Youth Kayak

My son loves to go kayaking with me(tandem)

He is now 6 y/o and I am looking to get him his first solo kayak.

Looking for recommendations? Prefer traditional kayak.

Any suggestions on length and breadth.

Any interest in building your own? Tom Yost has some great designs, some specifically for kids-

Surprisingly easy (and cheap) to build.


I agree. Build him a boat that fits him. I just made my 7 year old daughter a Sea Flea 10, from the YostWorks site. It was a pretty quick build, and it’s great to see her in a boat that actually fits her. It’s so easy for her to maneuver and paddle.

For dimensions, her 19" wide boat seems to be a good compromise between stability and ergonomics. Most important, IMO, is to get a shallow boat. If a kid is up to his armpits, even in a relatively narrow boat, he doesn’t stand a chance of paddling it comfortably and effectively.

For manufactured boats, the only sea kayak I’ve seen that’s anywhere close to fitting a small kid is the EpiSea, by EPI. (I’m assuming that when you say “traditional” you mean sea kayak?)

Wilderness Systems
Tsunami 120sp. As far as I can tell it is the only boat for small people that is a real sea kayak complete with deck lines, bulkheads, hatches, etc. My 10 year old (93 lbs) is just starting to grow out of the one he has been using. Great boat for kids.

Got my 5 year old granddaughter a Dragonfly Wave Junior. It’s a SOT, and it moves and handles a lot better than I thought it would. They now have the Wave Pro, has some non skid material on the seat and thigh area.

perception carolina