 49 total)
  • SUP’s kids, water safety and do I want an inflatable kayak instead?
  • RopeyReignRider
    Free Member

    Hi

    So last year I went SUPing on Ullswater, loved it and vowed to go back and take my older boys (aged 6 and 8). I have a few questions..

    – We’d like to paddle across from the shore to one of the little islands as an adventure. Is a SUP going to be ok out in the open water or should I be thinking about an inflatable kayak instead?

    – I plan to get us all wet suits, buoyancy aids etc but is there anything else I need to think about? Do people still wear wetsuits in kayaks?

    – I intend to get the boys used to falling in and swimming back to the SUP/kayak

    – If I do get a SUP, any suggestions for something that can cut through choppyness but be big enough for 15 st dad and heavy boys (but not cost a fortune)?

    I’m probably overthinking some of this but don’t want to be the couple I saw who dragged a half inflated kayak out of a car and headed across Ullswater without life jackets etc.

    many thanks

    MrSparkle
    Free Member

    Might be worth doing a course first. I bought my wife one at Coniston for her birthday and she learned A LOT.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I have an iSUP, an inflatable kayak, and kids.

    – the Kayak is easier for the kids. They can sit and paddle at the front and you can watch them and synchronise paddling from the rear. Neither can SUP confidently.

    – I don’t wear a wetsuit on a SUP or in a kayak. I’d boil over and get really sweaty. You’re meant to be on the water, not in it.

    – I prefer kayaking – why stand up when you can sit?

    – I have a 2.5 person Decathlon one, it was a bit cramped with 13yo, 11yo and me, and a couple of bags; but still doable. With 6/8yo though you might need to put some luggage in the front to balance you at the back!

    – You’re probably less susceptible to wind in a kayak (even though an inflatable one is still fairly susceptible) so that could also help.

    julians
    Free Member

    – We’d like to paddle across from the shore to one of the little islands as an adventure. Is a SUP going to be ok out in the open water or should I be thinking about an inflatable kayak instead?

    SUP will be fine for that , but so will a kayak. I have a decathlon inflatable kayak and two decathlon inflatable SUPs. I prefer the SUPs for messing about on the water.

    – I plan to get us all wet suits, buoyancy aids etc but is there anything else I need to think about? Do people still wear wetsuits in kayaks?

    If you think there’s a likelihood you could end up in cold water then a wetsuit seems sensible. In a kayak – I probably wouldnt bother with one, if I knew I wasnt planning on going for a swim.

    – I intend to get the boys used to falling in and swimming back to the SUP/kayak

    – If I do get a SUP, any suggestions for something that can cut through choppyness but be big enough for 15 st dad and heavy boys (but not cost a fortune)?

    The largest decathlon SUP seems ok to me for ‘fun’ use (it has supported the weight of me + wife + son 11yo) , but I am not a SUP ‘enthusiast’ , I just paddle about for a bit of fun. I’m sure you can get far better SUPs than the ones decathlon sell, in the same vein that you can get better mtbs than decathlon sell.

    I suspect you’ll have trouble standing on the sup with 2 young boys wobbling about ( my son wont let me stand when he’s with me on our SUP – he tries to wobble me off) , but it will be fine with you all sat/kneeling.

    It’s probably also worth getting a small dry bag to keep your car keys and phone dry.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Why not speak to Glenridding Sailing School?

    They can hire you all that, plus offer advice and keep an eye out with a safety boat. It would save money and add a layer of security for you.

    They also offer fun swallows and Amazon’s, pirates etc sailing sessions…

    Fwiw, my 18th night was spent stranded on one of those Islands.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Molgrips +1

    I’d say wear a wetsuit on a SUP in the Lake District though, they never really warm up unlike the sea or shallow lakes down south. Kayak I wouldn’t though. But would probably get a lifejacket with a collar and crotch straps for the kids rather than a buoyancy aid. The logic there being they’ll still get cold water shock, but their mouth will be above water.

    And Glenridding +1, sailing is far more fun than any of the other options. And the Postboats and Whammels they hire are pretty much idiot proof.

    RopeyReignRider
    Free Member

    Thanks, just to clarify I was intending for the boys to just sit on the SUP, tbh I might just be kneeling if they’re a pain with balancing etc.

    I think the problem is I want both a SUP for me and a kayak for the kids…

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Kids get cold and kids get cold fast even on warm days in warm water.

    I’d rather they were a bit sweaty than cold. Cold becomes dangerous very quickly even on “warm” days in the UK.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Camping gear and 2 kids on one sup is beyond most 10-11ft generic SUPs fwiw both space and weight become issue

    RopeyReignRider
    Free Member

    trail_rat

    We weren’t planning on camping on the island (although that would be amazing), just paddle across, explore and paddle back.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I think the problem is I want both a SUP for me and a kayak for the kids…

    All the more reason to hire…

    scruff9252
    Full Member

    Matt has it bob on here – hire through the sailing school. Safer, cheaper and more options.

    Tbf it sounds like a wayfarer or similar boat would be ideal for what you are looking for.

    RopeyReignRider
    Free Member

    Boats are a good shout but I kind of want to be a bit more in the water if that makes sense?

    I don’t want to spend a fortune but fancy something that’ll let me have an adventure with the boys but also perhaps escape on my own for paddle if I can..

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Must have picked up camping wrong then I thought that was your aim.

    Either way

    I’d say hire too as most basic sups will be beyond 2 kids and an adult in a decent position to have control of the board. – and if you hire a kayak you’ll probably get a hard shell which is infinitely better in use than an inflatable.

    Here’s me and the three year old on a 10ft 6 on a flat bit of river. There’s not much room left and it’s so twitchy/low in the water I wouldn’t like to be anywhere exposed.

    We also have a 10ft 6 that’s rated to 230kg and it’s considerably more stable with multiple people on that I’d have no issue with being in rougher water with.

    Milese
    Free Member

    I’ve got a 12’6 Gladiator SUP that is fine with my 10 and 8 year olds on too, one front, one back.

    I sometimes wear a wetsuit, depending on conditions. If I dont think I’ll fall in or its really warm I wont bother, but I dont have any issues with wearing my shortie.

    One of my girls wears her wetsuit all the time, the other hates it. Both seem happy.

    I can stand with the 3 of us on the board, but do wear the wetsuit if thats on the cards.

    Both kids are happy paddling around on their own, not going anywhere in particular. Both on the board working together paddling pretty much matches me on my own speed wise.

    Or wife + child paddling = me

    If you get more than one vessel get a cord of some sort so you can tow the kids if you need to.

    Clip top tuperware style box for your stuff that doesnt want to get wet.

    Watch youtube videos on technique.

    richardthird
    Full Member

    We’ve got a couple iSups in the boat shed (lol), the boys use/d them but I MUCH prefer sitting down and paddling.

    I’ve got a Kayacat. Brilliant. Lighter than an iSup and smaller pack size. Less surface area and more aeros. I can easily carry it inflated over one shoulder and with the paddle in the other hand.

    The paddle converts to a Sup paddle and the seat back folds flat so, supposedly you can stand paddle it too. But why bother, the seat is so comfortable. All sorts of attachment points for drybag, shoes and stuff.

    You can extend the width to accommodate 2 kids side by side even, I only ever use mine solo and in the narrower setting though.

    Had it out recently on Derwentwater – nice shallow draft, shallower than a Sup even, then on the Avon, and then out at sea off Cuckmere Haven.

    Whatever inflatable you get, a little 12V Sevylor or similar pump makes life much easier.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    I reckon I would go sup over inflatable canoe.
    It’ll be easier for kids to clamber back on to and easier when in shallower water to lark about and jump off it and that.

    You can get a bit of the best of both by fitting a kayak seat to your sup. I have one on my cheaper Aquaplanet board.

    Try to get something bigger and take note of the weight limits.

    Above all, in shallow water, practise, practise, practise falling in and clambering back on with the kids.

    Have fun 👍

    Burchy1
    Free Member

    We’ve got SUP’s and often have one child on each.

    I don’t think you’d enjoy both kids and yourself on a single board tbh (especially if they like to wriggle!) so i think the above suggestion of hiring would be my suggestion aswell. Hiring a small boat would also mean you could take a kelly kettle/stove etc. and do the marshmallows and brew thing..

    geomickb
    Free Member

    Wetsuit will be too hot for this time of year.

    Yes, of course the Lake District lakes get warmer in the summer (Ullswater is probably currently 18c). But having said that, Ullswater is also renowed for going deep quickly and having cold areas.

    Wear boardies and a rash vest BUT take a drybag with a towel and warm kit (maybe even group shelter and belay jacket) , in case you take a dip and get cold.

    I wouldn’t dream of forcing my 7 year old into a wetsuit at this time of year but we will always have dry/warm kit handy.

    I would say SUP over inflatable kayak, kayaks look pretty uncomfortable and you can’t really paddle efficiently. Wind will be the biggest hazard, set off into the wind, then you know you can get back.

    Get a big touring SUP (12’8ish) not a 10’6 all-rounder.

    VanHalen
    Full Member

    boyancy aid and a wetsuit and you will be fine. i dont always use a wetsuit but if its chilly or windy out of the water i might (or a thermal rash vest) as i like to mess about and fall in. your kids certainly will! and keeping them warm once they are wet will be key. being too warm and jumping in occasionally is better than too cold.

    more volume and width = more stability for paddleboarding. cheapo = lightweight = easily blown in the wind. teh difference between my surf sup and my mega stable one in the wind is shocking. dont go if its windy.

    paddleboarding on a flat lake is really easy (and quite dull unless you are doing a journey). paddleboarding on a flat lake in the wind is quite challenging mainly as the wind make a difference and blows you offcourse. you can kneel (to catch less wind) but it aches after a while.

    paddling a kayak is very boring compared to a paddleboard (stood up). and significantly more boring when its wavey. but each to their own! i like the challenge – some dont.

    the kids will use the paddleboard as a floating jumping/diving platform when not exploring which adds to the fun.

    we have a 6″ thk decathlon 10ft6 one and its a beast. like standing on a table. younger kids find it hard to paddle it (10yrs) but can easily get 3 on it. you can get bigger ones but they get heavy fast! we also have a 10ft surf sup which is 3″ thk and is amazing. so much more manouverable and fun to ride. kids can happily paddle it. They prefer to use the big one when mucking about though.

    MrSparkle
    Free Member

    Boats are a good shout but I kind of want to be a bit more in the water if that makes sense?

    Get a leaking one. Hth. ;0)

    RopeyReignRider
    Free Member

    thanks everyone.

    So if I was to make a rash purchase of a phat SUP for example. Where should I be looking if not wanting to spend more than £300 to £400, or am I only going to get junk for that? I’ve got to account for wet suits and life jackets etc..

    Decathlon?

    diggery
    Free Member

    My wife was SUPing in Ullswater week before last, off round the islands and things and had a great time. She is fairly experienced and was fine in the open water – just watch out for the steamers routes and their small wake.

    Glad you are getting the safety gear. There were a lot of folk wobbling round in board shorts, no leash or jacket. The water is still really cold in the deeper bits (it shelves so surprisingly near the edge). The day after we left there was a tragic accident where someone fell off a SUP. It took 5 days to find him…

    Paddleboarder goes missing in Lake District

    RopeyReignRider
    Free Member

    I heard about the missing paddle boarder 🙁

    Is it just cold water shock and lack of safety gear when these things happen?

    poly
    Free Member

    Is it just cold water shock and lack of safety gear when these things happen?

    Most likely – which is why I definitely would go wetsuits for anyone suping in deep lochs/lakes in UK. A boat wake and you could be in – if you fall in, you probably all do. Lots of people experience it in the warmth of the med, see experienced people doing it with no bouyancy aid and copy that – the leash will save them! But it assumes you can survive long enough to get back to and back on the board.

    Personally I’ve got a bit bored of supping now. I prefer a sit on top kayak – goes faster, probably less likely to end up swimming. Much easier if there’s a headwind. Less faff pumping up a board (unfair comparison as there are solid sups and inflatable kayaks). For the sort of trip you are talking about I’d personally prefer a proper Canadian canoe, I think it would last much longer with the kids growing and let you do much more.

    bentudder
    Full Member

    We’ve just got back from a fortnight in France and Italy and spent the first week on a lake with both an inflatable SUP and a blow-up kayak. FWIW, I’m a former dinghy instructor and have done a load of hours/days/weeks over the years sailing and racing stuff from 60ft down. Udderlet 1 is now a competent sailor and Udderlet 2 is a strong swimmer. Mrs Udder is the SUP fan.

    1 – cold water shock is a thing, and as said above it’s better to be too warm than too cold – especially as you can jump in the water to cool down. The RNLI has a whole lot of resource on cold water shock here: https://rnli.org/safety/know-the-risks/cold-water-shock

    2 – the inflatable kayak was a lot more susceptible to wind than the SUP. This is mostly about windage, but also to do with the SUP’s fin. I noticed that it was significantly easier to paddle into the wind on the SUP (about a 6-8kt breeze most days) when kneeling or sitting than when standing. The inflatable kayak was hopeless and actually a bit of a struggle to keep on course in a crosswind.

    3 – be prepared to modify your plans. It might be an easy tailwind to get you to that cool little island, but that equals a headwind back. Check the forecast to see if the wind is going to pick up.

    4 – Better to leave them wanting more than put them off for life. Same with biking – you wouldn’t put your kids down the Fort William WC track on their third outing. I’d say getting them comfy with falling off and getting back on the paddle board is a fun close-ish to shore and blankets kind of thing – if it stops being fun, you can then get back to shelter quickly. Maybe do that one day, and the expedition the next

    5 – a drybag with extra layers is a good thing

    6 – hiring is also a good thing, especially as most water sports centres will be focused on making sure you have a good time safely. They’ll also be able to recommend trips / activities based on knowledge of what people have enjoyed before, ie ‘go to that island as there is a treehouse. paddle along the shore until you get close, then go across as the prevailing wind is against you – you can then use the tailwind to come directly back to us.’

    7 – we used a SUP with a weight limit of 80kg. Your combined all up weight could be a factor. Maybe a Canadian canoe hired from a centre would be a good option if you don’t have sailing experience (see Wayfarer comment above).

    hope that helps.

    kayak23
    Full Member

    So if I was to make a rash purchase of a phat SUP for example. Where should I be looking if not wanting to spend more than £300 to £400, or am I only going to get junk for that?

    I bought my Aquaplanet (Rokit) board for my first one for that budget.
    It’s pretty great to be honest and the plus point is it comes with everything you might need including a kayak seat (with some models).
    I know the Decathlon ones don’t come with everything, which doesn’t mean they’re not great boards, just something to be aware of when budgeting.

    This one is built for more weight. You might want longer though.

    I’ve since got a Jobe Duna and you can appreciate the better build quality for the extra money, but I still use the Aquaplanet board a lot.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Lots of people experience it in the warmth of the med, see experienced people doing it with no bouyancy aid and copy that – the leash will save them! But it assumes you can survive long enough to get back to and back on the board.

    I would add ‘lots of people experience shallow puddles in the southern half of the UK and have a shock when they fall in any large, deep water in the northern half of the UK…

    The ‘don’t wear a wetsuit’ statements are too black and white for me.
    I also cannot get my head around no BA and no leash being worn.
    But then I’ve fallen in properly, in deep and cold water, with waves and wind, and know how quickly the dinghy/kayak/canoe/sot/sup can disappear…

    tonyd
    Full Member

    My kids are a little older than yours, at 11 and 12, but with mine any SUP outing quickly degenerates from a gentle and calming paddle into a floating WWF smack down event. If you want to explore with them then I’d say kayak, but if they just want to lark about then a SUP is much better.

    bentudder
    Full Member

    The ‘don’t wear a wetsuit’ statements are too black and white for me.
    I also cannot get my head around no BA and no leash being worn.
    But then I’ve fallen in properly, in deep and cold water, with waves and wind, and know how quickly the dinghy/kayak/canoe/sot/sup can disappear…

    Very much this. Even my southern 45 acre puddle is chilly, and a couple of weeks ago while racing I rounded a mark and almost ran down a MOB. The boat they’d (luckily intentionally) fallen out of was about a quarter of a mile away. They were wearing both a wetsuit and a bouyancy aid, but the speed at which they were abandoned (and on a race course – the PRO had a few words with the helm of that boat later) was significant.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    The ‘don’t wear a wetsuit’ statements are too black and white for me.

    I didn’t say don’t wear one, by the way, I said I don’t wear one. I think some people think they are the thing that everyone wears therefore they must wear one, but it’s not necessarily the case. I got seriously overheated trying to surf in one, in fairly chilly water, but it was not obvious what was happening. I would always get a terrible headache and I could never figure out why until I took my suit off. For me to get a bad headache like that meant my body temperature must’ve been seriously high. And in my experience kids are often able to spend more time in the water than adults – my kids certainly are. My daughter’s even more warm blooded than I am.

    Just saying, don’t think wetsuits are always essential, and keep an eye on everyone’s temperatures.

    RopeyReignRider
    Free Member

    Hmmm just had a look in decathlon and they only have quite small SUPs. Their inflatable kayaks look ok but no idea how much of a sail they’d be in a breeze…

    richardthird
    Full Member

    ^ someone up there has a Gladiator 12’6. We have a Gladiator too, smaller though, can vouch for the quality as decent but at much lower price than eg. Red Paddle.
    Came with a carbon paddle upgrade, worthwhile.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    Came with a carbon paddle upgrade, worthwhile.

    By what metric. I have an alu+ fibre glass – an all carbon and a carbon + fibre glass.

    Naff all difference between them. Shape more important than material.

    My mate brought a decathlon alloy paddle out last week. It’s like a spatula. Neither of us could work out which way it was supposed to go. It was equally crap in both directions

    As well as being tiny.

    jonnyboi
    Full Member

    2 + 1 rigid sit in top kayak sounds like it would do the job for you, gives you more options for carrying kit and less susceptible to wind.

    carrying and storing obviously a challenge for something 3M long

    Edukator
    Free Member

    Having done both with school kids between 13 and 15 on flat water I don’t think there’s much in it if you’re using the same safety equipment for both. I was suprised at how good the inexperienced kids were on the SUPs and how crap in rigid kayaks, the first day they were all over the place in kayaks but were doing pretty well on the SUPs within an hour.

    In safety terms; in waves the inflatable kayak is easier and in windy conditions a SUP with a fin is less affected.

    Rich_s
    Full Member

    Just to back up the comment above about windage. We found our inflatable kayak utterly useless in just about any wind. They’re too tall out of the water.

    Kids still enjoying falling out of it, so it wasn’t a complete waste, but I’ve never bothered with it again due to the time taken to set it up and the windage issue.

    We have a sup with the extra seat thing. That never gets used either. But I do sometimes take a double ended paddle out with me (dissembled) in case I need to kneel down and make progress.

    poly
    Free Member

    I didn’t say don’t wear one, by the way, I said I don’t wear one. I think some people think they are the thing that everyone wears therefore they must wear one, but it’s not necessarily the case.

    Whether you were saying that or not, the OP won’t have to look too far to find people on the internet saying wetsuits are not needed, or ironically the opposite from you suggest – seeing other people not bothering so assuming it is OK.

    I got seriously overheated trying to surf in one, in fairly chilly water, but it was not obvious what was happening. I would always get a terrible headache and I could never figure out why until I took my suit off. For me to get a bad headache like that meant my body temperature must’ve been seriously high.

    there’s quite a jump between “I wore a wetsuit surfing and got too hot” to I wouldn’t wear any wetsuit SUPping…
    – thickness of wetsuit
    – quality of fit
    – length of wetsuit
    all make a huge different to temp. I could be wearing anything from 2mm shorts and a 1mm top to full 5mm winter steamer with taped seams etc.
    but also make a difference if you are in the water or in and out the water, as well as the weather of course. Baking sun at 30+ deg swimming hard when the water is different from 18 deg kid sitting on a paddle board whilst dad paddles and who’s out the water for an hour after getting wet…

    I wonder if part of your issue is either the suit is too tight (I had one the neck was so tight it made me feel crap) or you are getting dehydrated. Given the sea temp will be fairly cool I’m not convinced that a wetsuit and exertion alone can get your core body temp above 37 deg C in UK waters.

    I’m not trying to start an argument – I just want the OP to realise that not all wetsuits and wetsuit use is comparable.

    I’d also much rather fall in the sea in any of the UK’s surf beaches in summer than fall in Windermere, Loch Lomond etc without a wetsuit on.

    And in my experience kids are often able to spend more time in the water than adults – my kids certainly are. My daughter’s even more warm blooded than I am.

    I think there is a weird thing where adults without wetsuits chicken out earlier than kids, but actually kids get properly colder quicker if they do stay in longer. They may just not be as aware of it. I also think inevitably kids wetsuits often are thinner or don’t fit as well.

    Just saying, don’t think wetsuits are always essential, and keep an eye on everyone’s temperatures.

    That works fine for playing on off a beach (whether the sea or a lake) but it doesn’t work for going on a journey – its easy to remove layers, its very unlikely anyone is stopping 1/2 way to put a wet suit on, and certainly too late once you’ve fallen in the water.

    RopeyReignRider
    Free Member

    On the theme of wetsuits – what thickness should I be aiming for, given ullswater isn’t too warm?

    Ta

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I’m not trying to start an argument – I just want the OP to realise that not all wetsuits and wetsuit use is comparable.

    That’s true, all I am saying is think about it, which is what we’re doing.

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