Beginner’s Guide to Whitewater Kayaking Gear

Whitewater Kayaking Gear Beginner’s Guide

The sport of paddling on moving bodies of water, usually rivers, is whitewater kayaking. The experience can range from enjoyable float trips to challenges filled with adrenaline. The same basic gear used by all kayakers is needed for whitewater kayaking. Owing to the weather and other factors involved in whitewater kayaking, gear details vary.

Often called playboats, kayaks designed for whitewater kayaking are typically made of sturdy and flexible plastic. The lengths vary, maybe longer, from about 6 feet to as long as 12 feet. Newer designs tend to run in length from 6 feet to 7 feet. The height, weight, type of water used in the kayak and primary use of the kayak are determined by the user’s personal kayak size and shape.

For enjoyable float trips, whitewater kayaks do not need the characteristics that kayaks used on hazardous river rapids would have. New kayaks can cost thousands of dollars, from about $600.

Paddles are normally about 6 feet long for whitewater kayaking. For fun whitewater trips on creeks or rivers, longer paddles are best, while shorter paddles work better where fast movement is needed.

Although medium blades are perfect for creeks and general waterways, playboaters can get maximum power from larger blades. For playboating, spoon-shaped paddles provide strength. Wing blades are designed to achieve optimum power and require a special technique for paddling.

A variety of materials, including fiber composites, fiberglass, carbon, rubber, wood and laminated wood, are available for whitewater kayaking paddles. Each material has strengths and limitations of its own. The size of the boater and style of paddling can influence paddle selection.

Models that are specifically for kayaking include Type III Personal floatation devices (PFDs). If the consumer is wearing a tee shirt or a wet suit, the best PFD is one that can be changed to fit snugly.

Many professional whitewater kayakers recommend purchasing the best helmet for whitewater kayaking that the budget requires. Function and defense, often before style, are significant considerations. There are helmets for extreme whitewater kayaking that look just like the ones used in football. They have face guards which provide more protection and shielding than normal kayaking helmets.

The finest whitewater kayaking spray skirt material is Resistant Neoprene. The wear and longevity of the spray skirt would be affected by UV rays, abrasions, and stretching. In the event of an emergency, spray skirts must be easy to remove quickly.