Beginner’s Guide to Whitewater Kayaking Equipment

Whitewater kayaking is the sport of paddling on moving bodies of water, usually rivers. The experience can range from a fun boat trip to adrenaline-charged challenges. Whitewater kayaking requires the same basic equipment used by all kayakers. The characteristics of the gear differ due to the conditions and other variables involved in whitewater kayaking.

Kayaks built for whitewater kayaking, often referred to as playboats, are generally made of durable and flexible plastic. Lengths vary from around 6 feet to 12 feet, maybe more. Newer models tend to run between 6 feet to 7 feet in length. The size and shape of the personal kayak is determined by the size, weight, type of water the kayak will be used in and the primary use of the kayak.

Guide du débutant pour l'équipement de kayak en eau vive

Whitewater kayaks for fun float trips don’t need the features that kayaks used on dangerous rapids must have

Whitewater kayaks for fun float trips don’t need the features that kayaks used on dangerous rapids must have. New kayaks can cost around $ 600 to thousands of dollars.

Paddles for whitewater kayaking are usually around 6 feet long. The longer paddles are ideal for fun whitewater trips in creeks or rivers while the shorter paddles work best where quick movement is needed.

Boaters can get the most power from larger blades while medium blades are great for general streams and rivers

Boaters can get the most power from larger blades while the medium blades are ideal for streams and general rivers. The spoon-shaped paddles provide the power for playboating. The wing blades have been designed for maximum power and require special paddling technique.

Whitewater kayak paddles come in a variety of materials, including fiber composites, fiberglass, carbon, plastic, lumber, and laminated lumber. Each material has its own strengths and weaknesses. The size and style of paddler will affect the choice of paddle.

Type III Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) include models specifically designed for kayaking

Type III Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) include models specifically designed for kayaking. The best PFD is one that can be adjusted to fit perfectly, whether the user is wearing a T-shirt or a wetsuit.
Many experienced whitewater kayakers suggest buying the best whitewater kayaking helmet that the budget allows. Function and protection are important considerations, even before style. For whitewater kayaking, there are helmets that almost resemble those used in football. They have face shields and offer more coverage and protection than standard kayak helmets.

Durable neoprene is the best material for whitewater kayak skirts. UV rays, abrasions and stretching will affect the wear and life of the spray skirt. Spray skirts should be easy to remove quickly in an emergency.

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