10 Benefits of Surfing and Stand Up Paddle Boarding for Children

We asked the experts to tell us what they believe are the benefits of Surfing and Stand Up Paddle Boarding. Here is what they had to say!

1."By two years of age the child's brain is nearly as big as the brain of an adult, a hungry highly complex organ with 100 billion cells, with every cell able to build 1000 connections ... in other words: the brain craves stimulation & challenge. That way the brain optimizes it's amazing processing power and incredible versatility. In comes SURFING, an activity demanding engagement in unpredictable, beautiful nature, demanding fluid motion, head to toe core muscle work, balance, attention, focus ... total food for a growing brain. Not to speak of the phenomenal endorphin release to produce mental calm ... the surfer's stoke." Dr.Helgo Schomer, UCT Distinguished Teacher and Practitioner of Psychology

2."Surfing provides children with the opportunity for social engagement. Learning to make new friends with a common interest. Teaches Patience in a world of instant gratification. Wait for your waves, something that is beyond your control. Surfing Builds Children's Confidence and Self Esteem." Jason Blignaut Surf Emporium Head Coach and Surfing South Africa Qualified Surf Coach

3. "Surfing and SUP are outdoor sports that offer the opportunity for family time and bonding over a fun and active sport. Spending uninterrupted quality time with your kids on the learning journey together. Children can acculturate into a broader tribe that is healthy. Form meaningful relationships with friends they can have fun with and grow together." Roxy Davis International Surfing Association Coach, 9 x South African Surfing Champion and mother of two boys.

4. Loris Malaguzzi’s thoughts on teaching and learning have a great deal of currency today and a symbolic connection to learning in and with nature. The image of the child is one where children are seen as strong, competent and intellectual builders of theories. When we are in nature we can all be strong, competent, intellectual builders of theories.
There is nothing that can match children being one with nature. Especially being connect with the big blue sea when surfing and SUP boarding. Kimberly Burrows, Early Learning Phase Teacher

5. "Life with children is messy but magnificent. Your surfing journey has to start at the beginning. It teaches children that life is a journey, slow, uncomfortable, meandering, messy but magnificent. You can't shred at the back-line until you learn to ride the foamies." Samantha Redelinghuys, mother of 4

6. "The mental benefits of surfing and SUP’ing include better mood, less anxiety, less depression, better focus (very important in this age of electronic overload & distraction), expanded memory capacity; optimizing the potential richness of the human experience in God's grand design." Dr.Helgo Schomer, UCT Distinguished Teacher and Practitioner of Psychology

7.“Some sports are superior to others in helping strengthen the developing body. Children will experience enhanced core strength as well as excellent balance, reflex and co ordination development when participating in activities such as surfing, stand up paddle boarding, ballet, gymnastics and martial arts. The power of exercise through surf is enhanced by the environment of the ocean and the therapeutic benefits of nature and water” Candic Davis Chartered Physiotherapist, BSc (Hons) MCSP HPC Registered

8. "Children will benefit enormously from outdoor, fun activities that involve core stability and strengthening of the whole body. Surfing and stand up paddle boarding will do both in a fun environment!" Sophi Chandler physiotherapist, BSc Physiotherapy (Hons)(Wits)

9. "Your children will learn about the literal term of balance in surfing and understand the general term of balance in life. Increases muscle tone, sunshine, outdoors, vitamin D, minimises screen time (computers, television, cellphones). Teaches children that to succeed you will be falling off many times. Don't give up when things get tough. Learn coping mechanisms that surfing teaches you along your surfing journey." Roxy Davis International Surfing Association Coach, 9 x South African Surfing Champion and mother of two boys.

10. "What are the physical benefits of surfing and SUP’ing: when you learn to surf you will realize that you will paddle a lot, and that develops beautiful muscle strength & endurance. Paired with the complete core muscle workout of the actual surf, once you have mastered the art of catching a wave, it presents you with a complete gym ... in the ocean." Dr.Helgo Schomer, UCT Distinguished Teacher and Practitioner of Psychology