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Submitted: 07-27-2013 by somalley
My son paddled one of these from age 6-8 at pool sessions, on local lakes and flat water rivers, and on the Middle Yough. For a kid this young, I think the Fun 1 is really the only option for a whitewater boat if you want him or her to learn proper balance and edging/leaning. Other kid boats are too wide/stable for someone that small, forcing them to use body/bellbuoy leans instead of proper hip/J leans. The Fun 1 is scaled properly to have a "normal" stability profile that is comparable to an adult whitewater boat.
Regardless of what the company says, the Fun is more playboat than river runner, with all of the pros and cons that go with that. It will get slapped around when running a rapid, and the edges WILL catch on crosscurrents. It's probably forgiving compared to a dedicated playboat, but your kid will have to learn to mind his/her edges and keep an active blade in the water. My son had fun and learned a lot in this boat, but he was very happy when he got big enough to switch to a Remix 47.
I'll echo the other reviewer's complaint about the rope/cleat back band setup. It's very hard to secure properly, even with adult strength and coordination.
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