PaddleWise Discussion on Kid's Kayaks

Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 10:55:09 -0800 
From: "Mattson, Timothy G" 
Subject: [Paddlewise] kids' kayak -- really

I have a serious question about kids kayaks -- not inflatable toys.  

I am planning to start paddling with my kids this spring.  I've put them in
my own kayaks and while they love it, they can't really do very much with
them.  I could also get double kayaks, but (no offense to you doublers) I've
never been able to enjoy double kayaks.  Part of the fun of kayaking is the
connection between the paddler, the boat, and the water, and you just can't
get that in a double.

So, I'm looking at buying two small kayaks for my boys -- and I do mean
small.  My yougest is 6 while my older boy is 8.   Do any of you know of
anywhere a person can go to buy a real kayak scaled down to fit small
children?  I am all thumbs in the shop, but i'd even build a couple if I
could find a kit for slimed down, children's boats.

There have to be other parents on this list who have already dealt with this
problem.  What did you do?

- --Tim

Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 12:54:37 -0800 From: Dave Kruger Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] kids' kayak -- really I have not had to deal with this (my son is 26), but one [high-labor, lesser cost] option is to build a couple Pygmy kits, sized to fit them. When they outgrow those, they will probably be ready for a smaller "full-size" yak. I believe Lockwood has kits for smaller people, because his daughter is shown paddling craft apropos for her size in their literature. These kits may not be listed on the Web site, but a phone call will probably net a response (Pygmy is notoriously slow on email response). I can vouch for the ease of construction, as can others -- lotsa people I know have built Pygmy kits. I would not worry about how many thumbs you have! Here is the Web site: I have not looked at CLC's literature recently, but I bet they would also have kits for smaller people. Their Web site: - -- Dave Kruger Astoria, OR
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 15:58:34 -0500 From: "Lorraine&Dennis" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] kids' kayak -- really Tim, try looking at the Perception Umiak(another name for the on-going names discussion!). I've used these with children the size of yours and found them to be quite satisfactory. You might even find a couple used as I think most are bought for your very reason, and then subsequently outgrown. Dennis
Date: Thu, 7 Jan 1999 21:58:35 -0800 (PST) From: Richard Strickland Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] kids' kayak -- really I would add the Wilderness Systems "Piccolo" to the list. I was out with another couple last summer, my son (8) in the Piccolo and theirs (9) in the Umiak. They are very similar in design, performance, and price--both plastic, rudderless, and unbulkheaded (float bags essential!)--although my son felt the Piccolo had the more comfortable seat. I think 8 may be about the minimum age for anything other than playing around the shore, considering size and strength, attention span, judgment, and ability to follow instructions. Maybe a mature, athletic 7-year-old would be OK. Richard in Seattle
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 05:45:34 EST From: Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] kids' kayak -- really In a message dated 1/7/99 3:57:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, dkruger writes: << I have not looked at CLC's literature recently, but I bet they would also have kits for smaller people. Their Web site: >> They don't have kits for kids yet, but they do have plans for a "Cape Charlie" which might work out. Jack Martin
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 08:59:39 EST From: DANJW Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] kids' kayak -- really I would also consider the Wilderness Systems Rascal. While it is not a scaled down version of a touring kayak ( like the Piccolo and Umiak are ) it is very stable and the most "un-tub-like" of the smaller recreational kayaks. The hull is a multi-chine design and it flares out considerably above the water line, so that for someone as light as a 6 or 8 year old the effect is almost like having sponsons attached to the hull. We have had kids as young as 5 year olds paddling this boat, and with their weight and low center of gravity, stability is excellent. Dan
Date: Fri, 08 Jan 1999 11:52:23 -0500 From: Michael R Noyes Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] kids' kayak -- really Tim; Whatever you do don't make the mistake I did. I bought one of those "tub" kayaks for my daughter, figuring that the extra stability would be an asset. As it turned out she couldn't paddle without hitting her hands on the boat because of the width. Although she still loves paddling she never really liked that boat. I would suggest letting the boys try the boat out to see how they can paddle it before putting any money down. Mike P.S. My daughter (now 17) has an aversion now to any kayak with a beam of more than 22 inches. She LOVES my Caribou, even though it is too large for her (5' 2", 102 lbs.). Her choice is the Wilderness Systems Tchaika. - --
Date: Fri, 8 Jan 1999 08:32:12 -0500 From: "Gary Tabor" Subject: Re: [Paddlewise] kids' kayak -- really You might also check out: They also have models for the little paper. Gary Tabor