Family Sea Kayaking

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
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K4y4k
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Family Sea Kayaking

Post by K4y4k » Sat Jun 10, 2017 8:57 pm

Hi, I am looking to get started with some sea kayaking in North Wales. There will be my wife and i along with my 3 year old son, 7 year old and 5 year old daughters.

It would be great if anyone can provide advice on the best type of canoes/kayaks we should use.

My wife and I have kayak'd before but now need a way to accommodate the three children who at the moment can't paddle but will learn.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks Andy

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Robert Craig
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Family Sea Kayaking

Post by Robert Craig » Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:29 pm

I've struggled with the idea of wee ones and sea canoeing ... but without a solution. But Open canoes on sheltered waters seemed to work for us - and there's lots of learning-to-paddle possibilities in an open.

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John K
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Location: Brighton

Re: Family Sea Kayaking

Post by John K » Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:55 pm

I'd be looking at starting off by mucking about with a sit on top or two, not actually going anywhere and incorporating lots of swimming.

Get them used to the idea that it's fun. Take them out for a little bimble one at a time.

Pick your conditions carefully. Make sure you're really confident at self rescuing and don't try anything ambitious.

rockhopper
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Re: Family Sea Kayaking

Post by rockhopper » Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:13 am

I initially hesitated proffering an answer on this subject as I think it is a tricky one however the two previous comments are probably spot on. Taking kids out anywhere on the sea can be fraught with problems and as there would be three children and only two adults it dictates extra care. Certainly sit on tops are a good starting point but be aware that they do mean the occupants are quite exposed and (as I learned), with a bit of breeze children can get cold much quicker than adults. That's without even thinking about other issues such as how quick they are likely to tire either when paddling or in a rescue situation.
With five of you, you would need a minimum of two boats and an adult in each one. Both boats would therefore be large and you would have to be very sure that in an emergency a single adult could paddle one boat whilst towing the other one, possibly in tidal or windy conditions.
Safety issues aside, John is right that it should certainly be fun and stress free so that the kids enjoy the experience whilst learning at the same time.

Rog.

K4y4k
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Re: Family Sea Kayaking

Post by K4y4k » Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:13 pm

Thanks to everyone for their really helpful comments, it is much appreciated. I agree that fun and safe is the way forward. Are there any particular sit on's that I should be looking at for short trips on the sea? if i could also use it on rivers that would be great.

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John K
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Location: Brighton

Re: Family Sea Kayaking

Post by John K » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:50 pm

We started off with a Malibu 2 XL which is a bit of a barge, but very versatile and can be used solo, as a tandem, or a triple.

I'm very tall and found it surprisingly usable on my own and did some good day trips on it, small people may struggle a bit though. If you're OK handling it solo then you can have a couple of small people on with you and it won't matter if they don't paddle.

Make sure that you get lifejackets for the kids that fit them, and are comfortable. If possible I'd recommend taking them into a shop where they can try them on to make sure.

K4y4k
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Re: Family Sea Kayaking

Post by K4y4k » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:09 am

Thanks for the advice John, I will definitely take a look at the Malibu, cheers

srod
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Re: Family Sea Kayaking

Post by srod » Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:06 pm

We've had great success with inflatable canoes: Sevylor Colorado and/or Adventure Plus. They are very stable, and seaworthy.

Also for a kids SOT I highly recommend a Weenie Wave, easy and fun to paddle for a ~5 year old.

Using various combinations of the above, we've managed several day trips and a couple of longer overnight camping trips (10km+). Also good for just larking around at the beach.

This is for 2 adults, 2 kids (same age range as yours), + dog. Mostly sheltered waters, or calm days. The key is to pick your day.

Also - regarding the weenie wave, after some capsize and climb aboard practice I've done a few trips with me in my sea kayak and 1 child in the weenie wave. You can get the child to hold on to the bow and push them along for a bit when you need to make progress, it works quite well. You need a kid that is keen though.

K4y4k
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Re: Family Sea Kayaking

Post by K4y4k » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:29 am

Thanks for the great advice on the inflatable canoes. As you say it is about picking the right conditions. We just want to get them started really at this stage. The weenie wave sounds great, I will look into these as well. Thanks

MartinG
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Re: Family Sea Kayaking

Post by MartinG » Thu Jun 15, 2017 2:47 pm

Double sit-on-tops can be pretty heavy too. Getting them on top of a car can be a challenge. Inflatables get around that problem and are easy to store. With an inflatable wind becomes a issue in anything other than a light breeze. Probably not a good idea in an offshore wind.

Ocean kayaks Kea is pretty good for kids too. Great for messing around in a sheltered cove with child-friendly waves.

K4y4k
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Re: Family Sea Kayaking

Post by K4y4k » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:03 am

Great thanks Martin. The inflatables look a good option so far.

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