Teaching kayaking to a kid

Started by JasonGotaProblem, June 07, 2024, 03:23:01 PM

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JasonGotaProblem

My son  (7 yrs old) keeps saying he wants to come kayaking with me. And I'm excited about that. But I need to decide the best way to do this. Nobody taught me how to use it. I just asked for one for Christmas as an upper teen, and just jumped in and started using it. But I am extremely well coordinated and have excellent balance, and 'self-teach' very well. Not so true for him. He got my wife's sense of balance.

So theres a handful of folks in the area selling "youth" kayaks for a price I'm willing to pay. I also have a 2 seater that I still haven't ever tested.

Which would be better advised as a first kayak experience for him? I could make an argument for either. I worry that if we go on the 2 seater together he won't grasp the concept that all his movements (big or small) directly determine how a yak moves because I'll be paddling too and that thing probably turns like a freight train anyway, where I bet the 6' youth kayak is quite nimble. And I frabkly don't wanna get splashed constantly while sitting behind him.

But if he gets his own and doesn't quite get it, then all sorts of other things can go wrong.
Any machine is a smoke machine if you use it wrong enough.

quang tran

How old is your son ,I think he should go with you for a while before get his own . They will learn to balance even go with you

JasonGotaProblem

Quote from: quang tran on June 07, 2024, 03:48:12 PMHow old is your son ,I think he should go with you for a while before get his own . They will learn to balance even go with you
Thank you for mentioning that, I edited the post to add his age. My concern is that if he goes with me he won't learn balance because I'll be acting as a ballast.
Any machine is a smoke machine if you use it wrong enough.

Gfish

Agree with QT. Even do a number of shallow water tip-overs——climb back in tests, for experience. When it happens accidentally there is first a shock period to get through so that one can concentrate before attempting to right the yak by using known techniques. A 7yr. old has to see it as a don't panic adventure.

I wouldn't want a kid to go out in his own, without myself close by in my yak, just in case.

Went out yesterday and knew, based on a past tip-over, that I had to not tilt my body as I twisted around to reach for something in the back that I couldn't get by feeling around for it. Bow facing the sea/swell, stay low, no sudden movements.

Possible tip-overs, definitely should be a consideration, when as most people do, you start to add more stuff to the yak over time.
Fishing tackle is an art form and all fish caught on the right tackle are"Gfish"!

JasonGotaProblem

Quote from: Gfish on June 07, 2024, 04:31:19 PMAgree with QT. Even do a number of shallow water tip-overs——climb back in tests, for experience. When it happens accidentally there is first a shock period to get through so that one can concentrate before attempting to right the yak by using known techniques. A 7yr. old has to see it as a don't panic adventure.

I wouldn't want a kid to go out in his own, without myself close by in my yak, just in case.

Went out yesterday and knew, based on a past tip-over, that I had to not tilt my body as I twisted around to reach for something in the back that I couldn't get by feeling around for it. Bow facing the sea/swell, stay low, no sudden movements.

Possible tip-overs, definitely should be a consideration, when as most people do, you start to add more stuff to the yak over time.
Funny, part of never having any formal instruction is that I don't know how to right a flipped kayak. Maybe that needs to change.
Been kayaking on and off for 20 years, haven't flipped one yet or really come close, so it's never seemed urgent. But then I don't do whitewater or ocean kayaking I'm generally in calm water I can stand in.

When I said put him in his own I mean with me 20 feet or less away from him in my own kayak.
Any machine is a smoke machine if you use it wrong enough.

quang tran

Quote from: JasonGotaProblem on June 07, 2024, 05:23:05 PM
Quote from: Gfish on June 07, 2024, 04:31:19 PMAgree with QT. Even do a number of shallow water tip-overs——climb back in tests, for experience. When it happens accidentally there is first a shock period to get through so that one can concentrate before attempting to right the yak by using known techniques. A 7yr. old has to see it as a don't panic adventure.

I wouldn't want a kid to go out in his own, without myself close by in my yak, just in case.

Went out yesterday and knew, based on a past tip-over, that I had to not tilt my body as I twisted around to reach for something in the back that I couldn't get by feeling around for it. Bow facing the sea/swell, stay low, no sudden movements.

Possible tip-overs, definitely should be a consideration, when as most people do, you start to add more stuff to the yak over time.
Funny, part of never having any formal instruction is that I don't know how to right a flipped kayak. Maybe that needs to change.
Been kayaking on and off for 20 years, haven't flipped one yet or really come close, so it's never seemed urgent. But then I don't do whitewater or ocean kayaking I'm generally in calm water I can stand in.

When I said put him in his own I mean with me 20 feet or less away from him in my own kayak.

So you should have him practice how to get back on kayak after tip over .

Gfish

#6
Ok. I watch some kayak fishing U-tube videos, some from Florida, Texas or California, most from Hawai'i. The most interesting parts are the rare times they show when get's real rough, even more so for me than the hook-ups. California and Hawai'i have mostly rapid drop-off, exposed ocean conditions.
We have 3 nice estuary/river systems here that people use yaks on, as well as 3 small harbor-type bays, but I get bored by these, as the fishing isn't very good and it becomes a scenery/exercise adventure.

Try some video's on righting a kayak, if you're interested. Ya never know, there's a few little tricks that really help-out. The bigger deal for me is climbing back-in without re-flipping it.
Fishing tackle is an art form and all fish caught on the right tackle are"Gfish"!

oc1

First, make sure he can swim.  Then take him out in the double boat.  Encourage him to paddle as hard as he can at intervals.  This builds upper body strength.  Both of you need to experience a capsize, but not on the first trip.

The kids-size boat is a good idea, but first he must learn not to paddle out further than he can paddle back in.  Around here, you have to paddle out against the Tradewinds which is slow and grueling.  But, if you get tired or something happens there is the comfort of knowing that the wind will blow you back home.

Keta

Some 7 year olds are ready, some will never be. My kids and granddaughter started shooting at 5, grandaughter hunting at 5.

My thinking is go to a sheltered shallow area and let him get the feel of the single kayak but with you right there.  After he gets comfortable put him on your tandem and let him do most of the paddling as you teach him.  Once you BOTH are comfortable with his ability gradually increase where you go, with close supervision.  By the time he is 10 or 12 he should be well on the way.  Have fun with your kids now, they grow up fast.
Hi, my name is Lee and I have a fishing gear problem.

I have all of the answers, yup, no, maybe.

A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
Mark Twain

oldmanjoe

 I would keep in mind that some youth yacks are more stable than others .  Try them before you buy them .
Grandpa`s words of wisdom......Joey that thing between your shoulders is not a hat rack.....    use it.....
A mind is like a parachute, it only work`s  when it is open.......
The power of Observation   , It`s all about the Details ..
" Life " It`s a thinking man`s game
 Forget about all the reasons why something may not work. You only need to find one good reason why it will.   Alto Mare

Brewcrafter

Okay, I'll be Mr. Obvious and just mention full PFDs.  Hey, may be obvious but safety first.  And then if I were in Jason's situation - I would totally do the dual situation.  I would do the usual (primary in the back) but then trade off and have Junior in the back of the double calling the shots (controlling the Yak)- that will give you a good idea if he is "seaworthy" yet.  So cool that you are getting them out!

JasonGotaProblem

I went and watched a video on flipping a kayak
 It was roughly what I expected but I'm glad to have confirmed it.

I'm kayaking in the morning. God I hope this isn't foreshadowing.
Any machine is a smoke machine if you use it wrong enough.

Swami805

I'd do the tandem kayak, we had one and it was a tank, I'm thinking a sit on top kayak. It was very stable, we'd fish turned sideways with our legs in the water
When our kids were young we'd go camping in Big Sur and fish the kelp beds and reefs. My nephew and his friend were about that age and had a blast fishing with me in that thing. It's cold there so we wore wetsuits and pdfs.
As long as he's comfortable doing it it should be fun but definitely the tandem until he gets some experience
Do what you can with that you have where you are

jtwill98

Check with the local pools and see if you can arrange time where you can teach him in the 3 foot section.

You'll be able watch and teach while also be available to assist him until he and you are comfortable.