need advice on kayaks for kids - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-07-2016   #1
montrose, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 421
need advice on kayaks for kids

Hi all, I have two 9 yo boys who are getting into hard shells. The classes that they have taken use pyrahna rebels. Just looking for advice on what types of boats we should consider, and where to get them. I don't have money floating out of my ears, so 2k for a full set up of boats and gear that they will soon grow out of seems a little harsh.

So, any advice on boats, skirts, and helmets to consider?

Also, where should i be looking for used gear?

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Old 08-07-2016   #2
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 74
Places to look for boats: here, in classifieds.
Facebook has a Colorado Gearswap that has some boats.
Annnnnnd , with some trepidation, Craigslist. The thing about used boats is this: there's no way a lo-first uploaded photo will tell you how good a boat is, other than showing extreme damage. So, always arrange purchases with the usual cautions and keep your money in your pocket until you are satisfied that things are as advertised.
Some kayak dealers take trades and therefore sell used gear. You might contact some local dealers and see what they have. It'll be a premium price, but somewhat more trustworthy. Kids gear gets sold a lot as they grow. You can find it used.
At this time of year, clubs and dealers are having swaps, also a good place to buy used. Not a bad idea, if you're new at this, to bring along someone with a little prior experience, as there are folks selling 20 year old sunburnt junk. UVs are hard on plastics and neoprene.
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Old 08-07-2016   #3
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 27
swap this weekend

Alpine Quest Sports in Edwards, CO is having a swap this coming weekend Aug 12-14. You might find some good deals on kids boats there.
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Old 08-08-2016   #4
StGeorge, Utah
Paddling Since: 1972
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 35
I've got a sweet remix 47 and snap dragon skirt that is near new I'm selling if your interested.
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Old 08-08-2016   #5
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Frisco, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 180
Rebel 20% off...

Got one red/white/grey Rebel in stock new $600, 20% off right now down to $480. Lots on sale in the shop as well, call for more info if need 970-668-9294. Rebel is a great boat for a kid, more of a river runner...


Keep the Hairy Side UP....
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Old 08-08-2016   #6
Erie, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Adding to the lists here: Golden River Sports has their swap Aug19-21 and is good for a look as well.

For both advice and gear, check out the kayak kids of Colorado facebook group.
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Old 08-08-2016   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 48
Kids boats

I've got four kiddos in hardshells. They've been loving Jackson boats. The Fun 1.5 seems to be great for their weight range (under 100lbs) and pops up on craigslist for reasonable prices. We also have shooting stars and side kicks. The shooting star is great but very playful- able to get vertical in flat water. The sidekick is extremely stable and a great go to for river running. Stick with the snap dragon kid trek for skirts- fits the boats well and has an adjustable waist. Definitely go with Astral PFD's- our kids saved their cash and bought their own.
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Old 08-08-2016   #8
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Northern Utah, Utah
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Also, where should i be looking for used gear?

Check with Confluence Kayaks in Denver for consignment and used demo boats. Some kids gear shows up on Craigslist now and again - Westslope, Rockies, CoSprings, Denver, FortCollins, etc, and even some on ebay. Also look at - some people/shops back east willing to ship. I picked up two demos from a shop in Georgia last fall when I could not find them locally.

So, any advice on boats, skirts, and helmets to consider?

Boats: Lots of choices! Putting the kids into the "right sized" boats can make a huge difference with their comfort, skill progression, confidence and more. There is also a question of what type of kayak to get - river runner, creeker, playboat, ????. Lots of opinions out there as to which is best. Decision may come down to what used boats you can find available. When they do pop up, they don't last long. Nice thing is you can usually resell for about what you paid for it when your kids outgrow the boats.

Youth sized kayaks:
Dagger Axiom 6.9
WaveSport Fuse 35 (same size as Jackson Fun1.5)
Liquid Logic Remix 47
Jackson Shooting Star
Jackson Rockstar XS
Jackson Fun1.5
Jackson SideKick
Jackson 2Fun (might be too big)
Fluid Spice Small (rare)
Pyranha Rebel
Dagger Dynamo and WaveSport Evo (older designs)

My kids have used all but two of those listed above so PM me if you want my opinions.

Some local offerings:
Pyranha Rebel FS near CoSprings with skirt for $375 - Pyranha Kids Kayak & Gear
Jackson SideKick in Ridgeway for $300
JACKSON KAYAK Kids Sidekick Boat
Jackson Fun1.5 in Durango for $375
Jackson Fun 1.5 Kids kayak

Skirts: Favorite neoprene skirt for kids starting out: Snap Dragon Kid's Trek skirt. Features bungee rim for easy on/off and adj. tube and a knee/kick/pull strap as a secondary release.

Helmets: I really like the WRSI Current helmet in size Small/Medium. With included pads it will fit even smaller heads.

Other Gear: 2nd the Astral Otter PFD for those under 100 lbs. For other gear, used when you can find it. XS and Small adult sizes are easier to find new on clearance and used for better prices than larger sizes.
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Old 08-10-2016   #9
Pucon Kayak Hostel's Avatar
Pucón, Chile
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 49
Fatmanz great list... and kids skirt points

Fatmanz thank you for the comprehensive list of kids boats and accessories.

Once you find the right kayak then outfitting kids in proper size gear can be challenging. We don't even put the skirt on my stepson yet. So I like the idea of Ir making a skirt with a knee helper release. Anyone got experience with kids using that system? Can the kids pop the skirt OK?

We picked up some JK kids paddles too. What other brands have paddles for the 6 - 9 year olds?

Keep Kayaking.
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Old 08-10-2016   #10
Renaissance Redneck
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,200
I've got a Perception Jib and a Wilderness Systems Piccolo that my kids have outgrown and I'd sell or trade. Send me a PM if interested and I'll send pics.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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