Winter returned to Scotland at the end of March with snow and wind but then only days later something resembling summer appeared to general hysteria and disbelief. So, this got me thinking about ways to have a great family day out at the beach. We’ve had our share of bad tempered ones but I know that the more exercise our kids get the better the chances that they’ll manage to present a civil face to the world and we’ll have a stress-free day. Being a teenager is tough. Being the parent of a teenagers equally so. We know that on a day when our kids’ feet have been in the sand they are their best selves. And what more can we ask for? So here are our top tips for a successful day out.
Get a family surfing lesson
Especially if you’ve never tried surfing. Getting out there and learning something new together is such a fantastic bonding experience. Find your nearest surf school (we love Coast to Coast Surf School) and give it a go. You may find that you’re a natural but at the very least you’ll have something to laugh about with the kids afterwards.
If a full-on surf session feels like a stretch too far, give body boarding a go. Catch a family wave, or play body boarding dodgems and knock each other off. This is a no learn situation and as long as you are entirely comfortable with looking a tad dishevelled and maybe imbibing a mouthful or two of sea water then you’re good to go.
Sealblading (beware – product plug!) Of course you need to get out Sealblading™. Sealblades are a new product for Summer 2017. They’re retractable hand paddles that give you up to twice the paddle power over hand paddling alone and then instantly retract to leave your hands free. Huge fun and very versatile. Once you have some kind of floatation device and a pair of Sealblades™ your options are endless. While we’ve seen the pre-teen set have as much fun pretending to be super heroes on the beach with them, they’re great for family Sealblades races, coasteering, exploring, power up snorkling and more.
Indulge in gorgeous yummy treats
All that water time is going to leave you and your smelly darlings famished. Make sure to pack your bag with lots of yummy snacks and drinks to restore energy levels and keep #hangry spells at bay.
It’s all about layers
UK readers will know only too well how fast it can go from cosy to chilly. You may find yourself packing enough clothing options to get you through a Caribbean beach holiday and artic expedition combined. If your pre-teens and teens are like ours they will have wandered out the door without a thought to well - anything really - so throw some cosy blankets and a few body layers for warmth.
Chill out with an evening Stand Up Paddle board session or even better SUP XL
As the sun begins to dip and the seas to calm it is time to consider a zen sunset SUP session. Stand up Paddling is one of the fastest growing water sports and is a great total family option. You can even get your yoga moves on, or carry on with races if the energy levels allow. And if you're all basking in end of day 'nailed it' family bliss try SUP XL - a hug SUP for you all to fit on.
Clever packing solutions
Our new favourite is the The Brug. Genius bag and rug in one combination. You can pile all the treats, food, wetsuits, blankets, volleyballs, footballs and the kitchen sink into your Brug and off you go. Then just roll it out and you have a comfy mothership rug to return to for a bit of a chill out. And then at the end of the day you just pack it all up again and avoid half of the and on your beach ending up in your car.
Let us know how you get on and if you have any other tried and tested ways of ensuring the kids have a day when they are not hating you for removing them from their tech.