Page 1 of 1

kids BA vs spraydeck

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:21 am
by sean107
I recently introduced my 7 year old kid to kayaking (big grins all around)

Last session in the pool we introduced the spray deck - lots of fun wet exiting....

the only issue was fitting the deck around his BA

I ended up putting the deck on over the BA

Boat is a dagger dynamo, deck is a nylon one from palm

BA is a cheap and slightly too big one I got on holiday so his mum would let him on my sot

For me (6 feet tall) there is a big gap between the bottom of my rib cage where the BA secures and the cockpit rim - so my spray deck angles up from the cockpit then goes under my BA - and water on the deck rolls off.

For him if I put the deck under his BA any water will pool on the deck and he'll be sitting in a bucket of water.

Is this just something kids have to put up with ?

I probably want to pad his seat and get a better BA anyway - but I'd appreciate the insight of other people's experience :-)

Re: kids BA vs spraydeck

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:06 am
by Robert Craig
I had a similar issue (actually two issues) with a child of a similar age (also in a Dynamo, lovely boats)

Addressing your issue, I put the spraydeck over the BA. Means that rain and splashes run down inside, but 7 year olds fall in for fun anyway. Now he's 10, I've bought a deck with a smaller waist, which goes nicely under the BA.

The second issue is that the BA had a crotch strap - which I think is really good for children, especially if the BA is a bit big. With the crotch strap, the deck has to go outside. When he got bigger, I cut the crotch strap off - but I didn't like doing that.

I too would like to hear what others think

Re: kids BA vs spraydeck

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:54 am
by sean107
ah yes - I think a crotch strap would be good for him as the BA has a habit of riding up on him

so maybe spraydeck outside isnt such a crazy idea

Re: kids BA vs spraydeck

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 5:23 pm
by paddlersteve
We've had exactly the same experience and used the same solution of putting the deck over the BA, similarly it also means he can continue with the leg straps.

Almost by accident though in the last few months I've got him into a neoprene deck which has changed the game for him. One of my old decks, (medium waist that I can't fit in any more!) fits him comfortably, if a little baggy. In the pool he gets some water down the tube into the boat, but outdoors and with a BA on, it holds it closer and keeps most of the water out. I say by accident because he was asking why I had a different type of deck which led to me explaining the advantages. He liked the idea but I was very cautious about his ability to remove it. I told him he could try it (on garage floor) and to my surprise could remove it relatively easily, certainly after getting the knack following a few attempts.

I think that the clincher is that it is a model that has the adjustable release strap that runs from side to side and that can be adjusted. (It's an older Playboater deck, although I know others had similar designs). I can set this up so the strap is taut and it takes relatively little effort to remove compared to the standard strap at the furthest point that needs pulling out and away from the cockpit to release. He can remove it with one hand if needed. It doesn't feel coincidental that he's now happier in the boat, can paddle for longer without becoming unstable through water seeping in and as the weather cools is helping him paddle later into the autumn that I would have expected. He's been upside down with it and pulled the deck "in anger" probably 20 to 30 times plus without issue. In the pool, he can also easily leave the deck on and slide out of the boat and deck tube if needed.

I wouldn't have dreamed putting him in a neoprene deck so early (I remember being into my teens before I progressed from nylon decks), but was pleasantly surprised how suitable it is

He is 8 years old, average build and strength, He has a Robson Supersonic and a keyhole size deck

Re: kids BA vs spraydeck

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:37 pm
by stonercanoe
As a club we use children's nylon and neoprene decks for the dynamo. To start with in the pool before going outside the choice was the child's, being supported by a coach.
When ready they very quickly used the neoprene deck.

Re: kids BA vs spraydeck

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:04 pm
by sean107
Does't the neoprene deck still have a tendency to pool water ?

Once or twice I've put my spray deck on too low and found I collected a puddle myself.

Is it a smaller puddle than a baggier nylon deck would cause ?

Re: kids BA vs spraydeck

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 10:18 pm
by paddlersteve
I’ve not noticed a pool around the waist with him in a neoprene deck. My gut feeling is he doesn’t have one at all or it is insignificant in size. Certainly it doesn’t seep through if there is one

Re: kids BA vs spraydeck

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 6:24 am
by ion
One factor for me (And I'm generally still paddling with kids younger than 7 in a duo) is the potential panic/entrapment factor that a skirt could bring, so generally always using an oversized snapdragon skirt with the tube doubled over outside the BA so they can easily push and swim out leaving the skirt on the boat. Yes you get water in when it gets bigger and have to empty regularly but its a small price for no bad experiences.

Re: kids BA vs spraydeck

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:08 pm
by sean107
So far I'm just on flat water with him so I doubt he'll get many splashes over the top of the spraydeck tube

I'm more of a sea kayaker myself - but I think I'm going to need to work on my whitewater skills to be ready when he is :-D