Holidays and other celebrations like birthdays are a fantastic opportunity to offer presents that the entire family can enjoy during boating season. That includes children, who outgrow everything from life jackets to water skis in a matter of months—and whose expectations for having fun on the water change as they get older.
Here are seven excellent gifts for youngsters who enjoy boating.
Kids grow out of their life jackets just as they grow out of everything else, and an ill-fitting life jacket is the last thing you want on a child in an emergency. You may look for different jackets based on the weight of your child, as well as brand, ratings, price, color, and other factors. Another search parameter is the sort of boating you do, so you don’t wind up with a life jacket that’s suitable for kayaking when you actually need one for offshore cruising.
Water skis for kids come in a variety of sizes and features. Overton’s has an excellent assortment of skis for pre-teens and teenagers who weigh up to 130 pounds, including trainer skis (which are attached at the front and/or back) and skis built for pre-teens and teenagers who weigh up to 130 pounds. The shorter, lighter skis make maneuvering behind the boat simpler for youngsters this size, making their day on the lake more enjoyable—and yours as well.
Out on the sea, children’s eyes are just as vulnerable to UV damage as adult eyes. A good pair of sunglasses may help children stay healthy while also providing them with a more comfortable, squint-free approach to enjoy the ocean. Junior Sunglasses are a series of Ray-Ban sunglasses that are of the same high quality and style as adult sunglasses. (They’re dubbed “Mini-Me” copies of popular adult fashions by the firm.) Ray-Ban’s Aviators for youngsters as young as four years old, Round Metal for kids as young as seven, and Wayfarers for kids as early as eight are all part of the Junior range.
Kids who go on cruises with their parents in colder climates have almost certainly seen the adults dressed in Helly Hansen gear, which has been equipping professional sailors for years. With pint-size base layers, coats, rain gear, and more, the brand has a line for youngsters and a line for juniors. One example is the Junior Salt 2 Jacket, which is inspired by the company’s trademark flag design and built to resist all the elements of coastal cruising.
What boater of any age wouldn’t appreciate a gift of Sperry boat shoes? The Sperry Original Boat Shoe, the Cup II Boat Shoe, the Gamefish Boat Shoe, and other styles are available in a children’s range. If your kids are still having trouble keeping their laces tied, some models have the laces fastened on a flap for a Velcro-like closing. The Bluefish Crib boat shoe is designed for the tiniest toes who are just starting to walk on water.
Cabela’s has a large range of children’s fishing rods and reels. Some of the patterns are based on those used by professional fishers, while others have a whimsical touch that appeals to children (think Disney princess rods, Thomas & Friends rods, Barbie rods, Spider-Man rods and the like). These kids’ fishing rods and reels come in a variety of quality, with some designed for novices at the dock and others designed to be taken out on the boat with the adults. As their abilities in the cockpit develop, kids can progress to higher-quality rods and reels.
Having the correct snorkeling gear, from a complete wetsuit or shortie to a mask and fins, may make all the difference in a child’s ability to enjoy the underwater views in safety and comfort. Divers Direct has a variety of snorkeling equipment for kids, including kid-size mask and snorkel sets and Evo Kid’s One Fins with adjustable straps for growing feet. There are also kid-size snorkeling vests available that give some buoyancy to help beginners learn how to maintain their body position while inspecting the reefs and fish.