At this time of year we are swamped with happy family groups and love to see the smiles of little ones who easily conquer paddling our Hobie kayaks. Even more challenging is putting a smile on the face of a teenager who has just been dragged out bed early on holidays….but we’re up for the challenge.
“But I can do it all by myself!” [typical 4 – 6 year old paddler on the front of the double kayak]
We put the super small kids – ages 4 to 7 – in front of a parent or guardian on the big double kayak. They obviously don’t have the strength – or length – to use a paddle easily. Instead, they get to kick back and relax at the front while one of the adults does all the work. That’s not to say they don’t try – they ALL want to ‘do it by myself’ and we always give them a chance to pick up the paddle and try their hand. They don’t always make much progress and it’s rare that they actually co-ordinate with mum or dad in the back, but it’s great for a laugh.
Kids aged from 7 years are very chuffed when we put them in their own kayak. Even the ones that haven’t had that growth spurt yet love to give it a go. So what happens if/when they tire? Easy. We tow them. We’ve been doing this for a while now and 100% of our kids aged over 7 years have paddled the entire tour with little or no help. Some are so tiny we wonder how they’ll manage – but what they lack in size, they make up for in determination.
“Well, I never thought I’d say this, but today I’m glad the olds made me get out of bed at 6:30am” [14 year paddler after kayak tour]
Teenagers are another kettle of fish. Many spill out of the car at our place looking totally peeved that the parentals have forced them out of bed – on holidays – at some ridiculously early hour. “You’ll love it” they said. “It’ll be fun” they said. But they are yet to be convinced. Give them a few hours on the water in a kayak and see the difference. Siblings start off a little nervous, not wanting to be outdone by their brother/sister/cousin. And then they suddenly ‘get it’ and start getting cocky. A little ‘accidental’ splash here and there to challenge the others and often it ends up in a free-for-all with absolutely everything wet. Back that up with a race between parent and kids and the good news is they usually leave us with a satisfied smile that they nailed it.
Why don’t we put older kids on the double kayak?
Because they argue. Always. The one in front never does what the one in the back wants them to do. One paddles on the right side and the other paddles on the left. Their kayak goes crooked. They each blame the other….it’s just not worth it. Particularly for the poor long-suffering parents. Trust us – kids can paddle on their own if we think they can. And we can help them if they get tired. Relax. We’re parents too and their safety and happiness is our utmost concern. We’ve got it covered.
Why bring kids kayaking? The result is happier kids, relieved parents and smiles all round. Give your kid a go on a kayak – the water is calm, the river is crystal clear, and the guides are qualified and very experienced. Ditch the iPad and phone for a while and let your kids see nature at their own pace.
It’s easy to book online. Or give us a call if you have any concerns/queries: 0429 961 047