How young to start Yakking?

I am curious how many of you P-Netters have children with whom you kayak. My 5 year old has asked to go along with me, but she can’t fit into the cockpit of my Carolina or my wife’s Walden Vista, and I am not sure how safe that would be anyway. I know 5 is pretty young…

So, what is a good age to start a kid kayaking? (we already canoe together - she has her own paddle) What would be a good starter yak? Strictly small flatwater. SINK? SOT? Tandem?

I’m not ready to go buy her a boat just yet, but it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead. Thanks!

I have pictures of …
my three year old grandaughter paddling around in an old Piedra in about a foot of water. She was having a ball. And that is really the point. They can have fun in a kayak at early ages and as they get older they will tell you what they want to do.

I’ve never seen one, but…
…the Epitot is an SOT designed for up to 60 lb. kidlets. Can’t recall the manufacturer, but the name

will generate a lot on Google.

To me it would depend on how well they swim. Kathy’s 7 year old granddaughter plays with the Venus, but she grew up with a pool in the back yard and swims like a fish.

I got my first home made kayak on Lake Michigan when I was only 10, but I grew up on swimming in the Agean.

That makes much sense. Lily has had only one round of lessons. You’re right, I think she would be much more comfortable paddling if she was more comfortable with her swimming skills. Swimming should be the focus at this point. And we’ll continue to paddle the canoe.

Now Is The Time
I worked my way thru college as a lifeguard and Water Safety Instrtuctor. I never taught kids, but the girl who did said kids can learn to swim very, very early, but if they do not start as infants, then they must wait until about 5-6 years old.

I do not remember learning to swim.

5 is good

– Last Updated: Mar-04-04 3:56 PM EST –

but keep your expectations low. Little people don't care to do long distances, keep the trips short, fun and safe. Here is a pic of my 6 yr old. She is paddling an Umiak, look in the family album

My ten year old has paddled with me a few times and he does get bored after about 40 minutes. His arms really do not have the strength yet to paddle much more than that anyway. Maybe he will have more fun with his own boat.

But I paddled with him in a tandem to a small island once and he had a blast beaching the yak and then exploring the deserted island.

link won’t let me in :frowning:

Try again, should work now.

Great pics!
Thanks. I’ll show them to Lily, too.

I like the boat rack also. Something similar is on my ‘to-do’ list when I build an “addition” to our garage this spring.