Suggested Kayak for 10 year old

We are looking to get a kayak for our 10 year old son. He has been using our kayak for the last couple of years and seems to be able to handle it well. It is a Wilderness Systems Kayak - Rascal bought in 1998. Our son is an athlete so has pretty good upper body strength. We were looking at the Bliss Kayak by Emotion based on a review in Outside magazine. We haven’t been able to find an article specificly discussing a kayak for a child. Today, we went to look at the Bliss Kayak and the salesperson felt it might be too big for our son. So we would like advice from you on best kayaks for a novice that he will not get bored with too soon. Oh yeah it is for flat water kayaking.

Valley Avocet LV
a friend bought one for his son who was quickly developing his skills. it is a very small high performance, high quality, high expense sea kayak. demo’ing one might not be so easy depending on where you live.

Wilderness Systems Tsunami 120sp
or 135.

Necky Eliza
Don’t worry about all the women marketing hype at Necky’s web site. It’s a great boat for all smaller people.

If you are looking for a high end one…
check out the QCC-10X

It is made for the smaller paddle



Acadia Scout
I had my 8 y/o in an Acadia Scout on the floor of the local EMS this weekend. He fit great in it.

OK Yak Board or Big Yak
I’d suggest an SOT if you’re thinking of recreational kayaking for a young kid. Or an inflatable. I bought my daughter (7 y.o.) an Innova Safari. She loves it. Her first time in a kayak was at 20 months and she screamed until she got a paddle of her own. We did a few years on my SOT tandem, and she is only now starting to solo. We do mild water - oxbows on rivers and large ponds/small lakes (120 acres or so).

  • Big D

Tsunami SP
Juat bought one for my wife and she loves it. BUT it is made for people 5’4" or less and 60-120#s. It is 12’ long and looks very simular to my Tsunami 125 but smaller volume.

Skin-on-frame build?
You and your son could build a Yost boat ( - usually pretty inexpensively. Build whatever you need for him and when he outgrows it, build another.

Grow fast
You dont give a size for the kid but they grow fast and will outgrow a too small kayak. I gave my grandsons a pair of SOTs that were only 24" wide. Go with a not too wide boat. Keep in mind a 30" boat for them is like 40" for us. The Tsunami SP is probably a good base point. Look on the Kayak Guide for specs. It is under the Gear Guide heading on top of the page. Also look at the reviews in the Gear Guide.

Dont load them down with a cheap monster paddle. A good properly sized paddle is as important as the boat and will make paddling a lot more enjoyable.

Carolina 12 XS
I have my kids in Perception Carolina 12 XSes. 21" wide, 12 feet long. Nice little boats. They’re very fast and surprisingly maneuverable - perhaps because my kids are still under 80 lbs. With more weight in the boats, they probably will ride deeper and be more resistant to turning.

If your son will just be tooling around on lakes, maybe look at Perception’s Acadia Scout. It’s a little wider kid boat and looks to have rec boat-style keel grooves in the bottom, which will make it easier to paddle in a straight line without learning a bunch of strokes.

Make sure you get him a kid sized paddle. Nothing worse than a kid trying to use a paddle that’s way too long! I simply cut down a cheap Harmony Adventure paddle I had laying around. I heated the ends enough for the blades’ glue to come loose (but not melt the plastic), cut the shaft down by about by 15-20 cm on each side, and re-glued the blades - instant kid paddle.

Before you get innundated with a ton of choices, what’s your son’s size?

Whatever you go with get something with a front a rear bulkhead, or if you go the SOF route, floatbags.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Prijon Flipper maybe?
Just a thought, from a Prijon fan.


That was going to be my suggestion as I use them in my Instructional Fleet but being that they top out at about 90 pounds of paddler I wanted to find out what size this 10 year old is. They seem to come in a variety of sizes, the kids that is. Must be something in the water.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

There’s lots …
(of somethings) in the Hudson - most of which you probably don’t want to know about! For the most part I don’t let it bother me, but there are sections where I prefer to stray day!

WS Tsunami 135
Bought my then 11 year old twins a pair of 135’s this past spring. Went looking for a 120 SP but didn’t like the fit/design of the thigh braces questioning the ease of a water exit. These pics, if the link works, show them on the first day before refinements and adjustments.