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#11800582 - 08/27/16 08:55 PM Kids in kayaks. Lessons learned! Edited
RealBigReel Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 1187
Loc: Stephenville, TX
After reading several discussion on the subject I thought I might add my comments.
So I took my daughter, her husband and her kids to Rocheles. A son 10, a son 8 and twin daughters 6. These kids are about normal size for their age. We rented 2 Two seaters (Old Town Heron) and 2 single seaters (Old Town Otter). Put the 2 adult men in the two seaters with the little girls in the front. Put the boys 10 and 8 in solo 9' rental kayaks. And my daughter was paddling my kayak HYBRID with an ONO paddle. HYBRID is pirogue like, constructed of balsa and Kevlar 14' by 28". Weighs around 40 lbs and draws very little water. I also took 2 of my good paddles for us adult men to use. The paddles that Rochelles provides are quite frankly of very poor quality, typical rental, heavy short and ineffective.
Rochelles put us up at "the point" above the bridge. Flow was 300 CFS. We managed to get up stream about a mile. The 10 year old did fairly well, did not require any help all day, but the 8 year struggled. We ended up towing him part way. (I noticed that his kayak dog tracked even when towed.) However the 8 year old paddled all the way downstream by himself. The 8 year old struggled to keep the craft going straight pretty much the whole trip. I have paddled this same model kayak and it tracked OK for me but the 8 year old is to light to get effective keel.
When we got back to Rochelles we let both of the boys try the kayak HYBRID with the 230 CM 23 oz ONO paddle. The 10 year old paddled some distance up into that white water coming out from the bridge before he was forced to turn around. He had no trouble getting the kayak turned and back to the landing. Then we put the 8 year old in the kayak HYBRID (this is the boy that had struggled earlier). He struggled a bit, at first, but he got HYBRID going upstream some distance, not quite as far as his older brother, turned it around and brought it back to the landing in good order. For both boys HYBRID was their best kayak experience of the day.
So lessons learned:
Kids as young as 8 can handle a kayak at least a limited distance in good conditions.
Kayaks of poor quality are going to be frustrating. They don't track well and they are hard to control.
Kids can handle longer kayaks than you might think. You might not think an 8 year old could handle a 14 foot kayak but he did. It was his best kayak experience of the day.
A good paddle might be even more important for a kid than for an adult. Both boys handled the ONO paddle far better than the rental paddles they had spent the day with.
Seems to me that an SOT would be a far better choice than a SINK as far as paddle reach is concerned.
300 CFS on the Brazos is just fine for going up or downstream.


Edited by RealBigReel (08/31/16 01:19 PM)
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RealBigReel
My kayak STRIPER. I don't go too fast but I go pretty far.

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#11800867 - 08/28/16 07:38 AM Re: Kids in kayaks. Lessons learned! Edited [Re: RealBigReel]
christian myrick Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 2990
Loc: little elm
We have several model kayaks at our house. The two i have found the kids paddle well are ocean kayak speck and the viking profish 400 lite. We dont go in rivers very much but we do cross long streaches of open water. Kids can do it. It will just take some patients and pushing for them to also realise how well they can perform.
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#11800890 - 08/28/16 07:56 AM Re: Kids in kayaks. Lessons learned! Edited [Re: christian myrick]
RealBigReel Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 01/31/06
Posts: 1187
Loc: Stephenville, TX
Originally Posted By: christian myrick
We have several model kayaks at our house. The two i have found the kids paddle well are ocean kayak speck and the viking profish 400 lite. We dont go in rivers very much but we do cross long streaches of open water. Kids can do it. It will just take some patients and pushing for them to also realise how well they can perform.


I have paddled with a friend who had the Ocean Kayak Scrambler (similar to the Speck) and I can easily see where that would be an excellent choice for a kid.
_________________________
RealBigReel
My kayak STRIPER. I don't go too fast but I go pretty far.

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#11800919 - 08/28/16 08:24 AM Re: Kids in kayaks. Lessons learned! Edited [Re: RealBigReel]
christian myrick Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 08/03/11
Posts: 2990
Loc: little elm
Just like us adults...probably even more so fitment is critical.
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#11802827 - 08/29/16 01:32 PM Re: Kids in kayaks. Lessons learned! Edited [Re: RealBigReel]
lconn4 Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 4987
Loc: Cherokee County
I'm not sure but after having taken my sister's grandkids kayaking earlier this year, I believe having a smaller lightweight paddle is just as important if not more so than having the right sized kayak. The boys were 10 and 6 and both fell in love with paddling. Keep the instructions simple and non technical, paddle beside them and let them observe. They catch on quick. I sure wouldn't let them fish from kayak right away.


At 220cm length the paddle was still too long but the light weight made it usable.

The 5 year old was ready to go but I thought it best for her to wait until next time.





Edited by lconn4 (08/29/16 01:52 PM)
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A good rule of angling philosphy is not to interfere with another fisherman's ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated.

Zane Grey, Tales of Fishes, 1919


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#11803214 - 08/29/16 04:44 PM Re: Kids in kayaks. Lessons learned! Edited [Re: RealBigReel]
HERROUTDOORS Offline
Extreme Angler

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 2505
Loc: Richardson, Texas
My 9 year old has a Tarpon 100 and a Werner and handles it well on the Brazos. I would agree that a light paddle can make a huge difference.

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#11829555 - 09/14/16 09:33 PM Re: Kids in kayaks. Lessons learned! Edited [Re: RealBigReel]
nomad45 Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 09/14/16
Posts: 19
My 12 yr old does great and was fishing from the kayak her third trip out. I started her at 7. Her first trip was a disaster we went down a creek with quit a bit of white water un be knowns to me the outfitter said nothing about class 2 water. she did great until we came to a narrow spot and two drunk rednecks had sunk there two seat set in. they were in the way and as she went by they pushed her into the rocks and she turtled in class 2. SHe did the rapids like she was in a washing machine. Took a little coaxing to get her back in I towed her the rest of the day.

SHe loved it though bought her a 8ft the next week she goes with me just about every trip now but she has a 10ft now. I did find that she did better with a longer paddle for some reason. I know backwards but it worked. She only gets walmart spincast combo's to fish with, not about to give her expensive rigs to fish with. I did just buy her some spinning gear the shimano IX reel get those for $10 and a cheap $10 rod.

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#11830775 - 09/15/16 03:51 PM Re: Kids in kayaks. Lessons learned! Edited [Re: RealBigReel]
Chap Offline
Green Horn

Registered: 03/30/16
Posts: 14
Until I was 15 I was fishing in a 8 foot spitfire made for 8 year olds and fished about everyday

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#11831523 - 09/15/16 11:42 PM Re: Kids in kayaks. Lessons learned! Edited [Re: Chap]
lconn4 Offline
TFF Team Angler

Registered: 12/02/12
Posts: 4987
Loc: Cherokee County
Originally Posted By: Chap
Until I was 15 I was fishing in a 8 foot spitfire made for 8 year olds and fished about everyday


And I'll bet you have learned more from paddling and fishing that in tough conditions that you fear nothing. roflmao
_________________________

A good rule of angling philosphy is not to interfere with another fisherman's ways of being happy, unless you want to be hated.

Zane Grey, Tales of Fishes, 1919


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