Starting them young




Bella 6,. Abby (pup) 8 months , Squriser…young enough. Background on…Marcus 15. Foreground. Riker 10.5yrs


Ah! Making memories. These younguns will remember these times forever and will pass on their experiences over the years to their own kids. Thank you to the adults, young or older for making their days on the water happy ones. My great grand daughter and I began paddling together this summer. Only issue we had on the river was the spider that got on her SOT. When she screamed I thought she was hurt, so I asked “What’s wrong?” to which she noted “A spider on my boat” and I told her to kill it. I thought for sure she’d put a hole in her boat before that spider was ‘done for’. When it was over, she asked if I’d get it out of her boat. When removing it I laughed and she noted, “It’s not funny Nana!” That poor spider wasn’t any bigger than a comma in one of these sentences. I asked her how she even saw it and she answered, “Because it was creeping around on my boat.” Ah, the memories we grandparents don’t make with the youngsters.

I have posted this before. My granddaughter, second time paddling, 7 years old.


Grandson # 5 a couple of weeks ago.

The oldest and #3.

Andy_Szymczak, What boat is your grand daughter using and what is its size? My ggdaughter (7yo) is bugging Nana (I live next door) for a sit-in kayak and if I can find one, that she’ll not outgrow too fast, I’ll be on the watch for one. Most of Papa & Nana’s boats will be too big for her until she gets a lot taller. TIA

Wilderness Systems Piccolo! They are no longer made, but can be found. I have two of them. They are 14 feet long X 22". They are great little boats and my grandkids took to them quickly with a bit of instruction.

Two others worth looking for (and of course no longer made) are the Wilderness Tsunami SP (WMCKA has a fleet for their kids program (hoping for 2022) ) and the Pygmy Osprey 13’. My daughter & I built an Osprey 13 when she was 8 and it is a great kayak for a small (under 130 lb) person.

Here’s one of a young fellow (Salomon) I, and several other Pnetters, had a hand in starting young…
With grandma (Rena) a long while ago:

And one with him in the bow from merely a while ago. We’re approaching the Mississippi - that’s Iowa on the horizon.

He’s living in Maine now and off on his own adventures. I doubt I’ll have any more photos of him.

Edit: Oh, and here’s one from in between… That’s Durangoski (remember him?) at camp teaching Sol to enjoy grapenuts with hot coco…

There are some other ex-youngsters who I should picture, but those memories are all on floppy disk or paper…

My oldest from back in '08 in her first boat:

Yes. Teach them to swim, teach them water safety and let them grow up with boats.

Sam, at Cave Spring on Current River

His name was Sam; he was a skilled, motivated paddler although quite young. A joy to paddle with. He and I led a group of about 20 paddlers down the Buffalo river in Arkansas once. It was one of the best paddling days of my life.

He was taken from us (not paddling related) long before he should have been.

His older brother,and sister, his Mother and Father are also skilled paddlers, and great fun to have around. RIP Sam



My granddaughters wanted to go out today. One is 10 yrs old and the other is 13. I bought the oldest one a Perception Prodigy two years ago. She outgrew it and passed it down to her younger sister. The only boat I had for the oldest was a 125 Tsunami. Which she used last year. I just found a used 140 Tsunami so I let her use it for this trip. She handled it well and liked it, so I’m looking into a used 120 Tsunami SP. It should serve her well for at least two years before I need to get another boat for her.

I took them on a five mile round trip out of Middle River along the shoreline of the Chesapeake Bay. The youngest was thrilled with the gnarly wake of the big cabin cruisers speeding by. She wanted to go to a point before turning around. On the way back she complained that her arms were tired. I told her I probably should have turned around earlier, and she said, if she had turned around, she wouldn’t have found out what she could do. Ain’t that the way it is.

Need to go out tomorrow and get them new paddles. The shortest I have is 220cm.

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