Teaching child to kayak

I’m planning to introduce kayaking to my 5 year old son this year. I’m looking for a small sit-on-top and paddle that would be appropriate for his size. Are there any boats and paddles out there that would fit him? Also, would it be appropriate to teach him to paddle with a feathered or un-feathered blade?


Greenland Paddle
Make him, or have someone make him a Greenland paddle to fit him perfectly.

why not both

I have a kids wooden kayak paddle anyway that should still fit my seven year old grandson so have no idea if the paddle linked to is any good.

He started at five and I was glad the paddle was unfeathered. It was enough of a challenge to get him started dipping each side evenly. He got into the hang of it the second session and paddled three miles.

Consider keeping it simple at the start. Kids as you know dont have much attention span.

when I started
it was tandem in a canoe with my dad.

For a 5 year old I wouldn’t really worry too much about torso rotation etc. Just keep it fun and short.

Since he’s a boy, why not start him in a canoe? He’ll grow up to be a man someday, and will want a man’s boat. Should just start him with one now.

Does not exist
The smallest SOTs are the Kea, by Ocean Kayak, and it is no longer made. Probably good for 8 or 9 year old. The Cobra wave witch would also work, also no longer made.

A five year old is too small to deal with paddling a wide SOT, you likely will have to make your own boat.

Man you just love to start fires
but I have a wood canvas kids canoe. Its perfect right side up or upside down. Makes no difference to the kids!

Seriously the only kayaks for kids I have seen are SOF homebuilts and I cant imagine why this market is not addressed more.

Jackson Kayak- FUN1

– Last Updated: May-10-10 8:23 PM EST –

It's a whitewater boat but it will fit[read:not wide]
seen ALOT of 4-8 yr olds paddling with pa and/or ma
Playing "TAG" is a very cool way for kids to sef-teach/learn boat control. Only one rule; U must "tag" with the stern of the boat.

Sounds pretty girly to me.


5 and six year old
I have a 5 and 6 year olds, and I just started with them. I brought them perception carolinas’s. They are real narrow, small cockpit, and track reasonably well. I put them in a pool first and tipped them and rocked them so they wouldnt be scared of tipping. I got them cheapo paddles off of ebay, I just typed in kids kayak paddle. There cheap but work good for them (good for playing swords and hitting rocks). I got the kayaks used from rutabagas. They love going, just got to keep it short and fun. Sometimes I’ll just bring one kayak and rotate them in my canoe. Have fun they make it a whole different experience.

Jackson Mini Tripper
Check out the Jackson Mini Tripper made just for kids.


I picked up a used Kea last year
tickled pink to have found one

the natural progression
I agree. Most of us started out in a canoe as a kid. Let him go through the natural progression. He can graduate to a kayak when he gets big. (Although Greenlanders, I hear, skip the canoe stage.)

Only one rule to remember
Let them have FUN ! They won’t want to paddle from point A to B. They’d much rather poke around investigating on their own. Don’t attempt to adapt them to your way of paddling. It’ll just make for a bad experience for them. The kind of boat doesn’t really matter. Mine would take out all kinds and sizes, paddling standing up and sitting down.

for the help. I found this on the internet.


I’m thinking about purchasing it.

eye roll!