“What?! Are you kidding me?! Now I won’t have to try and paddle your big board!”
These are a few of the comments being screamed throughout my house when the UPS man dropped off a couple boxes and I pulled out two kid-sized inflatable standup paddleboards.
From Paddlesports Retailer to Minnesota
A few weeks ago, I was at the Paddlesports Retailer Show in Madison, Wisconsin handing out issues of the Standup Journal and covering the new products related to paddling coming out. Among hundreds of sweet products at the show, there was one I kept coming back to.
The C4 Waterman booth had a 7 foot kid’s board and paddle propped up in their display and it had a really unique look to it. The board has the appearance of being wooden and it’s themed after Disney’s Moana with a Hawaiian feel.
I knew without a doubt this would be a huge hit at our house and it would be used, heavily. So, two boards were ordered and then I had to sit back and wait.
Teach your children well. Share a lifetime of adventure together.
For a few years now my kids have enjoyed paddleboarding. However, the shortest board I have is 11 foot. So, they tend to mess around on it briefly and then end up riding with me. This new acquisition changed all that.
The first night there were 17 mph winds. It was far from ideal conditions, but there was no persuading my older boys to stay home. We loaded up and headed to a nearby lake. They spent a large chunk of time paddling on their knees, but each of them wore an ear-to-ear grin the entire night.
Exploring on a paddleboard is empowering for kids
As I looked into forecasts for the following evening, the weather looked like it was supposed to be perfect. And it was! We went out several nights in a row and, on the second night, the water was absolute glass. The kids were all over that lake. In the hour and a half we were out there, my boys managed to get within ten feet of a flock of pelicans, collected a large mound of Cattails, and took in the sunset.
My daughter wasn’t quite ready to give it a try, but she did stand up on my board and “surfed” while I paddled her around. She told me next year she will be ready to get on her own board. That is another sight I can’t wait to see!
I’ve been on that particular lake countless times. It’s a spot that I consider to be one of my “happy places”. And yet, watching my kids explore the lake in absolutely perfect conditions, enjoying themselves so supremely on their new C4 paddleboards is a night I will likely never forget.
— By Bryce Haack
Bryce Haack is an outdoor adventure photographer
based out of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
You can check out more of his work at: