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Old 08-14-2016   #1
 
A7X311's Avatar
 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Paddling Since: 16
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New and have questions

Hi, I'm Mike and have been wanting to purchase a whitewater kayak and hit some rapids for years! I ski, ride a bike, play hockey and feel like I need this adrenaline rush in my life.

I know this isn't something you just jump into as it is very dangerous. I have a 2-day class lined up, but need some help with the gear. I purchased a roof rack and almost purchased the Magnum Riot 80 whitewater kayak from REI, but figured for $700 it might be crap.

How many different styles of whitewater kayaks are there? I've noticed the WW ones are stumpier than the sea and recreational kayaks.

Best brands, minimum price that should be spent...

Thanks in advance!



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Old 08-14-2016   #2
 
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Frisco, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
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Go to a specialty whitewater shop!!!!!

Find a specialty whitewater kayak paddle shop in your hood and converse with them...

TMCK


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Old 08-14-2016   #3
Pieter Porcupine
 
Denver, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenMileCreekKayaks View Post
Find a specialty whitewater kayak paddle shop in your hood and converse with them...

TMCK


Keep the Hairy Side up...
What TMCK said.
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Old 08-14-2016   #4
 
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TenMileCreekKayaks View Post
Find a specialty whitewater kayak paddle shop in your hood and converse with them...



TMCK





Keep the Hairy Side up...

Can't find any 😔. Closest thing is REI, and they had 1 WW kayak


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Old 08-14-2016   #5
 
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainmanPete View Post
What TMCK said.

Well this forum is informative


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Old 08-14-2016   #6
 
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Steamboat, Colorado
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I guess a little digging and googling gets you a good start, might help to start there instead of complaining about this forum where these questions are asked over and over. Lots of paddling in the northeast, most outside of philly:

http://www.kayakschool.com/

How to Choose a Whitewater Kayak | Duct Tape Diaries |NRS

How to choose a whitewater kayak | Dagger

Different Types of Whitewater Kayaks | How To Articles - Paddling.net

Search function is your friend. Rent everything for your class and you will have the ability to ask better questions. After the course you should have a better baseline and be a little more informed.
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Old 08-14-2016   #7
 
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Originally Posted by kayakfreakus View Post
I guess a little digging and googling gets you a good start, might help to start there instead of complaining about this forum where these questions are asked over and over. Lots of paddling in the northeast, most outside of philly:

http://www.kayakschool.com/

How to Choose a Whitewater Kayak | Duct Tape Diaries |NRS

How to choose a whitewater kayak | Dagger

Different Types of Whitewater Kayaks | How To Articles - Paddling.net

Search function is your friend. Rent everything for your class and you will have the ability to ask better questions. After the course you should have a better baseline and be a little more informed.

Thanks a lot. I'm very excited to get into the sport. I have googled a bunch of things, but I just wanted to get steered in the right direction. Don't buy this brand, spend at least $xx.xx, etc


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Old 08-14-2016   #8
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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You can expect to spend at least $300-350 (probably more) on a decent used boat. Brand new kayaks are usually around a grand. Lot's of good brands out there. Here is some basic information for you from the CKS website:

-------------------------------------------------------------

So you’ve decided to learn more about whitewater kayaking? Great, there are four major types of whitewater kayaking, so you’ll be sure to find a great fit.

Whitewater Kayak Types

Rodeo/Freestyle kayaks, sometimes referred to as play boats or rodeo kayaks, are designed to perform tricks on any type of river feature (including flatwater), and excel on waves and holes. These kayaks are short and have a planning hull, sharp edges, near vertical sidewalls, and centralized volume distribution. Freestyle kayaks are designed for one thing; to allow the user to perform aggressive spins, cartwheels, flips, and other high velocity (often aerial) maneuvers. For many, freestyle kayaking is the most enjoyable type of whitewater kayaking, and often the most convenient.

Free Running kayaks blend the characteristics of freestyle kayaks and river running kayaks, and are designed for kayakers who enjoy freestyle paddling, but want to play the entire river instead of just one feature. These boats have a planning hull, carving edge, and centralized volume characteristics of freestyle kayaks. Yet they still have sufficient length, volume and secondary stability for the speed and predictability needed to navigate an intermediate river. Free runners have more of a beveled sidewall than freestyle boats, which makes them more forgiving and easier to roll.

River Running kayaks are sometimes referred to as the ‘SUV of kayaks’ because they are designed to navigate many diverse rivers for boaters of all skill levels, and are ideal for beginner paddlers. These boats are stable enough for use in rough whitewater, yet agile enough to play large river features. River running kayaks carve smoothly in and out of eddies, track well, and surf large waves, making them great for paddling high volume rivers. A beveled side wall gives them excellent secondary stability and makes them easy to roll.

Creeking kayaks are designed for use on steep, technical, and challenging whitewater. Different designs excel at running low-volume steep creeks to high-volume pushy rivers. These are the boats that will allow you to navigate the most difficult whitewater in magnificent and remote locations. High-volume in the bow and stern keep you on top of the water, and therefore in control. A rounded deck and stern allows for fast resurfacing, and rounded edges create a stable kayak in rough water (poor for surfing, great for hucking). Safety and rescue features include a padded bulkhead foot system, easily accessible grab loops, and reinforced bow and stern pillars. Creek boats can be packed with gear for self-support overnight river trips.

Cross-over kayaks are a new, and quickly growing, category of kayaks that operate as well on the river as they do on lakes and flat water. The hull shape is designed to be stable and maneuverable. Many of these kayaks have skegs that can be raised or lowered to help with tracking on flatwater. These kayaks are ideal for lakes, rivers, camping trips, kayak fishing, and more.

Select the size: Once you figure out the type of whitewater kayak that you are looking for, you will need to narrow your search to a few specific boats by weight range. Boats are paddler weight specific; meaning that each individual will fit into certain kayaks that are designed for their weight range. By identifying the specific whitewater kayaks in your weight range, you will be able to narrow your search down to a few kayaks.

Demo a Kayak: Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few kayaks, you might want to ‘demo’ the boats to see which one fits just right. Many kayak shops, including CKS in Buena Vista, CO, offer a great selection of kayaks in our demo fleets. Demoing a kayak will provide you with the most hands-on pre-purchase experience possible. (Another benefit is that you can ask the staff for more information if you have further questions.)


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Old 08-14-2016   #9
 
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Whitewater Kayaking Gear: The 5 Essentials

These are the must have items that are necessary for all levels of whitewater paddling.

Kayaks: Whether freestyle, creek, river-running, touring, recreational, or inflatable, your boat is the first and most obvious of the five essentials.

Paddle: The equivalent of both the pedals and handlebars on your bicycle, a paddle provides your propulsion and steering.

Sprayskirt: Your skirt needs to be sized correctly for both your waist and your boat. The skirt is worn by the paddler and attaches to the kayak cockpit to keep water out. This allows a paddler to roll a kayak and paddle whitewater even when the boat is submerged. These skirts feature tight fits to keep water out of your cockpit, and a neoprene waist that will secure itself tightly around your waist. These are designed for rolling and rough water conditions. They may not be ideal for leisure use, and on warm days in calm water they could get warm.

Helmet: While no one plans on hitting rocks or underwater objects with their heads, it’s imperative to have a properly fit whitewater helmet. Think of a good helmet as an extremely affordable insurance policy.

PFD (life jacket): You personal flotation device (pfd) is designed to keep you afloat, and aid in self rescue. This is considered a good thing by those that like to breathe.

Drytop: The unofficial “6th essential’. Paddlers in all cold-water states have adopted an unofficial 6th essential to include gear that keeps us dry and warm, and therefore able to paddle in varying weather conditions. A drytop is the most favored piece of equipment to stay dry, and often necessary to be safely protected from hypothermia.

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Old 08-14-2016   #10
 
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Post Falls, Idaho
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I highly suggest finding a group however it's formed, Facebook or more formal. Do whatever you can to just hang out with the crowd. Buy some beers, volunteer, look for any class, even guided trips..... Whitewater is not like the other sports you know it's a HUGE learning curve. Its also a pursuit that requires a huge time investment and isn't really something that works well as a once in a while activity.

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