Originally Posted by kazak4x4
What is a good age to start the kids paddling?
As Warren Miller says, "If you don't do it this year, you'll be at least one year older when you do."
Frankly, I believe in paddling a toddler in your lap on a lake (of course, with them wearing a pfd). I suggest starting kids in a Fun 1 in the pool as early as two or three. Enroll them in kids kayak camps like RMOC (Rocky Mtn Outdoor Center, Salida, CO) or others by age 7. Buy
your kids their own Sidekick as early a 8 to 10 and get them on class I and II/+. They'll probably fit it until age 14 or more. Which, they will have probably attained solid and enthusiastic class III/+ status by then. After they outgrow a Sidekick get them a Little Hero or Punk Rocker (or hopefully they make a Villain that size).
If a park and play spot is handy and inviting to you, a Shooting Star or Star could be boat two in a quiver. But, buy them a Sidekick for sure and get them into river running. They'll love you and have a life sport that they'll love river trips and you for.
The Sidekick is the hot ticket for kids. It has a high-performance hull and yet is super stable and forgiving. The high and balanced volume distribution, tall and flared sidewalls, and super adjustable and comfortable outfitting is the perfect design for kids to learn and enjoy river running. It is easy to roll and has excellent primary and secondary stability.
If you have a play park with small and safe wave and hole features, and you enjoy hanging out in those typical downtown locations, then a Shooting Star is definetly the beginner rodeo star boat of choice. They can enjoy class I and II as well. However, the hull on the Sidekick is so awesome for carving up waves also that it can be the one boat that kids learn the sport, develope grace, and discover working with and enjoying the rivers. It promotes everything outside of doing tricks. It invites kids to appreciate rivers and develope their River Sense. In my opinion, finding their place and understanding the beauty of the world.
And ... one day the kids will be old enough to drive so that you not only have ready made boating partners, but they can help place the suttle too.