Kids boat - will a short SOT do?

so my 7.5 yr old (~50in tall, ~50#) is starting to come out more and more on flat water with us (we have a 25acre pond), and plays around in our 12 ft. vapor xt (shortest easiest we have) while he likes it, I think it is too much for him to get moving, and he bangs his hands all over.

So, the search begins! I found a 2 yr old pelican burst for a $100 - 8 ft, SOT, 24#, (which means DAD can toss it inside another boat on wheels and move both of them.) the reviews here state the boat is tippy, but coming from adult users that may have never sat in/on a yak before. and “feel tippy” is a relative term.

So, I was all set to get the acadia scout ($335), but this little SOT for a hundo may be the best thing going right now - until he learns the ropes! any advice to sway me differently? beside the obvious like the scout is a whole different beast - more based on kids and SOT stability

Go For It. I Would…
Right now, you just want to get him on the water and have fun with minimal hassles (and cost). If it really gets into, you move up to something else later.


kids love SOTs
they will tip & climb back on like seal pups. They don’t have an adult’s body mass, they could care less about tippy… in fact tippy is fun!

They know how to swim, right? Starting kids off early being at ease in the water is a huge plus as a life skill whether or not kayaking is their thing.

like sing said, go for it!

Kid’s Kayak
I bought an Ocean Kayaks Kea for my Grandaughter. She loves it.

My 9yr old, 70lb, skinny rail of a kid can climb back into his acadia scout with no problem from the bow or stern.


My son has a KEA
as well. super stable and he is still growing into it.


Carolina 12
A Perception Carolina 12 is nice and fast if you want them to be able to cover some distance. We live on a lake, and thats what our kids use.

However, our neighbors have SOTs, and they are better for goofing around, turtle hunting, etc.

Eh - I’d think twice
My cousin tried that with my niece when she was about 8 & the kid ended up getting tired & frustrated.

Little boats get squirrely & can be a bugger to keep on track. It was also darn near impossible for her to keep up with the big kids/adults. My experience is kids have a lower tolerance than adults for getting frustrated, angry, and upset with these things.

Now my niece is 12 & doesn’t want to have anything to do with going out on the yaks. It doesn’t seem like a conscious dislike for the sport, but more that her early experiences just weren’t enough fun to outweigh the frustration.

When my daughter was 10, she test-paddled a 14 ft touring boat & loved it. The short SOT was much more difficult for her to move across the water.

We’re just now getting our 12 yr old her own boat. Until now, she’s been more than happy paddling in a tandem with one of her parents or her older sister. She also likes having someone close by to talk to. She’s always LOVED the idea that her paddling really does help make the boat go, but she can take a break if her arms get tired.

If you decide to but your son his own boat, make sure you keep a rope with you to tie off to a stronger paddler when the younger one gets frustrated or tired. I recommend a line with clips on either end so you can clip on/off easily, instead of trying to tie knots out on the water.

Oh - for goofing around on a pond
Absolutelly get a fun little SOT. I missed the part about being on a small pond when I posted my longer notes.

My kids & nieces & nephews (about 20 of them) all love to play on what amounts to a great big raft. They also have a blast with the pedal boat. They’ve played some really fun “king of the hill” & Grandpa even gets in on it.

I don’t know about where you are, but Craigslist here always seems to have something.