Kayaking, rafting and paddle surfing: the most popular adventure activities with children in the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean

Children account for a large part of the customers of outdoor sports activities in their respective seasons. Between May and June, schools are the ones that capitalise on the demand, and from July to September, it is the summer camps that do so.

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Outdoor sports activities are aimed at a broad public, but they are particularly popular with children, who make up a large part of the demand for multi-adventure leisure activities. Children provide customers all year round, whether during the school year or during the winter and summer holidays. But what are the outdoor sporting activities that schools, summer camps and families look to when it comes to safe outdoor sport?

In coastal areas, the most popular activities are big sup, kayaking and pedalos. Although the content is tailored to the interests of the school or educational centre in question, there is usually one hour of each of these activities.

For example, the RocRoi centre in Vilanova i la Geltrú welcomes children from nursery school children of around three years old to high school or vocational training students of 18 years old. The activities are aimed at most of the public except for sea kayaking, which is accessible to the 12 to 18 age group. Others, such as windsurfing or beach volleyball, are only available for children aged 10 and over, and on many occasions multi-adventure leisure activities are contracted so that children can combine different disciplines over the course of the day.

In the case of river activities for children, the RocRoi base in Llavorsí stands out for its rafting and trekking expeditions to the Aigüestortes National Park, aimed at children aged 6 and over. In addition, there is also hydrospeed and canyoning in the Barranc del Berrós ravine. As for activities on the lake, kayaks and double canoes or single canoes are aimed at all ages, as are inflatables.

In the new RocRoi centre after integrating UR Pirineos, in Murillo de Gállego, in the Aragonese Pyrenees, they are also prepared to receive all kinds of school visits. In their case, the range of action goes from children from 6 to 18 years old, although most of the activities are aimed at a public from 10 years old. These include rafting, canoeing, orienteering, hiking, as well as other activities such as paintball, laser combat and tree parks.

The peak of the year is when summer approaches, as well as the demand from schools and institutes that contract outdoor activities for end-of-year trips, there is also demand from summer camps that are also looking for all kinds of events to cover the calendar. Specifically, the schools capitalise on a large part of the demand between the months of May and June, while the summer camps do so between the months of July and September.

“We go from a staff of 15 to a staff of 40 workers. July is the time when we have more people hired”, explains Àngel Panicello, head of RocRoi in Vilanova i la Geltrú, one of the leading companies in southern Europe in the organisation of outdoor sports experiences.

In fact, in the case of the coastal town’s nautical centre, the number of children has gone from between twenty and thirty to between 300 and 320 a day. This means an average of between 30 and 40 children per monitor, according to Panicello. From 300 children a day in July, the figure rises to around 200 in August and between 60 and 80 in September. Summer is the peak of their activity, even more so, taking into account that the rest of the services are not stopped during those months. “One day you can have 300 children on the beach and a group of 200 workers from a company coming to do an activity”, adds the head of RocRoi.

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