Looking to get our family some kayaks. Kids are 10 and 6 (both swim well) and we’re looking for recommendation on age to start and what is the best age and kayak for them. We’re mostly looking to stay on lakes for now. Any input would be greatlt appreciated. Thank you
A few choices
Kids take to paddling very well and there are a number of kayaks that are well suited for them.
The one boat that I would recommend for price and level of fun is the Perception Acadia Scout – it’s a 10 foot long plastic kayak that will take a beating and kids love to paddle it. The only shortcoming of the Scout is that it doesn’t have hatches or bulkheads and the foam pillars that are installed for floation are inadequate. Fortunately this problem can be corrected by the addition float bags (install a couple of D-rings used by canoeists to hold them in place).
My youngest daughter absolutely loved the Scout. There are some pictures of her in it at this link (scroll down the page for the pictures – scroll to the near bottom of the page for even more photos):
Recently, we purchased her a more serious kids kayak from Current Designs called the Raven. It’s a 12 foot fiberglass/kevlar hybrid that is a scaled down sea kayak in every detail. It’s also got a very serious price tag. I posted pictures of it here:
There was a discussion not long ago about several different kayaks for kids that may be useful as well:
Hope this helps,
We took our son on canoeing trips since he was 2 years old. He’s been hitching rides in my wife’s kayak since he was 6 or so, and last year, when he turned 9, he got his own kayak – Dagger Zydeco. He was doing pretty well in it, we were able to take 1-3 hour trips along local lakes.
So far, I did not let him paddle his boat in rivers, only lakes. We stick mostly to lakes that have limited or no power boat traffic.
Safety is paramount, so PFD is a must whenever he goes near the boat. The kayak he has is very stable and is not easy to roll. I did teach him how to bail in case he ever does roll over. I also fitted his kayak with extra flotation bags, just in case.
This year we will try some slower rivers that do not have much power boat traffic.
10 years is a good age to start. You might have a hard time finding a boat in which your youngest will fill comfortable, unless you make one. Either way, he will be limited mostly to very short trips. Make sure he is aware of the basic safety routines, and that his PFD is well fitted.
Thank you for your great advice.Denise