Do young adults (I mean in their '20’s) enjoy getting out and paddling much these days or is it more for an “older generation”. It seems as though lots of young people stay indoors these days. Am I wrong?
You find them elsewhere
The young folk that i know are really not interested in boring sea kayaking. We know it’s not boring, but they associate it with old goobs in rubber boots with white beards etc.
I think sports like kite boarding, WW kayaking, surfing, climbing , snowboarding etc. are more appealing to the younger crowd.
I’ve been at a few sea kayak events of late and for the most part it’s a mid 40’s plus crowd! Very few young people.
Neither good, nor bad, just what “is”.
lots of universities have outdoor…
clubs or programs as part of the campus recreational facilities. I have had the pleasure of working with several university outdoor programs. From what I have noticed…
Sea kayaking trips have the highest participation and repeat attendees(at least in the south east)
WW clinics draw a lot of crowds, but most don’t do multiple trips or anything past the basic clinic. The same goes for climbing. Although student staff seems to be more into WW and climbing.
I think the simplest explanation is that sea kayaking is seen as an entry level skill with more a social focus. Lots of students climb and ww paddle, but they tend to see themselves as higher in ability than how the trips are designed.
One of the biggest comments I heard from seniors about to graduate was ‘I wish I had started doing this my freshmen year’.
I’m in my mid 20s…
As soon as my wife and I got a house, the next purchase was a yak. Now up to 3 yaks (touring and WW for me, and a rec/ww for her). Thinking about upgrading the shed outside so I can fit all of the boats in that. Wife doesn’t like them taking up the spare room in the basement
they’re paddling whitewater
lots of young guys and girls doing the creeks and cl. 4-5 stuff.At least they look young to me when I go to watch or paddle the mellower adjacent areas....
Also get a few joining in on my groups cl.2-3 river trips on occasion, or see them on the river and get in a "hey, good to seeya."
Lot's of college kids renting canoes on my local cl. 2 river as well.
Sing, valid point. More discussion about pikeaune minutiae here when people should "just do it."
Young Folks Pick Up On What Has
be "set" for them by their parents...
My younger son likes to surf and skateboard. My older son trains in martial arts like a fiend. Both think paddling is boring. Can't say I totally disagree since, as a 50 year old, I find just paddling around boring as well and not the most efficient way to stay in shape (time/opportunity vs actual energy output). If you read PNet long enough, you start to get a sense that a not insignificant percentage of middle age folks find accumulating more kayaks, or uprgrading to "latest and greatest" boats and gadget, more exciting then going out and doing it.
My 20 Somethings
The only thing that can be said about generalizations, it seems, is that they are generally incorrect for a given area of the country. I tried saying a very similar thing about those under 22 within the last couple of weeks, based on observations at a local WW place and comments from a long time from a long time raft guide, and the replies came in citing some very different experiences from around the country.
If you are looking at sea kayaking, the cost of getting into that rather than WW is going to make WW look awfully good to someone trying still paying off college loans and trying to save for a downpayment on their first house. But if you live in Florida, WW isn't really an option so getting on the water at all means long boats or canoes. I agree with many of the others about the visibility thing. We have a lot of younger people into climbing around here because of the nearby Adirondacks - but unless you drive by a rock face on a weekend you won't know it.
As to the influence of parents - many of my peers are going into retirement with a physical activity pattern that bears no relationship to our parents' goal of making it to Florida to look at the sunset over cocktails each evening. If there is a transfer among portions of my family, I see a disinterest in physical activity being the major pattern that repeats if it does at all. It may be that making any assessment about what transfers from the parents is not reliable until you see what soemone is still doing in their 40's.
Seems to be a slight curmudgeon morning too. There are plenty of long boaters here who talk lots re boats, like the newer designs, and the ones that are most active in these discussions are also people that we've encountered in a boat off of Cape Cod or at a Symposium. At least the ones from the northeast. They might even be folks who wouldn't be following doc's orders to stay out of boats for 3 months after a surgery... ;-)
Got into kayaking at 19. Took my 20 year old boyfriend (now my husband) with me. We had a blast. Am searching for the next boat (sometime down the line). Don’t know that much about other 20 somethings such as being discussed here. Several I know either work too much, live in an apartment and feel they can’t own a boat (though we stored three in a 3rd story walkup) or have young kids and spend all spare time at Gymboree. But the 20 somethings I’ve talked to who’ve paddled have all enjoyed it, though some prefer WW to seakayaking or vice versa. We live in a retirement area (not far from The Villages if you’re familiar with it) and though these are active seniors, I don’t see that many racks on the cars next to mine at Publix. Seems like it’s just not a primary sport for either age group. -Toddy
My experience has been that paddling is driven by interest rather than economics. If you want to do it bad enough you will find a way. I’m 61 and i paddle with people of all ages. We never talk about age or money but we sure talk about paddling and the benefits of getting out on the water. Go paddle and enjoy it. Vaughn Fulton
I almost qualify…
…as a 20 something. My wife and I bought our boats two years ago when I was still in my twenties (and she still is.) We have commented to each other in the past that we’re usually the youngest people we see paddling. We have friends our age that will rent rec boats and paddle with us occasionally, but no one seems to want to paddle often enough to justify buying boats or honing their skills. For my group of friends it’s not a money issue because they can pour cash into the things they want to do (jetskis, kiteboarding gear, etc) I think they don’t see seakayaking as having a high enough “adrenaline factor.” The good news for us is we have a good time regardless of the age of those we’re paddling with, but I do wish more twenty(and thirty)-somethings would get into seakayaking if only because their missing a good time.
Whitewater and Surfing
Here in the Denver/Boulder area our white water is loaded with young adults, and some older young adults, too. When they are not on the water they are on mountain bikes, climbing cliffs/ice falls, snowboarding, backpacking, climbing 14ers, you name it. We have couch potatoes, but lots of active outdoors types always in sight.
Wow…sing nailed it I think.
I think that if more young adults were shown the water and canoeing they more they would come.I know that was the case with my friends indeed once they felt it they loved it
Of the people I paddle with the majority of whitewater paddlers are younger than me and the majority of sea paddlers are older. There are a few exceptions and age doesn’t seem to be a factor for discrimination as it’s not unusual for a person in their 20’s to include someone in there 50’s on a class IV whitewater paddle if they have the skills.
I think younger people are much more likely to be active in team sports, competitive sports or adrenalin sports such as dirt bikes, surfing, kite boarding etc.
Quite a few members of a seakayak club I belong to took up paddling because old injuries have restricted their participation in their previously preferred sports, eg: one club member is a former Olympic field hockey competitor who now has an artificial hip.
So I’m not sure that it relly is a case of young adults not getting out and doing stuff, and if it is, what are we doing to encourage them?
Do you need some specific help, or
are you just wanting to discuss something? We have a Discussion forum for idle topics.
I’m in my mid twenties…
and I still enjoy paddling. While I am a whitewater paddler, I still like sea kayaking and learning greenland style kayaking techniques.
Most are older
I am 39, and just about the youngest member of my club. Most of the people I meet on whitewater trips are older than me. I think there are a lot of young people missing out, that is why I work with colleges and any other young people, who want to learn.
I would say that yes you are right that
there is an increase in activity amongst younger people. I did a quick google on the subject of obesity and youth and came up with the following based on a Canadian study. “In 1994/95, 34% of children aged 2 to 11 were overweight, with an estimated 16% classified as obese. By 1998/99, 37% of children aged 2 to 11 were overweight, including 18% who were classified as obese. These observations were made on the basis of the international definitions for child overweight and obesity.” Now that is for children but there has got to be a relationship to that age group and older youth - just makes common sense.