How To Choose a Whitewater Kayak

Introduction To a Whitewater Kayak

Whitewater kayaking is a very intriguing sporting activity which basically entails paddling a kayak or canoe on moving water. In order to get the best out of the sporting activity, there is need to select the very best whitewater kayak. The proceeding discourse endeavors to shed some light on the subject matter of how to choose a whitewater kayak by highlighting and explaining the various factors to be looked into while so doing: whitewater kayak

Features and Outfitting

This is the manner in which the various parts and components of the whitewater kayaks are designed to discharge their duties and mandates. The key areas to be looked into under this consideration should be the cockpit, the bulkhead and the foot braces, frame construction and support, and spray skirts. This should ideally be done by comparing the specifications of various kayaks and then settling for the most suitable one.

Kayak Performance Characteristics

This is a measure of how the kayak is more likely to perform in water. It is determined by a number of parameters such as looseness on the wave which measures the ease with which the kayak may spin while surfing a wave; aerial tricks which is the ability of the kayak to leave the water surface; acceleration which is basically the rate of change of the speed of the kayak with time; length of the kayak; and the safety features that are designed to safeguard the occupants from injuries and fatalities including such issues as boat impacts, retrieval of the boat, and quick evacuations of the boat e.t.c.

Paddling Styles

kayak paddle types

This refers to the nature of the water in which the kayak is to be used. There are three main types of whitewater kayaks on the basis of this consideration. These are play boats which are ideal for moderate to high flow rivers and waves; river runners that are generally suited for high volume rivers and shallow runs; and creek boats that are suited for steep, rocky environment, and technical waters.


It is the measure of the curvature of the kayak from the bow to the stern as viewed from one side. The more rocker a kayak has, the more swiftly it is bound to spin and the easier with which it moves through rapids and waves and vice versa.

Hull Shape

kayak hulls

This is the shape of the main component of the kayak in which the riders are seated. There are two types of shapes namely planning hulls that are generally flat and displacement hulls that are generally rounded. Planning hulls are generally stable, easy to tilt, maneuver and steer as compared to displacement hulls.


This is the amount of money for which the kayak is to be bought. The exact amount of money a prospective user is willing to part with is largely determined by the financial endowment at his disposal. It is therefore necessary for every prospective user to conduct a thorough due diligence to ascertain the precise kayak that suits his financial strength.


It is important to note, that the aforementioned tips on how to choose a Whitewater Kayak are by no means conclusive since there are innumerable other parameters which, owing to space constraints, could not be fully enumerated but which are nonetheless equally important.