Kayaking Technique Forum

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Teaching Kids to Kayak

Now that I have a thread started about where to find kid-sized kayaks, paddles, and gear I thought Id start a separate thread about teaching kids to kayak. Id be willing to bet theres a lot of good, first-hand experience out there and Id like to hear what works from people whove done it.

So far, the two over-riding goals I have used when kayaking with my nephew are: 1) Make it safe and, 2) Make it fun. I figure if I can continue to meet those goals, then therell be plenty of time in the future to teach him more about the sport.

Anyhow, here are a bunch of questions Id like to pose (in no particular order). A few have obvious answers but I figure Ill ask them all anyhow for the sake of discussion:

1) What are some good games to play on the water to teach kids boat handling skills?
2) What rules or limits have you set for your kids while theyre kayaking?
3) What distances have your kids been able to paddle (at different ages)?
4) Did they ever run out of gas enroute to a destination? (i.e., have you ever over-estimated how far they could go?) What did you do to help them?
5) At what age should kids start using spray skirts?
6) When did you introduce them to assisted-rescue techniques?
7) When did you introduce them to self-rescue techniques?
8) When is a kid ready to get a taste of river kayaking?
9) When is a kid ready to get a taste of small surf?
10) When is a kid ready to learn to roll?
11) How many readers on this BBS have taught kids to kayak and how many hope to do so in the future?
12) What resources (books, videos, courses, etc.) are available for teaching kids to sea kayak?

Im sure there are many, many more good questions that could be discussed, so feel free to offer your own questions and/or answers. Thanks, John

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Teaching Kids to Kayak
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