Category Archives: surfing with kids

Teaching a Toddler to Surf

As a mom (or dad) who surfs, most of us dream of being able to share our love of the ocean and riding waves with our kids.

Continue reading Teaching a Toddler to Surf

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Surfing with Kids age 3.5 and 18 months

Surfing with my kids has been a dream come true. The past week in Costa Rica has had pumping waves, and for the most part my kids are hanging on the beach with our awesome nanny while mama gets some turns in. Towards the end of the swell there were some super smooth easy peelers coming in at the bottom of the point. I asked Soleo if he wanted to catch a wave and he shook his head no, until Luna agreed. She’s 3.5 and got excited. After 18 month old Soleo watched his sister ride a wave, he was eager to get one too.

Last Few Days in Costa Rica

Our family lives primarily in Northern Nicaragua, but we do spend several months per year in Costa Rica. We love our little house in the jungle, watching monkeys from the porch, walking across the street to check the surf, playing with the kids in the river, and catching waves ourselves.

I pulled out the GoPro on the last couple of days of our trip to capture a few scenes summarizing our life in paradise. Kid play, a lot of checking the surf, and even a bit of surfing.

Luna Suli Surfs With Her Mama at 2.5 Years Old

Luna has been going in cycles of wanting to surf with me every day for a couple of weeks, and then showing no interest at all. I don’t push it. If I say, “want to surf with mama?” and she says “not today,” then it’s not today.

But on this day, I asked her if she wanted to surf and she said “YES!” I passed off Soleo who was not thrilled at hanging on the beach with the nanny right at that moment, but when Luna wants to surf she gets to go surfing!

The waves were nice and small with a big channel. We paddled out and relaxed on the outside for a while. We talked about the channel, the peak, the inside, the outside. She pointed out whitewash and green waves. We played on the board, jumping off and swimming back to it. We looked for turtles, pulled up small pieces of driftwood for inspection, sang songs from Disney’s Moana.

Eventually a set swung wide and we were in the perfect spot, so while still singing a song, I turned to paddle. She held on tight, looking around as I did some gentle turns, was smiling and happy, and even gave me a mid-wave high 5.  Then we paddled out for another. It was probably my favorite wave ever. 

After this wave, she was talking about surfing non-stop for the rest of the day and even practicing popups on my hand plane.

Luna Paddles Out

Luna has ridden a bunch of waves in her life starting at age 10 months, but this was the first time she wanted to paddle outside with me.

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We had been spending a lot of time on the inside, playing around, riding broken waves with her on my back.
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One day the waves were pretty small and I saw that there were long enough gaps between sets that I could probably get her outside without having to pop over a big wave. I asked if she wanted to “go out to the amigas” and she said “ok!”

We timed it just right and made it outside with dry hair. She was a little nervous but also happy to be out there.

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I saw a little wave coming, turned and paddled for it. I wasn’t sure we’d be able to catch it or what I’d do when we did catch it. Should I just stay laying down as we’d been practicing? But once we were in it, instinct kicked in and I slowly stood up. She was gripping tightly, and I reached around and got an arm on her just in case.img_8100img_8104img_8112img_8115

We rode it all the way in! I asked if she wanted to paddle out for another and she said yes. On the next paddle out, I didn’t time it quite as well and we did have to push through a little wave. She got splashed in the face and wasn’t too happy about it, but calmed down once we got outside. The swell was small but long period and building. After having to paddle quickly to avoid a couple of larger waves, I decided not to push our luck and we paddled in.

I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to get her out there again!