Children/Youth Kayaks

Could you point me to some sources for Kids or Youth kayaks. Preferably sit-on-tops, but would also like to look at some sit-ins as well. We’re looking for something that is relatively inexpensive. The main thing we are trying to deal with is the problem of width and depth of most full size kayaks, that cause kids to feel like they are paddling “in a hole” and which makes it hard for them to learn to paddle.

Kids kayaks
This is one of those questions where I’d suggest you use the archives; there have been some good discussions on this topic in weeks, months and years past. That said, here are some of my favorites (and all are heavily dependent on the child’s size, of course.) Three current models: 1) Perception Acadia Scout, 2) WS Tsunami SP, 3) CD Raven. And one wonderful older model, long out of production but sometimes available used: the WS Piccolo (which did have a fiberglass variant, but I can’t pull the name out of my gray matter right now.) The reasons behind these choices (mine and others) are in the archives, though you’ll certainly get some fine responses to your question. Good for you for getting the kids out on the water. Some things to remember: keep it fun, let them be kids, get them some formal lessons (away from the parents) and, most of all, that it isn’t about the boat, it is about fun on the water. Great Luck!

New Search Engine

Use the above search engine to speed up and streamline your search pulling from the P-Net archinves as well as some other related sites. Entering “kids kayak” should get you a couple of dozen good hits.


– Last Updated: Jul-17-08 4:31 PM EST –

Ocean Kayak Kea (sit-on-top)
Malibu Kayak 3.4 (sit-on-top)
Jackson Kayak Mini Tripper
Jackson Kayak Fun 1,1.5, 2Fun and Sidekick (whitewater)
Perception Carolina 12XS -- previously sold as the Perception Umiak
EPI Episea

For builders, Sea Pup and Sea Flea

perception acadia scout

How old are the kids
and what kind of water are you planning on paddling in?

Also check the Jackson mini tripper
its a sit-in but the cockpit is so large, it takes up almost the whole kayak. there will be no deck above your legs when you sit in it.

The Pamlico 140
is a fine youth’s kayak… Great for kids!!

One p.netter in particular really loves his Pamlico, and can tell you most anything about it.

Are you kidding??
A 28" wide, 14" deep, kayak would make his problems worse. Way to big for childeren.

Oh yeah?

Prijon Viper
Its new and it will work well for your kids.


Acadia Scout
I bought the Acadia Scout for my son(3 years 3 months), and he can paddle it fine in our pool. He runs out of room quick, but seems comfortable in it.

I think the Pamlico 140(although they say is for a youth) is way too big for a child

Tsunami 135’s
Works for 12 year olds. The 120 SP’s have a thigh brace issue that need a redesign.

what is the “thigh brace issue”?

Ocean Kayaks Kea for the SOT
It’s the only small SOT that I’ve ever heard of, and it even comes with a kids’ paddle. Question is, just what size IS your kid?

I am 5’2" 110 lbs, and though I didn’t paddle one, I got to sit in one. It actually fit me, but I doubt it’d fit anybody much bigger.

Fiberglass Piccolo
was called Tchaika or something like that.

The curved hook to them
The kids cannot get their legs out. Even the factory sales rep suggested taking them out. Two different dealers mentioned the same, on in Brick, NJ and one in Kingston, NY.

More hook than this?

Here’s the SP:

(hit “Enlarge image”)

The thighbraces don’t look excessively large or hooked, and there’s plenty of space between them to get a leg out.

The SP is aimed at folks who want to develop skills.

I suspect that the hook is to help smaller folks stay in when they’re trying to roll. I had to build up aggressive thigh braces for my wife’s old boat because she fell out whenever she flipped, and that was frustrating for her.

I’d be surprised if kids “cannot get their legs out” with a gravity assist and a bit of wet-exit practice.

If the braces really are extreme, just trim a bit off the inside edge to decrease the hook.