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Family Adventures with Sit on Top Kayaks

Ever read “the Wind in the Willows”? If so, you probably remember this line from Rat…
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.”
…..and we completely agree, there’s so much fun to be had just messing about in boats. Also, it’s much easier than you thing to get started.
When we talk about boats, we’re talking about canoes and kayaks but in terms of easy to use for family fun, the real easy boats are sit on tops! We carry a couple of styles from both Islander Kayaks and Wilderness Systems. Unlike traditional kayaks, you’re not enclosed in a cockpit to it’s much easier to fall in or out, or jump off/climb on,whatever way you’re entertaining yourself, plus, they can’t capsize and are easier to turn over than a standard open canoe.
Also, our range of Sit on Top kayaks are moulded plastic with a lot of volume and buoyancy making them great for big people to paddle or for a combination of adult and child, and another thing, if you want to take the whole family, then try a tandem, they’re fantastic!

Once you have your boat, make sure that you kit yourself out with a paddle, so you can go places, and a Personal Floatation Device (PDF) for each passenger! (We carry a number of options and if you but these at the same time as the kayak, we’re happy to offer package prices.)
Sit on Top kayaks offer a lot of options on where you can take them. Our picture above was taken paddling around the beach in Skerries but Waterways Ireland has a great oiece on where to take your canoe in Ireland, click here to read that.
There’s so much to do when you have your boat(s) and as well as just a splashabout, one of our favourite things to do is a river trip. Whether you bring a tent and have sleepover on an island or along the bank, you can always bring a little more gear for a more Huck Finn type of adventure.
We’ve already covered paddles and PDFs so here’s our other bits of esssntial gear for the best family fun with kayaks!

•Roofrack/carry system
If you have a roof rack already, some kayak uprights help as attachement points for the safe transportation of your boat and roof pads help it to get there undamaged, if you don’t have a roofrack at all, the inflatable soft racks from Bulldog are great.
Although some of the more expensive Sit on Tops have stowage compartments for carrying some gear, you can’t go wrong with some good drybags. Whether you go for the super durable drybags from Sealline or the lighter type from Sea to Summit, there’s definitely options there to keep your lunch and extra kit dry. There’s also some great options from Aquapac for car keys and phones.
You can wear shorts and t-shirts when you go out on your sit on top but for longer sessions, we would definitely recommend a wetsuit. You’ll appreciate the extra warmth, especially if you’re into jumping off and climbing back on a lot. For warmer weather, try a shortie or a full length steamer with arms and legs if you’re a bit of a cold creature.
•Camp Out!
For longer trips, it’s always fun to bring a tent. Even if you don’t stay out overnight, it gives you somewhere to chill out or just get dressed out of the elements. Backpacking tents are great for this as they are usually lightweight and compact. Cooking a meal too can help cheery up damp paddlers, hot food always brings smiles. We have a range of compact stoves and ready to eat meals that are pretty sweet for whipping up some culinary delights.
•Fun stuff.
If you’re paddling takes you a little out to sea or across a deep alake or river, why not bring along some snorkelling gear?, it’s always a great bit of fun to see what’s going on underneath your boat. Frisbees and kites are great for timeouts. If you’ve a fleet of boats, it can be fun to throw a frisbee between vessels as you go and a kite can be flown from dryland or standing on your Sit on Top. Another great piece of kit to have is an action cam, whether you go all out with a GoPro or a fancy drone or decide to keep it within a budget and go for our Kaiser Baas range, having some footage to look at after it’s all over can be a great way to keep happy memories or to keep spirits high as you look forward to your next adventure.

So, have we piqued your curiousity? Want to know more about our range of kayaking gear? Email us or call the store on 01-6794293. Want to know more about canoeing or kayaking in general, maybe get a few lessons to improve your stroke? Well click here to go through to our friends at the Irish Canoe Union.
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