suitable childrens kayak

Hi all, I have been away from the site for over a year so may be asking a question that has been answered before. I have three grandchildren and wish to get them into kayaks. They are 7,10 and 12 years. All are small for age.

I am on pension so don’t have a lot to spend and will likely look for something used. I’m thinking that a kayak in the 10 foot range would be good and fairly narrow beam (perhaps 23" or less?).

Any suggestions.


Take a look in the big box stores
like Dicks or Sams Club.

The prices are only a few hundred dollars and that usually includes a PFD and paddle.

They are great starter yaks, and the kids can up grade later if they get hooked.

Jack L

home page
For the younger ones, look at the Emotion Sparky on the paddling net home page. Dicks sells a similar one, if you get it on sale it comes with a paddle for the $99 price. Sports Authority has the same one, same price w/o the paddle. My granddaughter got one last year for her 5th birthday, she can fly in it, and it’s easy to tow if she gets tired.

This is from an earlier post on paddling net.

I just bought our granddaughter her first kayak - a little 6 foot children’s SOT at Dick’s Sporting Goods. It was on sale for $99.00, but with a coupon, I got it for around $10 less.

This is a nice, pretty decent quality roto-molded boat by the Dragonfly people. I was surprised when I read the material that came with it when I got it home. The hull is designed by the guy who owned Ocean Kayaks - kind of a tri-chine affair, very stable, and with a chute-like stern deck that allows a child to easily re-enter the boat from the stern.

The little illustrated manual gives some brief child-level introductory paddling techniques and the little kayak comes with a child-sized, cheap but lightweight paddle, front toggle handle and pad eyes for attaching seat and/or gear.

This is an incredible boat for the price … and little loss if she doesn’t become a paddling addict like her grandfather.

a more expensive option, and in my opinion a better boat, is the Jackson daytripper Mini. 9 feet and very narrow good to 100 pounds or so. We use them at the livery.

I like jackl’s advice
…as well as the next post.

Any more expensive than that and you may as well get a used kayak or two (sale on a used WS Piccolo in the classifieds here, under MI). Remember, they’ll outgrow it eventually.

Umiak/Carolina 12
I bought a basic Carolina 12, which I believe is the model that replaced the Umiak. (Perception) It has a touring design that is efficient, durable, and light weight. My daughters have had no trouble with its stability and handle it well at the ages you listed.