1st plastic kayak for 8 yr. old?

Just wondering if anyone out there has had any experience introducing kids to kayaking. I have a W.S. Pungo 12 I’m going to try her in this summer. Appreciate any experienced suggestions, no guessing, I’ll do that. Thanx.

Maybe a Yost Sea Flea, if…

– Last Updated: Mar-17-13 7:06 PM EST –

...you have some DIY skills. They're cheap, and pretty easy to make, even for beginners.


Edit: I see you did specify plastic. But, most people are not aware that boats like this are even a possibility. A lot of people have built these for kids. They're well designed, and don't break the bank.

Kid’s wave kayak
You can find out more in my blog here?


The Pungo is a great boat for someone over 200 pounds I don’t think a child could turn it and I think it might actualy be tippy with too little weight to sink the v hull to a good width.

Perception Acadia Scout
is a nice, light plastic kids kayak. check Craigs list. I bought ours new for $300. It is very narrow so ideal for smaller paddlers. The weight limit is about 120 lbs.

Big Problem - with wide kayaks

– Last Updated: Mar-18-13 2:14 AM EST –

Kids bang their hands, knuckles, fingers when
attempting to get the paddle blade in the water
on a really wide, huge cockpit, adult kayak.

Look at stuff like this - for young kids -
Jackson Fun 1.5
Jackson Kayak Shooting Star
Wilderness Systems Piccolo
Perception Acadia Scout
Perception Umiak

Look at a short paddle length as well, less weight for kids

While you are on the quest for a kids kayak,
keep a certain mindset in place.
Petite women and small lightweight guys
(welterweight boxers, jockeys, etc) also kayak.
There are kayaks in the paddlesports market
to fit this demographic of people.

And WS Tsunami SP
If youth is 60-120 lbs.


Those Jacksons would only suffice if the intent was for limited space introduction, or river use. They would not do, if the idea was to paddle with an adult, even in a rec boat.


– Last Updated: Mar-18-13 10:39 AM EST –

Jackson makes kid-size boats for whitewater and flatwater. The Flatwater boat is the Mini Tripper.

The Perception Prodigy XS looks like the replacement for the Acadia Scout. Probably a good option and easy to find.

I agree that you should avoid putting kids in adult-sized boats if you have a choice. I've seen too many kids wrestling with adult-sized paddles, having a a hard time reaching the water because the boat was so deep and wide.

I wish I had the shop to build a couple Sea Fleas.

Looking into the rest.

Thanks again. I’m off.

Episea, CD Raven
There is a kids sea kayak called “EpiSea”, that you might find. It’s an easy-to-paddle kid-specific boat, with a stern hatch. It’s not a great choice if you want to teach the kid to roll, or do braces, but it’s much better than the recreational kids boats, like the Scout, IMO.

The best kids sea boat I’ve found is the CD Raven. It’s a bit more expensive (closer to $1000), but it’s properly sized, very well built, and very light weight. I just bought one for my daughter, and now her Episea is for sale (if you happen to be headed to Maine).

Don’t forget the tow rope
My daughter was 7 when she got her Acadia Scout and loves it. I made a GP paddle for her since she will out grow it every 18 months or so. One important thing is to buy a tow rope. Kids get tired easily and a tow rope is a great way to continue the trip. On vacations my daughter just goes out and plays in the boat (with supervision) and has taught herself a rescue or two without even knowing it. I would also look at a wetsuit to extend the season or if you paddle anywhere in the north. We’ve bought ours off eBay very cheap. NRS also makes some great inexpensive paddling clothes for kids, that make great presents and they feel like a real paddler/adventurer, which they are compared to most kids. Have fun with it, my wife is the only person I would rather paddle with than my daughter. It is a new adventure for her every time we go out. Of course now she wants to learn to surf a kayak and she is 8 1/2 years old.

Make Sure Child Can Swim A Mile
With or without a pfd. Kids learn faster if they have companions their own age or a little older. It really doesn’t matter about the type of kayak, for as long as it floats, kids will improvise. So get a variety of crafts, and paddles and let the kids have at it. Facilitate, but don’t get in their way.

acadia scout
My daughter has the acadia scout and a bending branches splash paddle…she is 12 and 60 pounds. She loves to go out and paddle. When she is tired and having a hard time keeping up, I tow her. She is ready to use my Eddyline Samba this year…keeps telling me to get a new boat so she can have mine…

Perception Prodigy XS
The Acadia Scout has been discontinued. The same hull has been upgraded with more outfitting and is now called the Prodigy XS. Same great kid-sized boat just with a few extras included for the same price as the Acadia. Just picked one up this weekend for my 6 year old granddaughter. 23 inches wide and only 26 lbs. ( the boat, not the granddaughter).


That’s the one
Name has changed

Ocean Kayak Poco Best Kid’s Kayak
We started out with Ocean Kayak’s Zuma 2, then progressed to the Scupper Classic, which was way too big for a child. But mom knows best and brought home the Poco, whic was the perfect child size kayak that was narrow and fast.


– Last Updated: Mar-21-13 4:53 PM EST –

Apparently discontinued. Don't know why -- I know a couple of families who had them, and they were great for the kids.

It may be living on as the RTM Piccolo:

Pygmy Osprey 13
My daughter has just turned 8 when we started building one. She loved it until she out grew it. it’s stable, light & quick. the hull design makes it fairly easy for a small person to get the paddle in the water properly. They are pretty easy to build as well. Emma’s is looking for a new home as none of us fit it now.