youth kayak

I’m looking for a good Kayak for my son. I’m hoping for something that will be used mostly for flat water, but will handle some white water… This will be a 1st Kayak for him as. I also just got my 1st one.

he weights 80lbs and is 9 years old.

any thoughts.


Wilderness Systems
Tsunami 120sp

There are other small boats for small people and kids but IMHO this is the best and only real “sea” kayak in the category.

Perception Acadia Scout $395

How about building one?
CLC has an 8’er for the youngsters. The only worry I have is what you’re referring to as whitewater but some extra glass on the bottom and a coat of graphite should handle a lot of ‘thumping.’

Not only a great father - son project but you’d be setting him up in his first ‘chick magnet!’

that is cool
CLC has been needing to make a low cost kit for a long time as they got used to ratcheting up the prices of the models with each new one. Most customers are builders and not paddlers so it really doesn’t matter if they’re building a boat that doesn’t fit them and this gets a lot of new comer builders who would be put off by $1000 kits.

I doubt builders use kits
sorry to wander OT but I would think most builders would build by the plans available. We’ve built two of the CLC boats and have saved considerably from the kit cost by using plans. The kit seems like the cats meow for someone w/ a minimum of tools, time and space.

The boat did catch my eye and make me think about what a good father/son project it would be though and at 22lbs the youngster could carry it himself.

Carolina Jr

Discontinued, but a few dealers still have them around. An actual touring design for small paddlers, and a lot more fun for them than any 29" wide rec design.

Another good option is the Necky Manitou 13. I have one I bought for my kids to learn in, and 7 years later, they’re still in it. I replaced the front foam block with a floatation bag, and with that setup and a skirt, they’re able to paddle with me on Lake Michigan on a calm day.

I’ve been looking for my kids as well and I see the Dagger approach 9 referred to as a good kids kayak. For my purposes though I think we are better suited with Tsunami SP’s.

youth kayak
Perception Acadia,great boat for rivers.Current Designs Raven for touring.Both are great boats

Kids are NOT adults

– Last Updated: Dec-18-11 2:55 PM EST –

Each kid will have varying dimensions for
length of arms, length of legs, body mass along
with having a certain attitude about water.

Buying a very wide kayak in hopes that the extra
stability is an asset will backfire; bigtime.
Often kids can't paddle tubs, without hitting their
hands on the boat, due to its width.

At the very, very least , put the kid in the boat on
land and put a paddle in their hands.
It's supposed to be fun for the kid, not a laborious
chore to get the paddle in the water.

Paddles are another hurdle for kids to overcome.
Floating tubs mandate really long length paddle shafts
to get over the cockpit width.
Long paddles are heavy, so avoid the whole scenario
with a properly sized kid's kayak.

Purchasing a "thinner" than bathtub width kayak will
allow for a shorter, lighter paddle.
Since the paddle is akin to the propeller on a powerboat,
it plays a key role in propulsion.

Try something along the lines of a
Werner Amigo Paddle

My "short" list for younger paddlers
Throw them into Google - click "Images"

Jackson Fun 1.5
Jackson Kayak Shooting Star
Wilderness Systems Piccolo
Dagger Approach 9.0
Perception Umiak
Perception Acadia Scout
Jackson Kayak Shooting Star

Be careful,
lots of dangers out there.

wow! I agree
My first instinct was to be critical because I assumed a higher price. But this is a good deal, it’ll be more valuable in the long run, and it’ll certainly be more valuable in an intangible way if parent and child build it together. Very cool kit.

You guys should take lessons together

– Last Updated: Dec-18-11 3:46 PM EST –

We had a good WW guy locally who brought his son in for someone else to teach at pool sessions while he practiced. Consider something like this.

But a bigger consideration, if you are planning to a 9 (or 10) yr old out on the water with you without a guide, you should make darned sure you can do rescues. I am not necessarily talking about unplanned swims, but the way that kids that age tend to behave in kayaks. I have seen any number of them do their darndest to capsize, and it is impressive how often they succeed. You should think about how many gallons of water you want to be having to empty out by yourself when you consider which boat to get for him.

good advice here^
The bonus is that most kids I’ve seen seem to really enjoy the stuff that scares adults, like learning to wet exit and roll. Kids seem to have a blast at our pool sessions. And it removes any assumption that kayaking is a dry sport.

I second the Tsunami 120 SP.
Well designed, light and has easily adjustable footpegs with excellent bulkheads fore and aft. It’s safe and paddles better than the Acadia Scout.