Everything you need to know to get your kid started in kayaking
Seven-year-olds are ready to paddle and have many options for entering the world of kayaking. By seven years of age most kids can do all of the following:
Seven years old is a great age to begin kayaking - they are strong enough to have success and a lot of fun!
Option 1 : Paddling a Child-Sized Kayak
Kids 5 to 12 can paddle a child-sized kayak. For families completely new to kayaking this is usually a 6 or 6.5 foot sit-on-top kayak such as the popular and inexpensive Lifetime Wave, or for those looking for sit-inside kayaks something similar to the light and nimble Perception Prodigy XS. See our kid kayak reviews and paddle reviews for more suggestions.
Almost all 6-year-old children are able and ready to paddle a child-sized kayak on calm bodies of water. Six-year-old children can also enjoy kayaking in the following ways:
Six years old is a great age to begin paddling a small kayak
Here is what my experience having many kids try out kayaking on our river the past few years has taught me about starting kids on the little kid kayaks:
Can a 5-year-old paddle a kayak?
Most 5-year-old kids are ready to practice paddling their own child-sized kayak. In addition, five-year-old children can enjoy kayaking in the following variety of ways:
Last year our youngest son was four (we have three boys), and he tried paddling a kayak for the first time! Though his first excursions were short, he absolutely loved it! This year he is turning five and eagerly awaiting spring so he can practice paddling the kayak up and down the banks of the calm river that runs through the back of our property.
Can a 4-year-old go kayaking?
our-year-old children can enjoy kayaking in a few different ways :
Right size of gear for a 4-year-old
The right size of kayak for a four-year-old wanting to paddle alone is a 6' or 6.5' child-sized kayak, and generally this is going to be a sit-on-top kayak at this age. The child will use either a 152 or 182 cm kayak paddle. Kayaks such as the popular 6' Wave Kayak come with a 182 cm paddle and this is what our four-year-old used last summer.
The child-sized kayaks do suggest on the box a recommend age of 5-year-old and up, so realize that any use a 4-year-old gets practicing on it is really a bonus.
Our experience with four-year-olds and kayaks
Our four-year-old son Hudson has been riding on the back of his brother's child-sized sit-on-top kayak since he was three. Together they have been on many adventures to collect lily pads and find turtles and frogs along the bank of the millpond. Riding with his brother feels like an adventure and helped to get him used to the idea of being out in a big body of water floating on a kayak.
Paddling a kayak is very intuitive. Kids only take a few minutes of sitting on a kayak and playing around in the water with a paddle to start to get a feel for what to do. Then the fun begins! Your child will be so excited to propel themselves through the water, even if they don't go in a straight line at first. They will get a feel for how to use their paddle to maneuver their kayak. They will improve with experience and as they get stronger.
For many children, basic paddle strokes come very naturally, and it is not always necessary to discuss every stroke before they get in the water, though talking through stroke techniques as your child makes progress can help them grown in skill.
Besides a kayak and a paddle, the only other thing you need is a life jacket (also called life vest, personal flotation device, PFD) to get your kid on the water. Strangely, choosing a life jacket can be more overwhelming than choosing a kayak! The following advice and recommendations will help you get your child outfitted in the right size, type and material so you can get them out on the water!
Kid Life Jackets: Neoprene Versus Nylon
Neoprene life jackets are softer, more fitted and tend to be more comfortable for kids but do cost more than nylon. Nylon life jackets dry faster and are less expensive, but tend to be bulkier and ride up, sometimes pushing on the child's chin when sitting on a boat and while floating in the water.
How much does a kayak for a child cost?
A kid-sized kayak for the youngest child ranges in price from as low as $80 up to about $130 for a sit-on-top kayak and usually includes a paddle.
For a sit-inside kayak for small children, the price starts at about $350 for something like the Old Town Heron Junior, and can be as high as $900 for a high-end brand such as Riot, Jackson or Dagger.
How much is a kayak for youth, such as kids 12 and up?
Kayaks for youth 12 and older can cost as low as $70 for an inflatable kayak, $260 for a small 8-foot sit-on-top kayak, and as little as $180 for an 8-foot sit-inside kayak up to a Prices tend to vary quite a bit from year to year and seasonally so check current prices on my kayak reviews tab.
How much should I spend on my kid's first kayak?
When deciding what type of kayak to buy for my family to learn on, I had to do a lot of reading about the different styles of kayaks that are out there and the benefits of each. What I learned is that sit-on-top kayaks are excellent for beginners, families, children and are so uncomplicated that anyone can feel comfortable beginning with one as all of the intimidation factor is taken away.
Are sit-on-top-kayaks easier to get started with than sit-inside kayaks?
What is the best gift for my 5-year-old? A kid kayak! (Yes -they can kayak at five!)
What is the best is the best gift for your 7- year-old? -- A kids kayak
What is the best gift for a 10-year-old girl? Yes, yes, it's a kids kayak
What is the best gift for a 12-year-old boy? ...Kids Kayak
What is the best gift for a 15-year-old son or daughter? Kayak! Kayak! Kayak!
Sit-On-Top Kid Kayaks are Super Easy, Fun, and Safe for Anyone to Use
Here are the 10 Reasons Why a Kid Kayak is the Coolest Gift Your Kid Will Every Receive
HOW TO MAKE YOUR KAYAKING TRIP WITH THE KIDS UNFORGETTABLE
You are counting on the fact that your kids will like kayaking.
They will like it, right? They are going to have fun, aren't they?
You have bought a kayak, paddle, and a life jacket that you are sure they are going to love.
You've invested your money and time into researching and shopping, and you are so excited to take them to the lake.
You know it's going to be a blast, and it's part of your plan for an epic summer with the family.
There are a lot of things you can do to make a day on the water something to look back and smile about.
Here are five tips to make sure you get off to a good start.
Almost six years ago we moved into a little New England house with a river in the backyard and quickly discovered the joy of kayaking kids.
You may also be interested in:
We made this website using Weebly. It was an easy and fun family project. To create your own website using Weebly, click here for 10% off your first website.
Legal Information: This site is meant as a log of our family's opinions and experiences, but is in no way a comprehensive safety guide for kayaking. Kayak at your own risk and research well anything pertaining to your family's safety. This site shares our experiences and products we have tried and researched. There are affiliate links used to reference the products being reviewed.