Paddling with kids

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Paddling with kids

Post by brocmonster » Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:12 pm

We are considering buying an advanced elements convertible kayak. we were wondering if anyone has had any experience with paddling with kids. We have a 5 and 7 year old and would like to fit them in the kayak too. Would any body know if they would fit? Jenny

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Post by Pearly » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:14 am

If your kids are 200lbs each and 7 feet tall, you might find it a bit of a squeeze, but if they are normal sized kids you will be OK. So I guess it depends how big your kids are.


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Post by krystofr » Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:33 am

Like Pearly said, your kids will fit just fine. The only issue is that that AE kayaks are slightly on the wide side, so smaller kids might have a hard time getting good strokes in because of the reach. They'll fit inside the convertible easily, however. The AE is a good choice for younger kids, though, because it's much more stable than hard shells.

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Post by Daddy-O » Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:39 am

I have two AE Convertible kayaks and five kids. We have paddled in several different configurations over the past couple of years. The kayak is best paddled with two people in the kayak. We have squeezed two kids and myself, but it is a tight fit and the kids can't paddle very comfortably. In my opinion, I don't think that four people can enjoyably kayak in one AE Convertible, no matter what size the kids are. I am sure that the kayak can support your weight, but the space requirement for four people is not there.

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Post by PJohanson » Fri Jul 02, 2010 10:24 am

I think the Convertibles are very good for paddling with a kid or two. I've had the StraitEdge2 sit-on-top model out with a six-year-old in front of me and we paddled just fine.
Of course, you've got life jackets or PFDs for yourself and the kids, right? Always safety on the mind...
For safety practise, when we go kayaking with kids we let them climb in and jump out and even tip the boat over, so we all know what it feels like. This sort of play makes us adults feel safer with the kids.

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Post by davedomingo » Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:11 pm

Here is my experience, for what it's worth:

Since last summer, I've been paddling my AF Convertible with my son (now 4.5 years old) along for the ride. He doesn't paddle yet, so I reverse the forward seat for him so he can face me. I had been clicking into the aft seat position as if there were another paddler up front, but this past weekend I finally realized this is not really the ideal setup. I experienced 'reverse weathercocking' when paddling into heavy wind (the boat kept wanting to point downwind). I was spending so much energy on steering that I wasn't getting anywhere. So now I'm going to try clicking into the middle position and letting my son face forward so his legs are under the foredeck. That should put more of the mass of the boat behind me while still letting me keep watch on my son.

The point of all this is that if you are the only one paddling, you will want to keep yourself at roughly the midpoint of the boat, especially if there is any significant wind. When bringing along more than one child, that could be difficult or unsafe, since one of them might have to be behind you.

If another person is paddling, a lot changes. A few times, I've actually paddled tandem with another adult and put my son on the floor, facing me, behind the forward paddler's seat (between my feet). That works OK, though it is a little crowded.

Hope these insights are useful.

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