Mine started when they were between 6-8. They are now almost 9, 10, and 12 and I would never let them go out onto the beach alone, but they are strong enough now that I don't feel the need to be out in the water with them, unless the waves are rough. Riptides at the beaches around here are common (southern NC), but I would never let my kids out in the water if they were dangerous at the time. I have taught them how to handle it if they come across one, and I go over it again at the beginning of every beach trip. That said - they love it and I'm glad it's something they enjoy!
at 9:08 AM on Apr. 25, 2010