How old should a child be to learn kayaking

children kayak

What is the minimum age to start kayaking?

Chances are, your children will love kayaking.  Planning and organization will enable you to savor every moment. However, it is necessary to remember to start small to avoid unnecessary stress by avoiding surprises.

Children between the ages of seven and ten are the ideal age to learn to kayak independently. A majority of the young people in this age group have developed the skills necessary for rapid skill development and can fit comfortably in smaller kayaks. In addition, this age bracket can deal with solo activities, although kayakers should never paddle alone.

Age limit for kayaking?

Kayaking lets you take a closer look at wildlife, all while protecting the environment. In addition, you can reach inaccessible areas using a kayak. Similarly, kayaking is a peaceful activity that does not scare birds and animals. Kayaking is a fun, safe, and exciting activity that everyone should try at least once.

Is kayaking restricted to adults?

Paddling is an excellent activity for all ages, young and old. You may join at any age. Yes, you can put your toddlers in double kayaks and kids as young as eight in their kayak. You need to meet some requirements to go kayaking, which might include age restrictions. Before kayaking, a person must be comfortable in the water. A few individuals may be unable to kayak for any of these reasons. While kayaking, children should maintain a calm and serene mental state.

Can you take toddlers on a kayak?

There are no age restrictions for kayaking, but newborn babies (0-12 months) should not be taken on a kayak.

Children may begin kayaking between the ages of two and five and go kayaking with a parent or an adult. Guidelines for kayaking with a toddler are as follows:

  • Infants should not be taken out on a boat until they can fit comfortably in a personal floatation device.

  • Because kayaking doesn’t have an age limit, the restriction is applied on a case-by-case basis. Because of this, one’s body size and physical capabilities should be appropriate for kayaking.

  • A child must be at least 13 years old to paddle a double sea kayak and be accompanied by an adult.

  • A parent or guardian’s permission is required for child safety when children are at least 16 or 17 years old.

  • Make sure you also know about USCG requirements for kayaks

More tips

Eight-year-olds should paddle with a parent or another adult while learning. To keep an eye on the child while paddling, place them in the front seat of the kayak. In addition, 8-years-old and up can start developing their paddling skills by kayaking with an adult.

Adolescents over the age of ten are allowed to use a single-rider children’s kayak. However, adult supervision might be required.

Anyone 14 and up who is at least somewhat competent at paddling can try out a standard-sized kayak.

Children can be easily bored. In case the child becomes whiny and uncooperative, avoid venturing too far out. In case something does go wrong, be ready.

Plan your kayaking adventure

Only people who know how to paddle can take children out on the water. Therefore, ensure an adult accompanies every child.

Where do you want to go?

When kayaking with children, it’s best to stick to calm, tranquil waters. Begin with protected small lakes and slow-moving rivers. Doing so helps children get familiar with the nuances of kayaking. With each successive visit, your options grow.

How long should a kayaking trip be?

Decide how long you want to stay on the water. As a rule of thumb, you might not want the duration of the trip to exceed an hour. Infants may stand briefly in the cockpit of the water’s edge. You would not want to take infants on kayaking trips.

Plan your trip as one-third the distance you would usually travel with your adult peers. With age, the time spent in the water could increase. In addition, the more time you spend paddling together, the more the child’s skill level improves.

Practice your skills before the event.

You would want to keep yourself in good physical condition. But, first, take swimming or kayaking lessons. Kids who will be going kayaking with you should practice wet-exits and other safety procedures.

You should include children in your workout sessions. Long-distance runs would be fun. In addition, you could do weighted pull-ups and push-ups at home to improve the push and pull of your paddle stroke.

Boat options

Which is preferable: a canoe or a kayak?

Consider your child’s age, ability, and the type of trip when choosing a kayak. The decision is influenced by factors such as comfort, seating options, and paddling opportunities.

Children between the ages of four and seven should sit in the bow of a kayak. Canoes are ideal for children under the age of seven. Canoes are stable and well-suited to this age group. In addition to an adult, large canoes can carry two or three children.

Most eight-year-olds are capable of paddling. Therefore, you would want to teach them how to paddle.

Practice wet exits, braces, and other safety techniques regardless of the type of boat you choose.

Allow your child to sit in the bow or center of the boat until he or she feels more at ease in the cold water.

Summer is a great time to think about sit-on-top kayaks for the river, lake, or ocean adventures. The majority of the crafts are suitable for up to three small children. If you do not want to invest in a carrier or have limited storage space, inflatable kayaks are available. Sit-on-tops should not be used on exposed crossings or when traveling a long distance away from shore.

Paddle dimensions

Using the right-sized paddle is crucial. Children’s kayak paddles come in various sizes, with narrow shafts typically measuring 200 cm in length. The handle should be on the child’s foot and the blade at their nose level in a canoe.

Safety gear

Personal Flotation Devices

You must invest in the proper safety equipment. All crew members aboard small craft must wear personal flotation devices (PFD). Follow all applicable usage and sizing guidelines when using the model you’ve chosen. PFDs come in infant, child, and adolescent sizes (50-90 lbs.). In the event of a capsize, the infant PFD’s neck pad is critical for positioning the child’s head. Also, make sure the crotch strap is buckled.

Lines and floats

During a rescue, you could use a line or float. Wet-exit procedures, for example, are safety procedures you must practice beforehand.

When it comes to safety, reading books and watching videos is not sufficient. Instead, attend classes to practice instead of relying too heavily on these types of resources.

Note: Tethering or tying a child to the boat is not recommended. Doing so can be dangerous.

Things to carry

List all items you need to carry. Make a note of who packed what. Assign everyone equal packing responsibilities. Include your kids in all aspects of the adventure.

Children aged seven and up, on average, prefer to pack their belongings. Inform them that you have a checklist. Allow them to keep their backpack nearby in case they need to get a coat or a snack.

Food and water

Hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruits, red peppers, dried fruits and nuts, cheese, cookies, and bars are excellent options.

Additionally, hydration is required. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. The combination of sunlight reflecting off the water and paddling exertion increases fluid requirements significantly.