Hi – Looking for a recommendation on a kayak paddle for a 5 year old. She will be sitting in the front of a tandem. Thanks
Werner makes a kids kayak paddle, it has smiley faces on the power face so they know they’re holding it right.
You could also go greenland, cheap to make, very little bite so you won’t worry about fatigue or injuries, and you can keep making longer ones since he/she will out grow them in a few years.
careful with length
Dont get them too short, or even with drip rings they will drip all over your kid. This is okay sometimes in good weather, but it colder weather can be a real nuisance in a tandem with a wide cockpit. A skirt will help, but can your 5-year old release it in case of a dump?
I second the Werner
The Werner Sprite is a great paddle. Has a small diameter shaft so it is eaiser for the children to hold and a small blade as to not wear them out. It’s faily lightweight as well. Run somewhere around $90.
Important that the paddle is lightweight (unfortunately that means more expensive), and has a smaller grip. Realistically, they won’t be adding much to powering the boat, too. But, swing weight is important because the kids don’t have much strength to hold much up.
Liquid Logic makes em also.
For a five year old …
You can make a small lightweight paddle from a dowel and thin sheet ply wood, they are not going to be doing much with it. Also at Big Box sporting good stores they often cell tiny canoe paddles for little tikes. My son really enjoyed paddling with this when he started.
You can also make one in a hurry with
a 1" x 4" board and cut it just to their size.I use a power planer tyo thin the blades.
I made a canoe paddle for my son out of a piece of pine it was not too hard. Cedar would probably be even better. He drags his paddle quite a bit, next time I would pit a smaller power (drag) face on it. A Greenland style out of a cedar 3/4 by 4 inch board (fence board) should work.
Dont sell the kid short
at five my grandson paddles with a double blade three miles in 20 mph winds. Solo boat on a long tether to keep him with the group. Turned out the tether was not needed.
He had a kids Shaw and Tenney double blade.But I dont see it on the website. We have had it many years.
size will be tough
I definitely agree that a 5 year old can paddle quite effectively, even if not for real long distances. Give them a real paddle, so they know they’re being taken seriously.
It’s going to be difficult in a tandem kayak, however, for a kid to paddle easily, because it will be so wide, that they’ll need a much too long paddle, just to reach the water.
If it’s a sit-inside kayak, they might also be up to their armpits, which means they need to paddle with both hands above their head, and that’s no fun (try it sometime!) If they’re low in the boat try sitting them on something to make it easier to reach the water with hands no higher than the shoulders.
Single stick in the kayak?
Surely the best way for a 5 year old to be in a tandem kayak is kneeling / higher… and probably offset to one side of the hull to allow a vertical stroke with a single blade.
That higher, offset position should off-set the inappropriateness of an adult kayak: a craft in which nothing short of a seat that slid from side to side on every stroke could make for a satisfactory double-bladed paddling position.
ps. The Dagger Dynamo seems to be the standard solo kayak of choice for pre-teens in the UK, and even that looks too big as a kayak for our 5 year old. I’m waiting for a chance to try her in one that’s set up with a saddle as I suspect it will just fit far better.