Whitewater Kayaks

Ready to find a whitewater kayak? Browse from all of the major whitewater kayak brands and view the latest boats on the market. Find a riverrunner, creekboat, or playboat to match your whitewater kayaking style. Adjust by length, rocker, price, you name it, to find the whitewater kayak for you.

Types of Whitewater Kayaks

While all whitewater kayaks are designed to handle rough and tough rivers and whitewater, they are not all the same and can be split up into several different types:

  • Riverrunner - Riverrunner boats are your most common whitewater boats. They are fairly long, usually 8.5 to 10 feet but some longer. For water, they'll do well on moderate whitewater- anything up to Class IV. Most are fine on rivers with holes and you'll be able to shoot through. A smart choice for beginners because they track straight and are generally stable.
  • Creekboat - Compared to riverruners, creekboats are shorter, could be anything up to about 8 feet. These boats have higher volume which allows them to resurface quicker after a big drop or hole. These are for your gnarly whitewater- anything Class IV and up and not at all for a beginner.
  • Playboat - Playboats are similar in length to creekboats (up to about 8 feet) but are flatter, lower volume whitewater kayaks. Their name is fitting because they still run rivers fine, but they're intended for more maneuverability, carving, and playing.

Finding a Whitewater Kayak

First, you need to be sure you understand the different types of whitewater kayaks and how technical specs like rocker, volume, and hull shape play into choosing a whitewater kayak. If you're a beginner to whitewater kayaking or want more of a generalist whitewater kayak, you'll want a riverrunner. As you advance and start dabbling in tougher runs, you may need to add a creekboat or playboat.

Be sure to consult with experts, make sure you size the boat appropriate for you, and get lessons first. There's tons of variability and you'll want to know the style and performance that you'll need. Be sure to read whitewater kayak reviews that we have to see what sort of whitewater experience you can expect from that boat or browse some of the best whitewater kayak brands below.