kayak for kid

-- Last Updated: Nov-11-06 7:25 PM EST --

..although I stopped going on trips with kayakers (I'm a canoe guy..)more than 20 years ago:
my 11 year old son now wants a kayak. And since we had to take two canoes for the four of us on our last extended wilderness trip to fit all our gear and supplies, I'm not opposed. But I have no real clue about modern yaks...the only boats specially designed for kids I could find so far are the Jacksons. But those seem unsuitable to me for trips.
My son weighs ~70lbs and is an avid canoeist. He'd take some kayak courses for sure and wouldn't have to carry any gear (since I keep my canoes...) but he should be able to keep up with a canoe. Most of the water we paddle involves at least some class 2 and up...-and flatwater stretches as well.
Any suggestions besides the Jackson 1.5?

The boat doesn’t matter
No 70 pound 11 year old kid is going to keep up with an adult in a Canoe.

Kids ‘Yak
Not very many kayaks on the market that are actually built for kids but Perception does have one. www.kayaker.com/new/products/boat.asp?type=recreational&ID=124

It is the Acadia Scout 10 and it is sized for kids up to about 12 years old. I’ve sold them in the past and it a decent little boat sized to fit kids and still paddle like a real kayak.

Not alot out there to choose from unfortunately though.

Where abouts are you on the Churchill by the way? It is a great river and I’m looking forward to paddling it again.

Cheers…Joe O’

Dr_Disco, I beg to differ…
Do not mean to keep an adult’s pace for the whole day or even hours,

…we do take a lot of breaks when en route with the kids anyway.

And I keep a rather slow pace when on vacation.

But he is able to paddle more than 15 miles a day in a solo canoe-so why shouldn’t he be to do so in a kayak? And I did rather long day trips with him in the bow and he was up earlier the next day than me…it’s not a matter of bodymass, you know…

BTW: do you have kids???

Hey Joe

– Last Updated: Nov-11-06 11:28 PM EST –

I was just about to post and mention the Acadia Scout by Perception and you beat me to it by about 10 seconds. Current Designs has come out this year with a model called the Raven which is good for up to 110 pounds. One of my staff members has one on order for his 9 year old daughter.

And yes, your 11 year old son if definitely old enough to be paddling his own kayak. As far as keeping up with the family who are in canoes, just tailer your trip to his skills. After all, on a family trip isn't it all about family. I can't think of a better way to instill a spirit of self reliance in a young person than to have them paddle their own boat.

Ahhh…good timing!
So i beat you to the punch on that one did I? Too funny. Is this Mary or Marlin?

I’ll have to check out the new boat from CD…good to see somebody else doing something in that category!

I may call you next week to get some kevalr cloth and a bit of resin for my C1…talk to you later.

Cheers…Joe O’

how about this
1. when he paddles with the family, it’s as a family–in canoes

and …

2. you get him a WW kayak and hook him up with a local WW club

Would that fly?

Sure I have kids
But this description is very different from your original post. And here is the problem. If you get a kayak that fits him and will safely handle class II and up, it will be slow. Really slow. Especially through the flat sections of the river. And I would never send an 11 year old through a class III rapid in an Acadia Scout 10. Recreational boats are not appropriate or safe for class III. I think Bohemia has the right idea. Paddle a canoe with the family on trips. Learn WW kayaking as a separate activity on the side.

Another possibility
Look up Liquid Logic kayaks…I think they have a model for kids.

canoe, kayak?
I don’t think it’s as much what kayak to get him as it is how familiar he is with a kayak. A kayak handles different than a canoe and he needs to feel comfortable with that. Let him tell you what he feels comfortabile with. Other than that, if he can read and negotiate a river in a canoe and knows how to handle a kayak he should be all set. Give them kids a little credit. They can do things we never imagined if we only let them.

If Perception still makes the plastic
Sole, you might want to take a look at one.

My 4’-11" 100 pound daughter paddles one, and it would be good for up to class II water.

I have a feeling that if he is a decent canoe paddler he would take right to it.

He would need some experience in it before any long camping trips

I wouldn’t recommend it for class III though.



My boy
is ten --wilderness systems capehorn140. After twoish hours of lake paddling, I attach a tow line, he still paddles, just slower. On the river he needs no tow.

Maybe this one

Pretty $pendy though.

Riot crossovers
Check out the Riot line. They might have something that would fit him decently and he could grow into. It sounds like a crossover is what you are after. They have the ability to handle some whitewater and paddle well on the flats. You would probably have to do some padding for now.

kid’s kayak
My 11 year old grandaughter did really well last year with an ocean kayks’s Kea – made for kids & come with a paddle for a bit over $300 – it is a sit on top though.

WS Piccolo
the Piccolo is a good poly touring kayak for smaller kids. 13’ x 18" It has decent speed and a kid won’t have to reach out over an adult sized cockpit. It’s no longer made (booooo!)but you do see used ones here and there.


Dagger Zydeco
My son, who turned 9 this summer, manages Dagger Zydeco just fine. The boat is 9.5ft, and is reasonably light for someone his age to handle. It is also very stable, and has an oversize cockpit, which makes emergency exits easy.

We went on trips that lasted anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, and he faired just fine in it.

If you’re wanting old school

W/S Tsunami SP
new 12X21 Tsunami SP (small person) hatches, decklines, backstrap. good for 60-180 (max) load.

sweet ride and handles well.


WS Piccolo
Oh, btw, there’s a WS Piccolo and Gremlin paddle listed for sale by my newly met friend Robin (see listings for Michigan) depending where you are in Canada…