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Sea Kayaking Program

Family Sea Kayak Course (Level 1)

Sea Kayaking skills for families with children ages 6-7. Parents will be participating with their children.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers course.

Who can take the course:  Parents (or other parent-approved adults such as grandparents) who are either current Basic Sea Kayak students or graduates, and their children or relatives between the ages of 6 - 7 years.    All participants must be Mountaineer members (including children.)

Children must be able to swim and be comfortable with putting their head under water.

Children will be signing up for the Family Sea Kayak Course (ages 6-7 years) and their adult family members will be signing up for the Family Sea Kayak Course (adult.)

What is the Family Sea Kayak Course?  This is a family-based sea kayak program for Mountaineers kayakers who have children or other young relatives and would like to have those children participate in and grow into an interest in kayaking.  The course includes age-appropriate initial kayak safety training for the family unit and follows up with paddles specifically set up for families.  Parents or other adult relatives will be in charge of supervising their children during the course and on subsequent paddles.  Paddle leaders will be in charge of the group.

 After taking the initial kayak safety training and going on one family student paddle (which is done on the same day as the course), each member of the family that took the course would receive their Family Sea Kayak Course age-specific badge.   At that time, they would be eligible to go on subsequent Family Sea Kayak paddles (but not on regular Mountaineer Sea Kayak paddles.)  As long as one parent has the Family Kayak badge, and both parents are currently Basic Kayak Course students or graduates, then both parents can go on a Family Kayak paddle. 

 As the children become older, they would take the next Family Sea Kayak course level, based on age, so that they can learn the new kayak skills they will need to grow as a sea kayaker.

 This course would be tailored for age group 6-7 years old with these goals:

  • Have fun in a kayak and be comfortable getting wet
  • 3 hours total time (course and student paddle, held same day)
  • Learn the names of kayak parts and kayak equipment
  • Be comfortable with falling out of kayak (getting head wet but not necessarily doing a full wet-exit) and re-entries (no spray skirt) – able to sit in a double with parents and “help paddle” – learn how to empty a kayak on shallow water or land
  • Kayak games
  • Go on a short student paddle (up to one hour) -- 1 to 2 miles 

Instructors:  All of our instructors are Qualified Youth Leaders and have experience as either Sea Kayak leaders or assistants.  They may or may not have children in this program but they are all dedicated to helping your family kayak together in a fun and safe environment!

Date:  Course dates will be determined, pending family and instructor availability in July and August.


Program Requirements

This program has no scheduled activities.

Required Equipment

Children 6-7 years old should be in a double kayak with their parents. We will be locating our Family Sea Kayak Course and subsequent paddles at locations that rent kayak equipment (including double kayaks) for those families that need this option.

If families have their own equipment, it must include:  Sea kayak with flotation on both ends, foot pegs and deck lines, PFDs of the appropriate size for their children (with attached whistles), kayak paddles, pump and paddle floats.  Children over the age of 13 should have spray skirts that fit their kayak and are not too tight around the cockpit (nylon spray skirts work well.)

If families are renting their kayak equipment, it generally includes:  sea kayak with flotation PFDs with whistles, kayak paddles, pump and paddle floats.  Because the PFD sizes available at rental facilities may not fit your child, we recommend that you purchase your child's PFD to ensure a good fit.

Wet suits and water shoes are required -- family members must provide their own or make arrangements to rent them.  If your family prefers to use dry suits instead of wet suits, that is definitely OK, too! 



Program Materials

There are no materials for this program.