Helping Kids get Kayaks

Last weekend my family had an opportunity to go kayaking as a family on the Appamattox River, and they absolutely loved it. They got to see several bald eagles, a few ospreys and countless blue and white herons, more importantly they got to experience nature and it opened their eyes to a world they hadn’t considered before.

What I am asking for is your help in providing for more adventures like this one. Here in Virginia there is countless opportunities for kayaking. I see this as a chance to get my kids away from the video games and emerged in a world that most kids will never see, and hopefully to foster a love of nature and the outdoors. We hike with our kids, they’ve been camping and fishing but getting them out on the water paddling on a regular basis provides a unique perspective they wouldn’t otherwise experience.

Our kids (5 of them) range in age from 8 – 15. This all started by my father and step mother who had the idea of providing a family kayaking trip (yes they went with us too) as our Christmas gift, and what a gift it was. They decided that toys, games and clothes are quickly forgotten, and that a memorable family outing was a gift that would last. And they were absolutely right, this trip was one my kids will never forget, and they have asked for kayaks so that we can do this again and again.

So here’s how your generous donations will be spent;

(2) Perception Pescador 13T tandem kayaks $500/each

(2) Perception Rambler 95 single kayaks $355/each

(1) Perception Striker kayak $500

Shipping (best deal available on these kayaks is Dick’s Sporting Goods, even factoring in the shipping cost) (5 kayaks @ $90/ea) $450

(7) Paddles & life vests $350

(1) Kayak trailer $750

I’ve chosen these models for flexibility (since at any given time one or more people may not be available) safety (they are all ridiculously stable kayaks) and quality of the boats themselves.

Now I’m 100% willing to provide proof to anyone who makes a donation of what those funds were used for, I can email pictures, copies of receipts, whatever you would like as I fully understand the number of scams going around out there, this isn’t one. This is a family trying very hard to provide a meaningful and fun opportunity for adventure for their kids.

If you have the time - Make your own?

– Last Updated: Aug-27-15 9:54 AM EST –

In the event your crowdfunding does not go alternative option:

Perhaps consider making your own kayaks for alot less money? - or perhaps folding kayaks so you don't need a trailer?

The experience of making it yourself far outweighs just buying something - that and your family can do this together and build kayaks that fit everyone well. Your family could do this during the winter and be prepared for Spring. If space is a concern - folks have built folding kayaks in their studio apartments before...

Anyway onto an inspirational story:
Page 6 of this PDF:

The End Result:

Another inspirational story on DIY kayak for kids - folding version:

Kayaks are based on this guys designs and instructions (Tom Yost)

Understanding Offsets and general build can be confusing at first (I was lost for a few weeks while casually reading the site). The site screams made in the 90s with useful data and building tips are dispersed randomly throughout the site - My recommendation is to read the entire site twice (folder and non folder sections - even if you just plan on doing one or the other) If afterwards you get stuck post your question here and/or at the builders subforum at

an idea to spread cost
Do you know of any other families who would like to use the kayaks when you’re not using them?