Summer camp teaches kids how to stand-up paddleboard

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Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013 4:05 pm | Updated: 3:11 pm, Tue Jun 17, 2014.

SARASOTA - With the stand-up paddleboard races on Siesta Key this weekend, and paddleboarding being the fastest growing activity in the country, it would seem like it would be a good idea to get kids involved so they are ahead of the game. So we went to check it out.

As a kid, during the summer it always seemed like parents just wanted us to get some fresh air. That was very important to adults. Now kids can get a lot of fresh air and hang ten at SURFIT U.S.A.'s paddleboard and surf camp on Siesta Key.

"For beginners, you can learn how to paddleboard, because it’s flat out there with the waves coming into the shoreline," says camper Cameron Peens.

The camp is a way to acclimate kids to the beach, the water, and two of the more popular water activities: surfing and stand-up paddleboarding. “We start between the ages 5 and all the way up to 15. Five is a little young, but they can still grasp the techniques. They have fun, and it’s about having fun," says camp head coach Aaron Pollard.

It is a good time to indoctrinate them because kids are usually a little more reckless and fearless at this age then they are as they grow older -- and wiser. "They're fearless, and when you learn a skill at that age it basically stays with you for the rest of your life," says Pollard.

"I liked seeing my progress, because on the first day I was terrible! Then the next day I got really good, and it’s just been really fun," says camper Stephanie Wald.

The kids who are waiting for their turn to be instructed on the nuances of the board, frolic in the surf until their lesson commences. It’s not like the days of 4-square and tetherball that we had at summer camp. "I believe it’s going to be the wave of the future. You are going to see a lot more paddleboarders out here just because the waves are so small," says Pollard.

For more information on the camp, visit www.surfitusa.com.

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