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What Age Can a Kid Kayak or Canoe on Their Own?

Almost every kid loves playing in the water, so kayaking is the ideal activity to pique their interest. Your child is begging to go kayaking on their own, but you’re not so sure.

What age is safest for solo kayaking or canoeing?

The best age for children to kayak or canoe on their own is between seven and 10 years old. However, kids below seven can still enjoy a kayaking excursion if you keep an eye on them and plan the trip correctly.

In this guide, I’ll take you through how and when to teach your kids to kayak or canoe. Additionally, I’ll share tips that can make kayaking or canoeing interesting for your kids, so make sure you keep reading!

When Should You Teach Kids To Kayak or Canoe?

When introducing children to paddling, they can have intense thrills on the water. So what age is appropriate for them to begin kayaking or canoeing?

As I recommended in the intro, before your child kayaks alone, they should be at least seven years old.

If they’re supervised by an adult the entire time, then they can experience the fun of kayaking or canoeing younger than that.

You do want to keep some considerations in mind before you take your child canoeing or kayaking.

First, your kid must be comfortable and have at least some swimming experience. Floating on the water is the key to being more comfortable when kayaking or canoeing.

Also, consider the climate before teaching your kid either of the two watersports (or even both). Ensure the weather is clear and will stay that way before you go for a canoeing or kayaking lesson.

How Do You Teach Your Kids to Kayak or Canoe?

Kayaking and canoeing are not difficult to learn, especially if you teach your children early. Your kids will cheerfully paddle around in a day or two, depending on how fast they get instructions. The tips below will help your kids learn more successfully.

Dress Appropriately

Help your child dress for the water because they will undoubtedly get wet when canoeing or kayaking.

A wetsuit is a must. Also, at this point, introduce the life jacket and tell your young one its purpose and how to wear it.

Get a Boat and Show The Kid How to Sit on it Correctly

Kids follow what their parents do, and showing your child how to sit correctly on a kayak is crucial and will make paddling easier for them.

As your child sits, guide them so their lower back is straight.

Every kayak has foot pegs on each of its sides. Your kid’s feet should rest on each peg so they’re
stretching their toes outward while the heels are facing inwards.

Sitting this way can feel a little awkward at first, but the more your child does it, the easier it will become!

Concentrate on Paddling and Balance

This may seem obvious, yet many individuals hold their paddles incorrectly when learning kayaking.

Show your child how to hold the paddles with both hands, keeping the paddles somewhat wider than
shoulder-width apart. The blade’s concave side should face your youngster.

The curved half of the paddle blade should sweep across the water as they dip it into it. Check that your kid’s hands are parallel to the blade as well.

Start in Standing Water

The best place to practice canoeing or kayaking is standing water like lakes or calm rivers.

After your little one gets used to paddling in still waters, take kayaking on gently moving water.

Teach Them Safety Protocols

You hope your child won’t capsize in a canoe or kayak, but they still have to know what to do in case it ever happens. Tell them how to handle a capsizing event and then how to get back on the kayak once the waters are calm.

How Do You Get Kids Interested in Kayaking or Canoeing?

As a parent, motivating your kids to go kayaking or canoeing might be necessary, even if they are a little interested. Here are a few tips to get your kids interested in the two sports.

Go With Them to Kayaking Sites

Make a few trips with the kids to places where people go kayaking and canoeing.

Once the kids see how much fun everyone else is having, their interest in kayaking or canoeing should be at an all-time high.

Buy Them Gifts

If you want to win any child’s heart, promise them a gift after they do what you ask of them.

Tell them you will buy them a doll, toys, or whatever gadget they’re interested in if they give canoeing or kayaking a fair try.

Another way you can motivate your kids is by making it a competition among their siblings. The one who canoes the longest or fastest wins a prize!

Talk About The Importance of Kayaking for Kids

Another technique to pique your children’s interest in kayaking is to explain its benefits. Tell
the kids how they’ll get some good exercise in and enjoy family time.

Share your Kayaking Experience With The Kids

Tell your child how exciting kayaking can be with your own anecdotes.

Be sure to tell the young ones how easy it is to go kayaking or canoeing and how you awesome you felt when you successfully paddled for the first time.

Remember to share details about the panoramic views you experience on a kayak on a sunny day.

You could very well convince your children to give kayaking or canoeing a try!

What Your Kids Need to Take Part in Kayaking

You must have several things if you want to teach your children kayaking or canoeing. Here is a checklist of the personal items that you need.

● First aid kit
● Sunscreen
● Emergency shelter
● Food
● Drinking water
● Insect repellant
● Floating compass
● Sun-shielding hat


Kayaking and canoeing are incredibly enjoyable motorsports. Once the kids learn the basics, they’re sure to have a good time, so don’t miss out on this excellent opportunity to get them outside and in the water!