Nowadays, kayaking has become a great medium of recreation, and people started to make it their hobby. People who love more adventure find whitewater kayaking alluring as it needs more stamina and affords. There are five categories in whitewater kayaking. They are:
- River running: River running is a basic kind of whitewater kayaking, and some would say a most artful form of kayaking.
- Creeking: Creeking is a subdivision of whitewater kayaking involving very technical and difficult rapids with waterfalls and slides.
- Slalom: Slalom is a technically competitive whitewater kayaking that features in the Summer Olympics.
- Playboating: In Playboating a paddler needs to stay in one place against the forces of the river to perform a variety of special moves.
- Squirt boating: This kind of whitewater kayaking needs low-volume boat so the paddler can use both surface and underwater currents to move within the water.
What to Consider Before Buying a Kayak
Like different categories, there is a lot of whitewater kayaks model available. So picking the right whitewater kayak is not as easy as it was before with limited kayak models. These are some of the factors you must consider before buying a kayak.
There are four types of whitewater kayaks. They are playboats, river-runners, creeks, and longboats. Each kayak is for a different purpose. So you should choose your type according to your need. Kayakers who love surfing along the waves prefer playboats. Playboats are around five to six feet long with stubby hull and beveled chines.
Kayakers who love to kayak in rapids and waterfalls choose creeks because of its immense power. If you love speed, then river runners are the best whitewater kayaks for you. The shape of this kayak is a mixture of playboats and creeks. Longboats will be a great choice for you if you like to kayak for a longer period. These types of boats are a combination of the speed of a river runner and the power of creeker.
Size is very important for whitewater kayaks as they have a recommended paddle fitting according to the size of the boat. So you have to pick the right boat size and the right paddle weight for you.
Moreover, kayak fishing gears along with other goods weight several pounds. Thus, make sure you choose the right size before buying the kayak.
Kayaks are made of different materials like polyvinyl chloride (PVC), fiberglass, etc. Kayaks that are made of high-quality PVC are more resilient in terms of its resistance from abrasion. Moreover, these types of kayaks are much cheaper. On the other hand, fiberglass made kayaks is renowned for their performance on speed and power. However, these types of kayaks are quite expensive and can damage easily on rocky streams and rapids.
The weight capacity of a kayak is very important as it indicates how many people or how much weight the boat can carry in the water without causing any problem. You may need a heavy kayak with great storage capacity if you want to carry heavy loads. But if you prefer speed, then you should pick a light kayak.
5 Best Whitewater Kayaks of 2020
Picking the best kayak is not an easy task. As you have to consider a lot of things, you can find yourself on a dilemma while buying a whitewater kayak. Here I have discussed five whitewater kayak models that many experienced kayakers considered as best of 2019.
#1, Advanced Elements Attack Whitewater Kayak
This whitewater kayak is made of 840 Denier tarpaulins, and it has independent PVC bladders. With its self-bailing system, advanced elements attack whitewater kayak is very effective against the toughest water conditions and has great durability.
This kayak is very popular among the anglers because of its double-enforced hull and adjustable straps and seats. The hull is much thicker than normal whitewater kayak means hull won’t break during your ride. The adjustable straps and seats allow kayakers to enjoy a very comfortable ride.
The only drawback of this kayak is the weight. So you may need more effort to move the kayak on the river.
#2, Sea Eagle Explorer Inflatable Kayak
The Sea Eagle Explorer Inflatable Kayak is made of 1000 Denier Fabric with the incorporation of the latest technology of welded seams and a double floor system. This kayak is designed for up to Class IV whitewater kayaking. It means you can kayak on powerful rapids, large waves, and constrained passage.
One of the preeminent features of this kayak is the latest 16 drain valves. You can use it for fast self-bailing, and it will keep you dry while kayaking. The Sea Eagle Explorer is very light means you won’t need immense effort to move the kayak on the river. The kayak has an AB40 paddle that generates more power and reduced fatigue while steering in the water.
Apart from the high price of The Sea Eagle Explorer, it will be a great choice for you if you like extreme kayaking.
#3, Riot Kayaks Magnum 80
In terms of stability in the water, The Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 is very popular among the kayakers. This kayak has much space on the cockpit means while maneuvering in the rapids; your body will not knockback. Moreover, you can easily sit in a different position in the kayak.
Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 is 8 feet tall, and it has some great features like:
- Unity seating system
- Front and rear flotation bags
- Four heavy-duty creek handles
- Sure-grip thigh braces
- Adjustable creek foot brace
- Anti-theft bar
High price and heavyweight is the main concern of this kayak.
#4, Dagger Nomad Creeking Whitewater Kayak
Among the professional whitewater kayakers, Dagger Nomad Creeking Whitewater Kayak is very popular because of its speed, volume, and rocker. Rocker helps the kayakers to keep the bow up and gain speed along the rapids.
This kayak has a contour-ergo fitting system to improve the kayaks maneuvering and navigating in the open water. Moreover, the foot braces, thigh braces, and hip pads ensure a comfortable kayaking experience on whitewater.
Unfortunately, there is no storage capacity for belongings in Dagger Nomad Creeking Whitewater Kayak.
#5, Innova Safari 330 Inflatable Kayak
The Innova Safari 330 is very renowned for the materials used in its hull. Its hull is made of Nitrilon (a durable PES fabric coated with rubber). Nutrition is a great material for whitewater kayaking as Nitrilon resist abrasion, aging, and UV degradation thus increases durability.
One of the main features of this kayak is its 18-gallon dry-bag storage. You can easily store your goods and carry them with you while kayaking. Some other features of this kayak are:
- Adjustable footrest
- Thigh straps
- Safety handles
- Inflatable seat with backrest
Low weight limit and high price can be a downside for this kayak.
Finally, this list that I have shared with you can be a good reference for you while buying a whitewater kayak. However, I will advise you to study whitewater kayaking and kayaks before making the final decision. Happy kayaking!