Good kayak for kids

I just taught my first kayak camp for kids for the county park system (20-hour camp). I made the park recreational kayaks work for the kids by having shorter kids sit on type 4 throwable flotation cushions. But, it was far from ideal. For 10-14 year-olds, what kayaks work best? The Wilderness Systems Tsunami SP looks like it has potential. Parents have been asking me. The class was lots of fun to teach and was my first official class since becoming an ACA instructor. I would love to talk to others that teach these kinds of camps.


Kids are not adults

– Last Updated: Jun-29-12 5:11 PM EST –

Kids have shorter arms - they don't do well with
massively WIDE flat bottom kayaks because
they bang their hands on the hull attempting
to get the paddle blade in the water.

Long paddles are heavy, so avoid the whole scenario
with a properly sized kid's kayak.
Purchasing a "thinner" than bathtub width kayak
will allow for a shorter, lighter paddle.
Since the paddle is akin to the propeller on a powerboat,
it plays a key role in propulsion.

Perception Umiak
Length: 12'2" Width: 21.5"

Perception Acadia Scout
Length: 10' Width: 23"

Depending on size of the kid
really tall ones might like
Dagger Approach 9.0
Length: 9' Width: 25"

Wilderness Systems Piccolo

Jackson Kayak Shooting Star

Jackson Fun 1.5

Every kid is a unique individual and
advance thought must be put into the
purchase to create enjoyment for all.
Each kid will have varying dimensions
for length of arms, length of legs,
body mass along with having a
certain attitude about being on the water.

Kids Have Great Balance
And the best kayaks to learn on are older Olympic K-1s that sell for under $800. Seats and tiller are adjustable and kids learn real quick paddling only with their hands. Once balance is established, they graduate to paddles with most preferring wings. Who knows, by the next Olympics in 2016, you might produce another gold medalist, which we haven’t done in nearly 24 years.

Have you see the Tsunami SP?
A lot of the boats you name are hard to find or no longer made. The Tsunami SP is a miniature Tsunami, about the size of an Umiak.

If you can find a Wilderness Systems Piccolo they are perfect for kids. Good performance boats that are not just recreational tubs.

Here’s one.

Made from yostwerks plans.

Boat type?
Do you want to teach skills in sea kayak or whitewater kayaks?

If its still made the EPIyak by EPI is quite a sea kayak for the 10-14yr range.

Whitewater has a fair number of kids options.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc

Hyde Park, NY

Check out Walmart
For I saw some pretty neat small plastic fantastic kayaks there for $227.00. Comes with free paddle too. Might be a little too wide for toddlers, but the price is right.

SP - Yes!
We use the Tsunami SP and love it! Kids do great in it. On family paddle trips, they often wind up leading the pack. The boats handle well and have bulkheads and hatches fore and aft, so are good for rescues.

You will not go wrong with this model - they are the best!


Atlantic Kayak Tours

Here’s a second on the
Tsunami SP’s…great boat for kids.