Recreational Kayak Review: Lifetime Wave Youth

Paddling Buyer’s Guide

You won’t find a better way to introduce youngsters to paddling than with the Lifetime Wave 60 Youth kayak. This lightweight sit-on-top recreational kayak is perfect for paddlers weighing less than 130 pounds. At 6’ long, the Wave 60 Youth is specifically designed to be easy to paddle for kids age 5 and up.

You might be wondering, what exactly is a Wave 60 kayak? A summary of Lifetime Wave Youth kayak reviews would say it is a durable, bargain-priced boat that would be an ideal addition to calm-water paddling outings with an entire family.

On the water with Lifetime’s Wave 60 Youth

Lifetime Wave 60 Youth Specs
Length: 6’0” / 1.8 m
Width: 24” / 60 cm
Weight: 19 lbs / 8.6 kg
Capacity: 130 lbs / 59 kg
MSRP: $220 USD
(incl. paddle)

Performance

The Lifetime Wave 60 Youth kayak features outstanding stability—a critical performance feature for parents concerned about their children’s safety. A flat bottom keeps the kayak from feeling tippy at first float; in fact, the Wave 60 Youth is stable enough to be used as a swim platform.

The stern of the kayak is blunt and low to the water to create a swim-up deck for kids to climb aboard. The Lifetime Wave 60 Youth kayak maximum capacity is 130 pounds, and the manufacturer recommends it for kids aged 5 and up, with adult supervision.

Market and demographics

With a retail price of around $200, the Lifetime Wave 60 Youth kayak is clearly targeted at parents looking for a budget-friendly way to introduce their kids to paddling and watersports. The boat is designed for calm, sheltered water. The open deck makes it safe and easy to enter and exit, however it also exposes the paddler to the elements. The Wave 60 Youth is best suited to warm water environments and sunny days—a feature that makes it perfect for a day at the beach or paddling outings at the cottage.

Comfort

Different Lifetime Wave Youth kayak reviews highlight the boat’s comfortable open deck. Molded-in foot supports make it suitable for a range of paddler sizes (up to 130 pounds), making it a great option for parents looking for a kayak that kids won’t soon grow out of.

About the Lifetime Wave 60 Youth

Design

Design features and details

The most important design feature of the Lifetime Wave 60 Youth kayak is the flat, surfboard-like bottom—meant to enhance stability. The kayak’s modest, 24” width makes it easy to handle, even for smaller and younger paddlers. Stability is further increased by a reverse chine, a feature that essentially adds extra buoyancy at the perimeter of the hull, making it extremely resistant to capsizing.

Meanwhile, twin fins at the stern of the Lifetime 6-foot, solo Wave Youth kayak help it track straight through the water, making it a great boat for young paddlers with limited strength and skills.

Material and construction

The Lifetime Wave 60 Youth kayak is constructed of high-density polyethylene, an ultra durable, molded plastic that promises years of worry-free use. The kayak’s pronounced edges and stern fins add stiffness to the material to make it move through the water more efficiently.

Lifetime managed to keep the Wave 60 Youth under 20 pounds, an impressive feat for such a durable product.

Design trends

The Lifetime Wave 60 Youth kayak welcomes a new demographic to recreational kayaking, the largest category of paddlesports retail sales. This sit-on-top recreational kayak offers a good way to introduce the next generation to the joy and thrill of paddling.

Lifetime Wave 60 Youth outfitting and accessories

The Lifetime Wave Youth kayak seat is simply a molded component of the plastic hull. This barebones seating arrangement isn’t particularly comfortable for long periods of time, even for kids. On the plus side, there are no moving parts to break and limited padding to shred or abrade. And it’s easy to add a thin closed-cell foam seat cushion (such as a gardening kneeling pad) to improve comfort.

The Lifetime Wave Youth kayak backrest is equally basic, with a lip behind the seat to secure the paddler in the boat. It appears rudimentary but given the target demographics, the kayak seat is kid-ready and plenty serviceable—as long as paddlers don’t plan on spending many hours sitting in the boat.

Twin scupper holes drain water that accumulates on the kayak deck, making it dry and comfortable to paddle. Parents of new paddlers will love the fact that a kayak paddle is included with the boat.

Wear A Life Jacket
  • Everyone, even strong swimmers, needs to wear a life jacket at all times when on the water. It is extremely difficult to put a life jacket on once you fall into the water. Even a light wind can blow any paddlecraft away from you, faster than you can swim.
  • Buy (and wear) a comfortable Type 3 or S life jacket specifically designed for paddlesports.

How it compares

The Lifetime Wave 60 Youth kayak isn’t the only kid-friendly kayak on the market. Here’s how this durable parent-approved kayak compares to similar models.

  • Lifetime Wave Youth vs Dash

    The Lifetime Dash is a 6.5-foot sit-on-top kayak with a maximum capacity of 150 pounds, making it suitable for larger kids and small adults. The longer length gives the Dash more speed and a bit less maneuverability, best suited for older children and pre-teens.

    Just like the Lifetime Wave 60 Youth kayak, the Lifetime Dash features several molded footrests to accommodate paddlers of various sizes. You may still find Lifetime Dash kayaks on the used market.

  • Lifetime Wave Youth vs Pelican Solo

    The Pelican Solo is a somewhat more barebones kids’ kayak than the Lifetime Wave 60 Youth kayak, with a maximum capacity of 100 pounds. It also measures six feet long and includes a swim up stern deck. The twin-tunnel hull mimics a catamaran for great stability. The Pelican Solo comes at a cheaper price and also includes a paddle, making it a good choice for parents with a tighter budget.

Where to buy

The Lifetime Wave Youth kayak is readily available. Searching Lifetime Wave youth kayak Walmart will help you identify big box retailers in your area. It’s also available online through the manufacturer.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Offers a safe way for kids to develop coordination and motor skills in a kayak
  • Glides through the water and tracks straight
  • Clever hull design
  • Features a low stern deck that turns the kayak into a fun swim raft
  • Readily available online and through retailers like Walmart

Cons

  • Limited accessories
  • Limited comfort features

Related articles

Lifetime kayak reviews

Kids recreational kayak reviews

SEE ALL KAYAK REVIEWS

Education: Get Some!
  • Take a paddling safety course from the American Canoe Association (ACA), your local paddling shop or outfitter, or other reputable source.
  • Take a boating safety course from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadrons® or your own state’s boating agency.
  • Take on-the-water skills training.

 

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