First kayak for child.

We’re looking to get my 10yo daughter a kayak of her own. She is not a charge-ahead daring type and would much prefer something which is very stable and has a higher seat (SOT). For example, she LOVES how the Jackson Coosa paddles and feels but we’re not keen on spending that much for the occasional summer paddle. Our budget is in the ~$500-600 range for boat plus paddle.

The lead options are (sorted by width):

  • Perception Pescador 10 - longest of the three, has great reviews and proven long-established form (used to be a Wildy, right?).

  • Ocean Frenzy - looks to be a sturdy, although slow boat, is this primarily a “day at the beach / surf boat”?

  • Vibe Skipjack 90 - widest and probably slowest, pre-rigged for fishing.

    Which of the three do people recommend for a kids boat?

Prodigy XS
It’s not in your list, but we purchased two Prodigy XS for our 7 and 11 year old boys. They are great kayaks that are very stable and have handled lake chop nicely as well. We had water coming into our pungo’s after the wind picked up one day recently and all the while, they were gliding along nicely and stayed dry in the prodigy’s.

The boys have already learned to get out to swim and then climb back in with ease.

Maybe keep your eyes peeled for a used
Jackson Coosa ? We are getting to that time of year when people don’t want to store things they aren’t keeping for next season.

I love my old Ocean kayak (a 13’ Prowler, a heavy beast but it is fast for what it is, plus stable and good in moderate waves) but the shorter model in your list is not going to be the same speed compared to the other boats on your list. If your other boats are faster and easier than what she ends up with, and you’re traveling for long distances on flatwater, it could get frustrating. But I’ve seen those shorter Ocean kayaks going down the river here and they are great on current, too, for larger kids to smaller adults just plunking around wanting something to swim off of. So it depends. But if she likes the Coosa, compare the specs of the Coosa to the others, (length,width,capacity, weight, shape) and get the one most Coosa-like.

2nd the shopping used suggestion
I’d recommend a few kids “sit-insides” but it sounds like you’re fixed on a SOT. I’d shop used for the coosa and others.

That you’re willing to spend the time looking for the right kayak for your child. The best SOT for my child 5 - 10 was the old Ocean Kayak Poco. It was basically indestructable and narrow enough for a child to be comfortable in, but not for a grown-up or an adult (thank goodness). Suggest you look for an old fiberglass Ocean Kayak Scupper or rotomolded Scupper Classic that a 10 year old might just be able to paddle, depending on their size, for yourself to accompany the child.