What does a Family Sea Kayak course involve?
The main emphasis is on enjoyment and exploring the beautiful coastal scenery in and around Plockton. In order to do this, your instructor will teach you and your children the necessary skills so that you can paddle and manoeuvre your sea kayak to negotiate the coastline. A family day takes into account the needs, strength and ability of all members of the group, young and old.
Younger paddlers, under the age of 15, can be assessed for their BCU Paddlepower Start award and receive a certificate at the end of their introductory session.
What age do children have to be to go sea kayaking?
We recommend that children are aged 13 years and over to go sea kayaking. This is so that we have the right size kit and equipment for them. However, we can take slightly younger children too and create a day that’s tailor made just for your family. We are sorry that we cannot take out unaccompanied children, however, we can recommend other kayak schools that may be able to help you.
Meeting and greeting
The day starts with introductions and a briefing. It’s good for us to get to know a bit about you and whether you’ve done any paddling or water sports before. It’s OK if you haven’t! And it’s a chance for you to find out a bit more about us too.
Kit and equipment
When you book your course we ask you for size information on the booking form… this is to help us provide the right size kit and equipment. After the briefing, kit will be distributed and you’ll get changed. We provide smaller sized kit and equipment for younger children. There are changing facilities in Plockton.
Next, we unload the kayak trailer and allocate boats. Your kayak needs to fit you, a bit like a pair of shoes does, so some time is spent adjusting various bits of the cockpit and seat to ensure you’re comfortable and you have the correct posture in your boat. Children will paddle their own slightly smaller sized sea kayaks. We find that children progress and learn more when they are in their own boat.
After some final safety briefings we’ll head out onto some sheltered shallow water to give you a chance to get comfortable and used to being in a kayak.
All of our instructors are extremely experienced so they will be able to quickly gauge what to teach you based on the weather and sea conditions on the day to enable you to explore the coastline and take in the stunning scenery. There’s more information on what we provide and what you need to bring with you on our FAQs page.
The rest of the day is spent exploring the nooks and crannies of Plockton and the island archipelago of Loch Carron. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for seals, porpoise, otter and seabirds. We usually have a short break for ‘elevenses’ and then another stop at lunchtime. We aim to have lunch on a coral beach on an island – we’re lucky to have lots to choose from!
After lunch we continue our journey, putting into practice all the skills and techniques learned during the morning. Depending on what your children would like to do during the day there is an opportunity to play some paddling games and have even more fun!