By Eric Jackson

If you celebrate the holidays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc.. you are probably thinking about what the ideal gifts might before your loved ones… Of course, gifts of service, love, friendship are more important that a material gift, but some material gifts lead us to more quality time together with our loved ones. A kayak is one of those, especially for a child. I wanted to take a moment and offer some suggestions for gifts that are appropriate for this holiday season and that can improve the quality of life of both the giver and the receiver. The gift list below covers both in-expensive gifts, as well as life changing gifts, like a new kayak. ( We have a free gift for you if you buy a kayak from now through New Year’s Day and register it online, plus you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a day of paddling with myself, or family member)

EJ’s Christmas suggestions; Get a child into kayaking!

The Fun 1 makes the most awesome Gift ever! It is $695 retail. It jump starts a paddling career at a young age. 2 years old up to about 10 years old for the Fun 1. Why would you buy a 2 year old a real kayak? I get that question often. DUH! 2 year olds like toys, and this is a toy that is perfect to play with in the living room, in a pool, a lake, etc.. and by the time your child is 3 or 4 they will be enjoying using it like a kayak. By the time they are 6 or 7 they will likely be quite into paddling and the years of owning their own Fun 1 will make all of the difference. Another comment I hear is “if my child really wants to kayak and asks me for a kayak, I will think about it.” Hmm… that rarely happens. How would they know if they like it if they haven’t tried it, haven’t seen their friends try and like it, and don’t see it on TV, online, or play kayaking games on the iPad? Rarely to parents wait to see if their child likes matchbox cars to buy one… kids play with what they get and love it most of the time. Owning a whitewater kayak is a bragging right for a little kid. It makes the best “show and tell” of all time for kindergarten. Don’t forget to get the “toddler T-shirt with it!” Some benefits to the “Giver” of a kids kayak…

1. At some stage the kid will be the one saying “come on, let’s go kayaking” and want to go with you and be your motivator. It is an investment into your own youth down the road!

2. You will increase the self- esteem of the child which will improve your relationship down the road as well, and you’ll feel like/be a better parent because of it.

If you can’t afford the kayak- get the T-Shirt…. this toddler T-Shirt has the new “JK” logo on the front…

A perfect gift for any little kid…

Kids Paddle by Sawyer- the “Super K” (after my son KC..) This is a piece of art. Price: $199… A beautiful wood paddle with carbon inlay… a hang up piece after they outgrow it.. it will be a proud “this was my first paddle” show piece later in life…

Kids PFD- Astral Otter: $84 at KC’s favorite..

Gifts for Bigger Kids and Adults:

2014 Rock Star- Competition model… If you can afford the $1399 price tag, you’ll have a happy kayaker on your hands for a long time!

2014 Karma- Creekboating? River Running? this boat is turning heads on and off the water.

Want your paddler to feel Warm and Fuzzy feelings? Get this combo!

Polartec Power Dry Liner for the fuzzy feeling: $120-$160 depending on store, men’s or women’s.

For that Warm and Dry Feeling to go with the Fuzzy Feeling… Icon Dry SuitCKS has them in stock at $1090 and now in the new “Denim” color.

Maximus PFD that goes with it- this is the most comfortable and functional PFD for all around paddling… whether running a hard river or competing in the world Freestyle Championships this is my choice… $160

Smaller gifts that are perfect for winter:

Glacier Gloves: “perfect curve” glove are the best winter hand protection I have found for staying warm and being able to hold onto paddle… I wear them in competition at GoPro Games in Vail and don’t mind wearing them. $49.95

Clothing that is fun to have:

You can never have too many Beanies– especially this cold winter! this one sports the JK logo…

stay warm and remind yourself that you kayak this winter!

Learning new skills- honing existing skills:

Hard to beat the most important skills as a gift- Rolling and Bracing!

my all new “Rolling and Bracing” DVD $29.95

For all of your instructional DVD gift ideas you can click here to find them:

Look for my new Playboating DVDs in the next week- check back here next week.

More JK accessories that are worth checking out: Happy Seat/Happy thruster Combo- “can’t leave home without it” is my personal motto for that accessory when play boating. $84.95

go bigger and be more comfortable and have more control

Finally, last item that comes from Jackson Kayak is the Rain Gauge: Knowing how much rain has fallen is simply critical if you are from the east coast… this is a simple one… $14.95.

Some more non JK gift ideas?

Scull Cap: Kokatat makes a great one that is thin, warm, and goes nicely under your helmet: $28.

Casio Protrek Watch- solar charges itself, compass, barometer, altimeter, thermometer, and timing options. Great expedition watch…. I am a big fan… Get it here for $199

Meanwhile- we set up our Christmas tree last night… here is a time lapse of it: Feeling in the holiday spirit now!!

Click here to view the embedded video.

See you on the water!