Many are a bit confused as to the difference between a kayak and a canoe, owing to the distinctly similar shape of its sleek and slender boat design. However, it doesn’t really matter which one your child will be taking as the difference is merely on the sitting position and the number of blades on the paddle. Kayaks are very important gadgets of transportation, fishing, and even exploring the many wonders of rivers and lakes.
If you want your kid to start paddling his or her own water vehicle, here are 5 awesome kayaks for kids in 2017 we’re pretty certain your kiddos will love.
How We Chose the Best Kayak for Kids in Our List
Kayaks are primarily built for speed. If you have a canoe, then that would be the equivalent of a sport utility vehicle. However, if you’re thinking of an F1 racer in the water, there can only be a kayak. As such, one of the principal considerations for our choice of the best youth kayak is the overall design of the hull. It should be designed in such a way that it can slice through water with relative ease, like some hot knife slicing through butter. Equally important is the stability of the platform. We are particularly aware that some form of stability is ultimately lost with each increment in speed. So, we may be giving you a really high speed water vessel but if it cannot maintain stability even at such speeds, then we’d rather choose one that is not really that fast but is stable enough to keep the safety of your child.
We also considered the weight of the youth kayak. This was a very important consideration since kayaks are especially built for lone riders, adventurers who would rather go at it alone. That being said it is important that these small streamlined boats are lightweight enough to be carried or even dragged from the vehicle and onto the water by an average kiddo. Playing a part in the lightweight design of the small boat is the choice of materials used in its construction. However, these materials should not only be lightweight; they should be extremely durable and sturdy, too. Most kayakers are some of the most adventurous out there. And while we don’t expect your kid to be shooting the Class V rapids of the Grand Canyon anytime soon, it is best to choose one that is as sturdy as the Grand Canyon itself.
Lastly, we had to look at the level of comfort it can provide kids. We had to consistently remind ourselves that what we are looking for are for juveniles and not for competition-grade performance-level kayakers. As such, it was imperative to look for features that would somehow provide some degree of comfort for our young kayakers.
Tips to Ensuring Kayaking Safety for Kids
Engaging in a variety of water sports or water-related activities can be so much fun. However, if we are not really careful, we might as well expose our kids to potential hazards during water-related activities and significantly undermining the benefits of these outdoor recreation activities. As such it is always critical to understand some of the fundamental tips to ensuring safety in kayaks and canoes especially when our kids are the riders.
- Always supervise your children whenever they go out kayaking. Even the more experienced ones will still require some form of adult supervision.
- Spend time teaching your kid how to swim or at least to stay afloat. You may also want to enroll your child in a kayaking course so he or she will be learning not only the basics but also some of the tricks of the sport from licensed professionals.
- Get your child an appropriately sized safety gear such as a life jacket, helmet, rubber sandals, and others. It is important to choose a gear that is of the correct size in relation to your child’s dimensions.
- Make sure to give your child adequate sun screen or UV protection especially during the hot summer months. You may need to buy for him or her UV glasses to help protect the eyes against glare.
- Encourage your child to listen to safety instructions and to follow or obey all rules about kayaking. You may want to go over each of these items individually so they become well-acquainted with these rules.
- If you have to buy a kayak, make sure it is of the right size for your child and that it is stable enough to allow your kid ample freedom of movement.
The Bottom Line
Kayaking can be so much fun. If you have a child who happens to be fascinated with the water sport, then you can nurture this fascination by getting him or her one of the 5 awesome kayaks for kids we have listed here. Once you have the best kayak for your kid, don’t forget to observe our tips on kayaking safety.