SOT kayaks for Kids other than Kea/Vaya?

After some research, I bought my 7 year old daughter a Fluid Vaya kayak. She loves it, but at 60 lbs. sinks the boat well below the scupper plugs so there is no self bailing and has only a couple inches of freeboard. On our last trip it got windy and she was taking on water over the side so she ended up sitting in 4" of water for the entire paddle back. I could empty the boat with her in it (from my canoe) by lifting the bow way up, but in a few minutes it was full again. She didn’t mind this too much, but got really cold. A bit dissapointed in this as the boat has an advertised upper weight limit of 90lbs.

To the point…she LOVES paddling and I would like to get her a SOT that actually bails and has a bit larger capacity. Reading all of the back threads here, it looks like the Ocean Kayak Kea is the ticket, but is no longer made.

Are there any SOT kayaks made for kids anymore? Any adult versions that are narrow enough to work well?


OK Venus 10
it’s a small women’s SOT by OK. Depending on the height and reach of your kid, may be fine and allow her to grow into it.

Find a place to let her test paddle.

I’ll look at that…
She is 54" and using a 175cm Werner paddle.

A couple of ideas …
Cobra advertises that their “Play” is suitable for kids, it might be a bit big for a seven year old.

My son had a girl friend from Nepal and although she was 20 yo she was a tiny thing. We took her out in a Cobra Strike thinking she would be OK, she actually lacked the arm strength to paddle it very well, but you can move the foot plate back and cover it with more foam and it would certainly fit a small paddler, and if you are near the cost she could use it in the surf ect. as she grows.

If you want to spend a little money contact Hunt Johnson about his Witchlet and Pocket rocket kayaks. He could tell you if she would fit, and he makes them custom so could work on a way to use the rudder. He’s in Encinitas if you wanted to drive down and try one out.

RTM Piccolo = formerly the OK Kea?

– Last Updated: Jun-19-12 7:49 PM EST –

I think I saw mention of a child's SOT that looked like it was the rebadged OK Kea, named the Piccolo. Not to be confused with the discontinued child's SINK kayak also called Piccolo, from Wilderness Systems.

Here's the link to their website:

Might Work…

– Last Updated: Jun-19-12 7:53 PM EST –

woman I saw was maybe around 5' tall. She was paddling the Venus 10 (smaller version) just outside of the break zone (in some waist-chest high stuff). Boat is as capable as the paddler in it. The Venus is NOT a surfing SOT and it was not used as one, thankfully. No rocker and fairly sharp bow that would dig in and lead to a broach pretty quickly on a wave face.


Agree about Cobra Play
We used Cobra Plays in our summer camps and they’re easily handled by kids her size. It, like all Cobra kayaks, has scupper holes for the water to drain out of the cockpit area. It has a weight capacity of 260 lbs so stays pretty dry. It also has a displacement hull with a built-in keel, so it tracks well. It’s one of the boats we kept for personal use when we closed the business.

Cobra Strike is a surfing kayak with a planing hull. As such it’s designed to turn, not track. It would be an exercise in frustration for a child trying to keep up with adults.

Ocean Kayak’s Poco was the Best
Child’s kayak ever built, for it was narrow enough to teach the proper stroke technique. Unfortunately, most parents don’t know how to paddle and didn’t buy it, so it is no longer made. Too bad, for the Poco was very fast and kids loved it.

Instead of a SOT, I recommend buying a used Olympic style K-1 kayak for under $600, for after a few capsizes, the kids will figure out how to balance it and will be paddling it almost as well as most experienced grownups. Hurry up though, because as kids age, they lose that innate ability to balance things right away.