Inflatable Whitewater Kayaks


So you enjoy whitewater kayaking and are now in need of a kayak meant for that pursuit. There are numerous brands you have to contend with, which is one aspect to take into consideration. However, apart from the brand, you also have to deal with several factors before making a smart purchase.

Factors like the price will come into play, but you should also go after a kayak that matches your skill level. This article will further discuss what you need to know about whitewater kayaks and purchasing one that will deliver what you need.

Types of Whitewater Kayaks


This kind of kayak is moderately long and measures around 8.5 feet, with 10 feet being the longest. They are recommended for beginners since they are capable of tracking well, and are stable all around. They can also handle larger rivers and rivers that have openings as well.


The playboat variety is shorter, and the length varies from 8.5 feet to 9.5 feet. It has a flatter design, and they taper at the ends. Because they are narrower at the extremities, they make carving motions simpler and less of an effort. They are good for kayaking because they manage rivers pretty well, and are known to be capable in both playing and maneuvering.

Creek Boat

The creek boat type is for the advanced kayaker. It has almost the same length as the playboat, from around 8-9 feet long. The bow and stern of this boat are both rounded and feature plenty of volume to prevent them from getting pinned between rocks in higher drops.

This is for those expert individuals who love taking on Class IV and Class V rivers and creeks. The most distinguished features of a creek boat are its ability to resurface in a fast manner, and its excellent all-around stability and speed. You do not have to consider this kind of boat if you are not yet ready for Classes IV and V.

Rodeo boat

The rodeo boat is shorter and lower in volume as compared to a playboat. They are typically 7-8 feet long, and they feature a bow and stem that are low in volume. However, it makes up for its reduced volume by supplementing volume around its cockpit. This added volume on that particular part makes moving easier by allowing the ends to slice throughout the water effortlessly.

The majority of rodeo boats are built to remain in holes and to become vertical. They also feature flat bottoms now to provide lift to the kayak on holes and waves. The flat bottoms also let the kayaker rotate in position while over a wave. Rodeo boats, however, are not recommended for downriver paddling since they have a tendency to plunge bow first whenever the kayaker paddles forward. They are also slow and they can prove to be hard to get out of holes.

Inflatable Whitewater Kayaking 

Inflatable whitewater kayaks these days sound more promising because of their advantages over plastic, wood and foldable boats. They are lighter, more durable and you can easily pack them up and they will not take up any space. The material which inflatable whitewater kayaks are made of makes them easily bounce off of rocks, instead of banging them straight on.

There are several types of inflatable kayaks.

  • The self-bailing types are common inflatable boats that you will see in stores, and they are built with pot holes located at the bottom so water will pass safely in and out of the kayak.
  • The sit-on-top kayaks appear to be like common kayaks but they have a cockpit that is moderately raised, which provides more space so boaters can easily get in and out of the kayak.
  • The sit-in types are regular kayaks that are composed of a cockpit wherein the boater’s lower body is hidden within; it also features higher walls. This one is ideal for whitewater kayaking.
  • The canoe types are a 2-person or 3-person kayak models that appear to be like a wider canoe. They are built with high walls and deeper seating to provide room for moving around.
  • Lastly, we have the stand-up kayaks which are the latest models to come about on the market. They are ultra-solid and allow boaters to stand up while paddling. They are typically used for laid-back paddling.


Selecting a Great Inflatable Whitewater Kayak


Take into account the kind of padding and kayaking activity that you want to do. For whitewater rafting, the best kayak for that is the self-bailing model. For fishing and relaxed paddling, go for something like a 2-person kayak. Get a proper kayak that is suited for the conditions in which you are going to use it.


This is a crucial aspect when looking for an inflatable kayak. You do not want to surpass your allotted budget, of course. Fortunately, you can discover great inflatable whitewater kayaks for affordable prices and they will not go over the $800 price level. Prices will vary though based on the kind of kayak that you are interested in.


If you plan on carrying plenty of gear, you might want to purchase an inflatable model with lots of room for storage. The sit-inside models let boaters attach extra baggage over the hulls, while the open canoe-kayak type is useful for maximum storage purposes.



There is no flawless boat that can do everything you wanted it to. To get a proper inflatable kayak, apart from taking in all the factors mentioned, you have to consider the kind of paddling that you want to do and acquire some idea of the attributes a kayak should have that will best complement your needs. And as mentioned, the price is important, especially for beginners who are still testing and mastering the waters.

It is also a good idea to consult with a kayak dealer or other boaters to help you settle on a boat that will cater to your preferences and skill level. Other people’s opinions are also helpful, and it will make the whole job of inflatable kayak hunting a lot easier. See our homepage for more top models.