Kayaking is an adventurous and fun activity. It is one of the most enjoyable as well as affordable ways for a family trip. But carrying children for kayaking may seem a little bit difficult, but it is not at all. It is an amazing way to introduce your kids with nature and allow them to have equal fun with you.
But kids may not be physically fit and experienced. So you should maintain some special techniques and better preparation. Here are a few tricks which may be beneficial to you for kayaking with kids.
When it comes to children, we must focus on their protection first. No matter how low risks there are, kids should be provided with appropriate safety. Cover kids with life jackets or PFDs. Life jackets have floating material in both sides of it, where PFD has maximum floating material on the back.
PFDs are less weighty, more comfortable compared to life jackets. But life jackets have more flipping capability and more buoyancy than PFDs. If the kids fall into water unexpectedly and become unconscious, life jackets may flip them, enabling them to breathe while floating. So jackets are a better choice over PFDs.
Choose a large and stable kayak because they have less probability of flipping. There are two kinds of kayaks available. One is sit-inside, where the bottom portion of your body is positioned in a cavity. Other is sit-on-top, where the lower body is exposed.
Sit-inside kayaks are more likely to be filled with water as it has a whole. On the other hand, sit-on-top has the advantage of sitting more comfortably and draining of water easily. But if your kid is skilled and can give good coordination, you can bring a sit-inside kayak.
While kayaking with kids, you need to control both kayak and child as well as keep paddling. So it is mandatory to let them sit in the front part of the boat. Splay your legs out a little bit so that the kid can easily fit between your legs.
Give proper instructions about the gesture of the body. Forbade him to lean back because it may result in back pain. Adjust the backrest with the child’s body.
Selection of Paddles for them
If you want the kids to paddle along with you, bring a suitable paddle for them. It is a good idea for kids above 7 years old so that they can gradually learn to paddle. Always select a less bulky, lightly weighted paddle for ease and comfort.
Paddles with narrow blades are best suitable for kids. The size of the paddle depends on the child’s height, weight, and the length of the boat. A curved shaft will allow them more flexibility than a straight one.
Teach the Basic Paddling Techniques
There are many paddling techniques like moving forward, going backward, sweep stroke, side stroke, and many more. Each of them has different techniques for paddling. The whole paddling technique depends on how can you hold and control the paddle.
The position, rotation, and angle of the blades of the paddle are also important. So teach the child all basic techniques and let him practice. It is a good idea to instruct him going towards any object in a calm lake with your supervision.
Essential things to carry
First of all, bring foods and water because kids can get hungry anytime. Store them in dry bags and keep it in a dry place. Bring sunscreen and other sun protection to save their sensitive skin. Don’t forget to borrow extra clothes because they will easily get wet. Carry throw bags, and paddle floats on the boat.
Picking the right time and location
It is very important to understand the kid’s capability. If the child is new to kayaking, make a journey on a calm water surface like a canal or lake. If he has the experience, you can go on for a wavy river. The windy climate is not compatible with kayaking. Rainy weather is not safe, and the children may get sick.
So always choose a sunny and warm day. Don’t go too long without a break. Otherwise, the children lose interest and feel exhausted. If you want a long trip, always start in the morning. Because it may get dark before finishing the trip.
More tips to follow
- Avoid going in a long ride if the kid gets tired of traveling.
- Nothing can be better than to teach them swimming before going to kayak.
- Don’t put an over-size PFD or life-jackets on them. Select them according to age and size of kids.
- Give children instructions about what they should do or should not.
- Always keep eyes on them. If they lean over any side of the boat, they can easily fall into the water.
- Avoid kayaking in a bad weather condition with kids.
Kayaking with kids depends on their coordination and interest. Kids are cheerful and have a lot of fun through it. Children get rid of monotony and can learn about the places they explore. Parents also have more enthusiasm and enjoyment when their kids are with them. By following these steps, you can ensure a safe and sound water trip along with your kids.
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