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A GoPro video of a father riding ocean waves with his 9-month-old on a bodyboard has drawn similar reactions to the ones on his son's face during the ride — fright and delight.
In the clip, which has been viewed more than a million times, dad Jorge Tirado brings his son out on a board off the coast of Puerto Rico and rides a wave that barrels over the two of them, as the boy both grimaces and smiles.
"My son (sic) first try,'' Tirado wrote under the video. "Thanks to everyone. I encourage you to safely bring your kids to the ocean, after all the ocean is the place where it all began. By far, this is the best sport for you (sic) spiritual, mental and physical health."
The video drew comments ranging from praise to those questioning Tirado's parenting and the safety of bringing a child that young out into the surf. Professional surfer Bethany Hamilton also raised some eyebrows recently when she was pictured surfing while six months pregnant.
Sandra Gartland, a married mother of two boys from San Diego who has been a surf instructor for 15 years and run her own surf camps in Rhode Island, California and Mexico, recommends more safety precautions.
"He's teaching the child about the water and the ocean, and that is a nice way to introduce your baby to the ocean,'' she told TODAY.com. "But I would definitely have a lifejacket on that child. I could see how someone would say something when seeing (the child without a lifejacket)."
Gartland took her oldest son, West, 7, out on a surfboard when he was about 10 months old.
"There's tons of families that do that with their kids, and they have control of it,'' Gartland said. "It's also very important that the parent is experienced in the water. You could see (in the video) that they waited for the right wave, the wife was in the water, too, and they were very comfortable out there. That's a big difference between somebody who might never have been surfing and just decides one day to rent a board and bring their kid out there."