Introducing my children to kayaking

Find out how to safely take your children with you in your kayak to share the pleasure of a ride on the water.

kayak children

Are you a kayak buff and have kids? Sooner or later the question of their first water outing is likely to arise. But where, when and how? Itiwit guides you through your role as kayak initiator...

children's life jackets for kayaks

#1 I’m taking my child sea kayaking with me

On the water too, it is important not to put the cart before the horse. You should follow certain safety measures religiously: wait for calm waters, good weather and make sure your child is wearing a life jacket.  

If you are taking your toddler with you in the kayak, place him between your legs to make him experience the sensations of the kayak while keeping an eye on him. 

As he or she gets older, your child will want to use the paddle—let her participate; these key moments will stay in her memory and help her own the paddle stroke. 

Later on, you’ll be able to sit your apprentice kayaker in the cockpit of a double kayak, or maybe even have his own junior craft. The sit-on-top kayak is very useful on a first outing: fun, accessible and featuring a double hull which makes it unsinkable.  ~ 

#3 My first kayak tour with my child

It’s time for your first family outing? Check your kayaking safety equipment: child life jacket, bailer, floating rope, whistle, first-aid kit, water, and kayaking snacks. Is the weather nice? Add sunglasses, cap an,d sun cream!   

Next check the skills and motivation of your little ones: can they swim 25 m? Can they put their head underwater without panicking? Can they wear their life jackets for an extended period of time?   

Final precaution: Keep your outings short as children get bored quickly and have less endurance than adults to hunger, cold, fatigue, and may feel scared at times. If these elements come together, there’s sure to be some crying on board, and you’ll have a hard time convincing your child to get back on a kayak!

children and kayaking
school children kayak

#4 Enrol them in a kayaking school !

Kayaking/canoeing school starts at 12 years of age. Children advance according to the achievement levels set by the French Canoe-Kayak Federation: white, yellow, green, blue, red and black paddle.  

These levels represent the your child’s technical progress, his mastery of safety and familiarity with the environment. Often, after just one year, your young kayaker picks up his green paddle: the beginning of autonomy in calm waters!