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Adrenaline Juniors: White-water Kayaking

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What are the hardest things in life to achieve do you think? Happy life? Meaningful and sustainable relationship? Work and life balances? Possibly. However, what about getting the kids’ eyes off the games console TV and outside taking part in some adrenaline-fuelled activity that the whole family can enjoy? I bet you hadn’t considered that one had you!

If you have got a little thrill-seeker going with you on holiday this year, have you considered taking them on a fun adventure? Our ‘Adrenaline Juniors’ series features some of the best child-friendly, high-octane outdoor activities known and along with some information and desired locations in order to be the best, we’re featuring sports that you’ll find simply too good to turn down.

Today we’re going crazy for kayaking…


Photo by Dave Young

Photo by Dave Young


White-water kayaking in its present form has been in its present form since the early 1800’s when Russian Grigori Langsdorff reported on the “ease and elegance” of paddling Eskimo kayaks.

It was in the middle of the century when kayaking really became popular. People became more acute to the spare time that they had on their hands and thus began the kayaking revolution. Scot John MacGregor and his 1866 book A Thousand Miles in the Rob Roy Canoe helped popularise the sport or as it was then, the pastime.

Victorian lifestyles dictated that it had become trendy to find the kayaking destinations around the world and begin exploring. Since then it has featured in numerous championships and even the Olympic Games.


Minimum Age for White-water Kayaking

There is no distinct age limit for kayaking. People of all ages can enjoy the sport and there is the old adage of the earlier you begin, the better you become.


The benefits of this sport are obvious – your children can experience the great outdoors, boost confidence and it is great exercise particularly on the upper body.


However many people recommend that between the ages of 8-12 is the best time to learn.


The Best Kayaking Destinations

There are various destinations throughout the world where the white-water kayaking opportunities are too good to turn down.



Throughout Europe there are splendid opportunities to fulfil your dream of white-water kayaking (we all know its true!).


Photo from

Photo from


Take to the Spanish Pyrenees and experience the ultimate white-water kayaking experience. The volume of water and the variety of canyons make this a kayaking paradise. Also, you can’t beat the unforgettable landscapes that you’ll have to endure throughout your adventure!


Photo by Simon Frost

Photo by Simon Frost


France is also of great appeal to kayakers, particularly due to the variation in different river flows. There are several areas of France that are just made for this activity, particularly the Dordogne Valley in western France, which is frankly beautiful. The place is simply adorable and you could have trouble tearing yourself away from it when the time comes for you to leave.


All suitable place provide kayaking course over the course of your visit, usually lasting between 3-5 days based on your different existing skill set and also equipment hire is also available including the kayak itself. This may be the better option due to equipment being quite expensive, unless you have the desire to kayak in the UK thus giving you a long-term plan whereby you can get your moneys worth.



Photo by Andy Blackledge

Photo by Andy Blackledge


Another prime destination to hone your kayaking skills is the United States, in particular the state of Arizona, even more precise than that is the Grand Canyon. This is truly a trip if you’re feeling adventurous to the extreme but you will not regret one minute of it!

Experience the magnificent white-water of the Colorado River where stunning vistas and the challenging rapids make for the quintessential kayaking run. While you’re at it though, take in your surroundings…you’re in the Grand Canyon!

Suitable for kayaker’s of all experiences, the Grand Canyon will provide a suitable challenge for those looking to enhance their kayaking ‘CV’ as well as those just starting on the journey.

There are also kayaking schools available along the river whereby you can learn and also hire equipment such as swimsuits, life jackets and the kayaks themselves.

The adrenaline pumping non-stop action provides you and your children with the ideal chance to sample one of the best white-water kayaking destinations in the world along with some of the best scenic views of anywhere on the planet.


New Zealand

Photo by Takver

Photo by Takver


A land of outstanding natural beauty, New Zealand is quite possible the ultimate kayaking destination. A fast-flowing, adrenaline-fuelled white-water destination full of outstanding scenic views, New Zealand can be viewed as a kayaker’s paradise.

Definitely an adventurous soul’s destination, New Zealand will enable you to sample some of the best routes there is to offer throughout the world. The longest navigable waterway, the Whanguanui River, has a fair number of rapids for you that provide the challenge but also the scenic beauty that New Zealand is famed for.

There are also the Rangitaiki and the Mohaka on the North Island that provide the white-water element and provide the adrenaline-fuelled heart pumping action that undoubtedly you’ll be heading to New Zealand for.


Kayaking is a sport that the whole family can enjoy and provide the action that you’re heading to the Great Outdoors for. If you have any ideas or tips on kayaking use the hash-tag #AdrenalineJuniors on Twitter. Are you ready for an adrenaline-fuelled adventure on your next holiday?