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Kids Kayak Suggestions?


Frank Macikas
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I am thinking about getting a small kayak for my kids to use so I can take them out on float trips with me. To start it will be one at a time but hopefully once I know they can each handle and control the boat I will take my 3 oldest out. They are 10, 8 & 7. I just saw a 6ft sit on top kayak on sale at Gander for $100. I have a 9ft sit in but I'm not sure it will be too big for them to handle. Any suggestions on what would be best to get them started? It would have to be something stable enough to handle moving water and small enough where they can handle and control it. I was thinking about a canoe but I dont think they can work together enough to be able to keep it pointed down river or upright..... :D

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A small solo touring kayak will suffice for your oldest child but you're best off getting a large tandem kayak or canoe to accommodate you + the 7 & 8 year old. They can each try out the solo boat in slow current but it's probably best to mainly keep them under your control.

 

Checkout the Jackson Kayak Mini Tripper. It's for kids. Though more costly, it is longer and probably tracks better than a $99 sit-on-top. This will help the 10-year-old control it in moving water.

 

http://jacksonkayak.com/jk-kayaks/youth-kayaks/minitripper/

 

You're definitely in a situation to talk to a knowledgeable dealer and try before you buy. Some dealers have trade-up programs so you can upsize as your kids grow / needs change. Some also carry used boats to help ease the investment.

 

My oldest is 11 and tried his first solo paddle in an Old Town Otter this past summer. It was on the Mazon, skinny water at low pool. He was thrilled to be solo.

 

If you're thinking of getting each child their own $99 sit-on-top, maybe buy 1 first and let them each try it out on still or slow water to see how they like it. Time of year will make a difference in mobility and paddling comfort, i.e., t-shirt + PFD versus being bundled up + PFD.

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