Looking to entertain the kids this summer? Want to beat the heat together as a family and keep everyone entertained? We’re fortunate in the Black Hills area to have so many wonderful waterways accessible including Lakes Pactola, Deerfield, Sheridan, Angostura and Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park. We also have many rivers, streams and reservoirs across the region that can be enjoyed recreationally.
At each of these waterways, you have options for enjoying your favorite watersports like kayaking and paddle-boarding, jet skiing, diving, fishing, rafting, canoeing, wakeboarding, tubing, and of course, swimming!
All watersports boast the benefit of providing physical activity while outdoors. Some people prefer a relaxed watersport activity like swimming or canoeing, while others want a more rigorous outing. For young children, tubing and rafting are excellent ways to beat the heat, enjoy the sunshine, and have a great excursion with family and friends.
Many kids though enjoy more rigorous recreation like jet skiing, kayaking and paddle boarding. These can be great summertime activities that also help develop excellent posture practices.
Kayaks are great vessels to start your kids with. There are tandem kayaks that are ideal to help train your kids on how to navigate your favorite watersport. The adult should always sit in the back position as helmsman, as this position allows you to maintain control over the vessel and keeps the weight properly situated.
Kayaking and paddle boarding are very hard on the body (particularly the upper body), so we always encourage both you and your children to get a good stretch before you hit the waterways. Stretch out those arms and legs to keep them flexible and of course, maintain great spinal care with Rushmore Family Chiropractic!
Because kayaking requires you to sit for long stretches of time with little movement (other than your arms), we suggest starting with short trips when training your little one.
Paddle boarding, on the other hand, allows for greater movement. You or your child can alternate positions: sitting with legs straight out and toes up, sitting cross-legged, sitting with knees bent, kneeling on your knees and of course, SUP or stand-up paddling on a board designed for standing. There are different standing positions as well. And just like with kayaking, you should train your child on proper paddle boarding techniques while seated at the rear position of your board.
There are a variety of videos online to show the ways to train a child on how to waterski. Jet or waterskiing brings your child into more contact with others on the lake, so it’s a great way to teach them recreational etiquette and good sportsmanship.
And of course, any child learning to paddle board, kayak or jet ski needs to be water worthy: able to swim and to communicate if they need assistance. Let’s ensure that you child has a great time with their favorite watersport. We hope that your family enjoy this summer and the many water parks and lakes in Western South Dakota!