Last weekend I was able to get my daughter out for her first time on a river wave. She’s ridden the bow of my paddleboard a few times, but hasn’t otherwise been on a wave. I took her out to Dave’s Wave since there aren’t any hazards, and at moderate flow I can stand in the current behind the wave.
At first I wasn’t sure how things would go; I set her out on the wave (in her PFD of course) and held the board behind her, so I could basically “steer.” I surfed her for 10-15 seconds before bringing her back to the eddy. When I asked if she wanted to try again, she said “nope” and got off the board and onto shore. Then she looked at the board, looked at the wave, looked at me, and said “I want to try again.”
Then we were off to the races! In the videos below you can hear her yell “I”m surfing!” and “This is so fun!” once or twice. After a few tries I figured out that I could ride behind her on the board and we could still carve a bit from side to side. She only quit once she started to get too cold. It went as well as I could have ever hoped.