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20 Best Whitewater Kayak For Beginners (2023 Updated)

Whitewater kayaking for beginners can be a great way to get introduced to the sport. It can be a lot of fun and very rewarding, but it does require some basic knowledge and skills. Here are a few things to keep in mind when starting out:

1. Don’t underestimate the power of the water. Whitewater kayaking can be dangerous if you don’t respect the river. Make sure you understand your own skill level and always err on the side of caution.

2. Don’t go alone. It’s always best to kayak with a friend or group. That way, if something does go wrong, someone will be there to help.

3. Get proper instruction. Before heading out on the river, make sure you take a whitewater kayaking class or at least get some instruction from an experienced friend or guide.

4. Get the right gear. You’ll need a kayak that’s specifically designed for whitewater, a paddle, a helmet, and a life jacket. Make sure everything fits properly and that you know how to use it all.

5. Be prepared for anything. Whitewater kayaking can be unpredictable, so always be prepared for the worst. Make sure you know how to self-rescue in case you capsize, and bring along plenty of food and water in case you get stranded.

With these things in mind, whitewater kayaking can be a great way to experience the thrill of the river while still staying safe. Just remember to take things slowly at first, and always be prepared.

20 Best Whitewater Kayak For Beginners

Product Image Product Name Features Price

Sea Eagle 370 Kayak Pro Package, Size: 12.5' x 2.8', White

  • 12.5 x 2.8 Feet

Star Raven I Inflatable Kayak-Blue

  • Gives the paddler a stable and comfortable position above the water
  • A padded folding seat provides a strong and comfortable paddling position

Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak – Galaxy

  • Hull Material: polyethylene
  • Length: 10ft 6in
  • Width: 29in

Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Tandem Kayak – White Water Kayak with High Pressure FLOOR,

  • Rover 220

Bote Zeppelin Aero 12'6" Inflatable Kayak (Native)

  • Hull Material: drop-stitched PVC
  • Width: 28in
  • Rocker: continuous

Aqua Marina – 2022 STEAM-312 Versatile/Whitewater Kayak-1 Person

  • Superfast 1+8/1+16 self-bailing drain system ideal for long-distance adventures and mild river running
  • Extended water splash guard bow design with hard nose protection and rubber carry handle

Aqua Marina Steam Kayak

  • Premium choice for all types of paddling, perfect for both performance touring adventurers and mild river running lovers.

Lifetime Spitfire 8 Sit-On-Top Kayak

  • Constructed of High Density Polyethylene for superior strength and durability; 240 lb. weight capacity
  • ST Performance Hull offers execptional stability and tracking

Sea Eagle 385ft FastTrack Inflatable Kayak Deluxe Package

  • Exterior: 12’6″ x 3′ / Hull Weight: 35 lbs. / Capacity: 3 Persons or 635 lbs.
  • Whitewater Rating: Suitable up to Class II / 2 High capacity self-bailing drain valves.

Dagger Rewind MD Whitewater Kayak Red

  • Ergonomic and adjustable for comfort., Adjustable Thigh Braces & Bulkhead Foot Brace
  • Provide extra comfort and enhanced control while paddling., Step Out Wall

Aire Tater Inflatable Kayak

  • Lightweight and extremely stable, plus its shorter length provides a great feel for running waves, punching holes and crossing eddy lines.

Dagger Nova Whitewater Kayak – Aurora / Nova | Colorado Kayak

  • Nova

2023 Gnarvana Whitewater Kayak Large / Ice

  • Large

Jackson Kayak Antix 2.0 Medium Whitewater Kayak

  • Hull Material: polyethylene
  • Length: [small] 7ft 7in, [medium] 8ft, [large] 8ft 5in
  • Width: [small] 25in, [medium] 26.25in, [large] 28in
Sea Eagle 370 Kayak Pro Package, Size: 12.5' x 2.8', White
  • 12.5 x 2.8 Feet
Star Raven I Inflatable Kayak-Blue
  • Gives the paddler a stable and comfortable position above the water
  • A padded folding seat provides a strong and comfortable paddling position
Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak – Galaxy
  • Hull Material: polyethylene
  • Length: 10ft 6in
  • Width: 29in
Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Tandem Kayak – White Water Kayak with High Pressure FLOOR,
  • Rover 220
Bote Zeppelin Aero 12'6" Inflatable Kayak (Native)
  • Hull Material: drop-stitched PVC
  • Width: 28in
  • Rocker: continuous
Aqua Marina – 2022 STEAM-312 Versatile/Whitewater Kayak-1 Person
  • Superfast 1+8/1+16 self-bailing drain system ideal for long-distance adventures and mild river running
  • Extended water splash guard bow design with hard nose protection and rubber carry handle
Aqua Marina Steam Kayak
  • Premium choice for all types of paddling, perfect for both performance touring adventurers and mild river running lovers.
Lifetime Spitfire 8 Sit-On-Top Kayak
  • Constructed of High Density Polyethylene for superior strength and durability; 240 lb. weight capacity
  • ST Performance Hull offers execptional stability and tracking
Sea Eagle 385ft FastTrack Inflatable Kayak Deluxe Package
  • Exterior: 12’6″ x 3′ / Hull Weight: 35 lbs. / Capacity: 3 Persons or 635 lbs.
  • Whitewater Rating: Suitable up to Class II / 2 High capacity self-bailing drain valves.
Dagger Rewind MD Whitewater Kayak Red
  • Ergonomic and adjustable for comfort., Adjustable Thigh Braces & Bulkhead Foot Brace
  • Provide extra comfort and enhanced control while paddling., Step Out Wall
Aire Tater Inflatable Kayak
  • Lightweight and extremely stable, plus its shorter length provides a great feel for running waves, punching holes and crossing eddy lines.
Dagger Nova Whitewater Kayak – Aurora / Nova | Colorado Kayak
  • Nova
2023 Gnarvana Whitewater Kayak Large / Ice
  • Large
Jackson Kayak Antix 2.0 Medium Whitewater Kayak
  • Hull Material: polyethylene
  • Length: [small] 7ft 7in, [medium] 8ft, [large] 8ft 5in
  • Width: [small] 25in, [medium] 26.25in, [large] 28in

1. Sea Eagle 370 Kayak Pro Package, Size: 12.5′ x 2.8′, White

Sea Eagle 370 Kayak Pro Package, Size: 12.5' x 2.8', White

  • 12.5 x 2.8 Feet

Check Latest Price

Sold By Price
Amazon.com – Seller
eBay
Walmart
Target

Product Details

Specifications

Details
UV Protection Yes
Drain Plug Included Yes
Number of Paddles Included 2
Tracking System Skeg
Skill Level Intermediate

Reviews From Real Customers

jesusfreak*100
theeggg
rlut3903

2. Star Raven I Inflatable Kayak-Blue

Star Raven I Inflatable Kayak-Blue

  • Gives the paddler a stable and comfortable position above the water
  • A padded folding seat provides a strong and comfortable paddling position
  • Two easy-to-use straps hold the drop-stitch floor insert securely in place
  • Superior abrasion resistance, longevity and air retention at a great value
  • Bow and stern handles make the Raven easy to carry to and from the water

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Sold By Price
Amazon.com – Seller
NRS
CKS Online
Backcountry.com

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Weight 16 lb

Reviews From Real Customers

Jana P.
Sendy time boys
Justin

3. Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak – Galaxy

Wilderness Systems Aspire 105 Kayak - Galaxy

  • Hull Material: polyethylene
  • Length: 10ft 6in
  • Width: 29in
  • Deck Height: 15.5in
  • Maximum Load: 400lb

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Sold By Price
Amazon.com
eBay
Backcountry.com
Cedar Creek Outdoor Center

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Weight 48 lb

Reviews From Real Customers

s1951hendricks
Jim
Phillip R.

4. Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Tandem Kayak – White Water Kayak with High Pressure FLOOR,

Driftsun Rover 220 Inflatable Tandem Kayak - White Water Kayak with High Pressure FLOOR,

  • Rover 220

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Sold By Price
Amazon.com – Seller
Driftsun.com
Marketfleet.com
VMInnovations

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Kayak Type Inflatable
Seating Capacity 2
Weight Capacity (lb.) 600 lb
Assembly Required Yes
Boating Features Carry bag included,Carry handle,Inflatable

Reviews From Real Customers

Not pleased
Brady P.
driftsun.com

5. Bote Zeppelin Aero 12’6″ Inflatable Kayak (Native)

Bote Zeppelin Aero 12'6

  • Hull Material: drop-stitched PVC
  • Width: 28in
  • Rocker: continuous
  • Maximum Load: 600lb

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Sold By Price
Amazon.com – Seller
BOTE
Backcountry.com
Steep & Cheap

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Hull Material drop-stitched PVC
Length 12ft 6in
Rocker continuous
Maximum Load 600lb
Tube Diameter 9in

Reviews From Real Customers

James B.
Jessie C.
DK

6. Aqua Marina – 2022 STEAM-312 Versatile/Whitewater Kayak-1 Person

Aqua Marina - 2022 STEAM-312 Versatile/Whitewater Kayak-1 Person

  • Superfast 1+8/1+16 self-bailing drain system ideal for long-distance adventures and mild river running
  • Extended water splash guard bow design with hard nose protection and rubber carry handle
  • Inflatable V-shape keel design for efficient strokes
  • Super-tough reinforced PVC material for both air chambers and cockpit
  • Durable foam footrest design for a comfortable journey

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Sold By Price
Amazon
eBay – fun-sport-vision-shop
Planet Multi Store
Dti Direct

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Style Versatile White Water
Seating Capacity 1
Weight Limit 95 Kilograms
Item Package Dimensions L x W x H 27.56 x 22.05 x 12.6 inches
Suggested Users Unisex

Reviews From Real Customers

borrobil
thomaspagebrown

7. Aqua Marina Steam Kayak

Aqua Marina Steam Kayak

  • Premium choice for all types of paddling, perfect for both performance touring adventurers and mild river running lovers.
  • The 2022 STEAM are all-around champions capable of handling any types of adventure, sleeker and faster than ever before.
  • D-ring – Multiple strap D-rings allow seat position adjustment.
  • Valve – High pressure recessed valve for quick inflation and deflation.
  • Seat System – Premium high-backrest seat with EVA cushion and storage pockets.

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Sold By Price
Amazon
eBay – fun-sport-vision-shop
Xtremeinn.com
Motion Selection

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Dimensions 412×90 cm
Max. Passengers 2
Kayak weight 15.5kg
Max. Payload 180kg
Air chambers 2+1

8. Lifetime Spitfire 8 Sit-On-Top Kayak

Lifetime Spitfire 8 Sit-On-Top Kayak

  • Constructed of High Density Polyethylene for superior strength and durability; 240 lb. weight capacity
  • ST Performance Hull offers execptional stability and tracking
  • Front, rear, and side carry handles for easy transport
  • Rear tankwell with cargo net lacing for storage
  • Blow-Molded from Ultra-Durable UV Protected High-Density Polyethylene Plastic

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Sold By Price
Amazon
Walmart – LIFETIME PRODUCTS
DICK’S Sporting Goods
Sportsman’s Warehouse

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Kayak Type Sit on Top
Seats 1
Kayak Propulsion Paddle
Kayak Number Of Paddlers 1
Kayak Length 8 ft

Reviews From Real Customers

Mara
Stuart
Beck

9. Aquaglide Mckenzie 105 Inflatable Kayak

Aquaglide Mckenzie 105 Inflatable Kayak

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Hull Material Duratex (reinforced PVC)
Length 10ft 6in
Rocker high bow, stern
Maximum Load 300lb
Tube Diameter diminishing

Reviews From Real Customers

VermontMaggie
Mike F.
BocceBoy

10. Sea Eagle 385ft FastTrack Inflatable Kayak Deluxe Package

Sea Eagle 385ft FastTrack Inflatable Kayak Deluxe Package

  • Exterior: 12’6″ x 3′ / Hull Weight: 35 lbs. / Capacity: 3 Persons or 635 lbs.
  • Whitewater Rating: Suitable up to Class II / 2 High capacity self-bailing drain valves.
  • Material: 1000 Denier Reinforced / Seam:Quadruple Overlap.
  • Removeable Rear Skeg keeps kayak tracking straight and true. Can be removed for whitewater use.
  • Inflation time: 7 minutes.

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Sold By Price
Amazon
Walmart
Sea Eagle Boats
Recreation Outfitters

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Person Capacity 3
Hull Weight 35 lbs
Length 12 ft. 6 in
Interior 11’7″ x 18″
Load Capacity 3 Persons or 635 lbs

Reviews From Real Customers

outdoorplay.com
Kathy C.

11. Dagger Rewind MD Whitewater Kayak Red

Dagger Rewind MD Whitewater Kayak Red

  • Ergonomic and adjustable for comfort., Adjustable Thigh Braces & Bulkhead Foot Brace
  • Provide extra comfort and enhanced control while paddling., Step Out Wall
  • For added safety., Designed for Class I

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Sold By Price
CKS Online
4Corners Riversports

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Length 8’9″

Reviews From Real Customers

scott W.
David L.
Preston

12. Aire Tater Inflatable Kayak

Aire Tater Inflatable Kayak

  • Lightweight and extremely stable, plus its shorter length provides a great feel for running waves, punching holes and crossing eddy lines.
  • Inflatable thwart for comfortable back support.
  • Reposition the thwart to accommodate different paddlers.
  • High-quality Summit II valves for easy, reliable inflation and deflation.
  • Features a self-bailing floor.

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Sold By Price
4Corners Riversports
SunnySports.com

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Length 8′ 4″
Load Capacity 275 lbs
Tube Diameter 11.5″
Number of Thwarts 1
Bow Kick 8.5″
Stern Kick 8.5″
Number of Air Chambers 2
Valve Type Summit II
Self Bailing Yes
Type of Material PVC
Number of Handles 2
Center Compartment Width 15″
Repair Kit Yes
Warranty 1 Years Retail, 1 Years Commercial

Reviews From Real Customers

Gavin W.
Mess
Landis E.

13. Jackson Kayak Nirvana 2020 – Whitewater Kayak

Jackson Kayak Nirvana 2020 - Whitewater Kayak

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Zoar Outdoor

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Opt River Running (lbs) 180-260
Length 9’4″
Weight (lbs) 51

Reviews From Real Customers

Charlotte
coloradokayak.com
John G.

14. Jackson Kayak Sidekick Kayak

Jackson Kayak Sidekick Kayak

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Next Adventure

Product Details

Reviews From Real Customers

Benjamin P.
paddleva.com

15. Dagger Axis 10.5 Kayak

Dagger Axis 10.5 Kayak

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Alpine Shop
Cedar Creek Outdoor Center
Utah Whitewater Gear

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Length 10 ft. 6 in.
Cockpit Size 38 x 21 inches
Seat Type Padded / Foam
Number of Paddlers 1-person
Paddle Included No
Weight Capacity (lbs) 300 pounds
Tracking System Retractable Skeg

16. Dagger Nova Whitewater Kayak – Aurora / Nova | Colorado Kayak

Dagger Nova Whitewater Kayak - Aurora / Nova | Colorado Kayak

  • Nova

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CKS Online

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Length 7’4″ (223 cm)
Boat Weight 35.5 lb. (16 kg)
Deck Height 10.25″ (26 cm)
Cockpit Length 34″ (86 cm)
Cockpit Width 19″ (48 cm)

17. 2023 Gnarvana Whitewater Kayak Large / Ice

2023 Gnarvana Whitewater Kayak Large / Ice

  • Large

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Outdoor New England

Product Details

18. Aire Lynx 1 Inflatable Kayak-Green

Aire Lynx 1 Inflatable Kayak-Green

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NRS
Backcountry.com
Outdoorplay.com

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Length 10′ 2″
Load Capacity 350 lbs
Tube Diameter 11″
Bow Kick 15″
Stern Kick 15″
Number of Air Chambers 3
Valve Type Leafield – C7
Self Bailing Yes
Type of Material PVC
Weight/Denier of Tube Material 24/1100
Weight/Denier of Floor Material 27/1100
Number of D-rings 1
Number of Handles 2
Center Compartment Width 16″
Repair Kit Yes
Warranty 10 Years Retail, 5 Years Commercial

Reviews From Real Customers

Marcia
Eric F.

19. Pyranha Machno Whitewater Kayak

Pyranha Machno Whitewater Kayak

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Zoar Outdoor

Product Details

Specifications

Details
Length 257cm / 8′ 5″
External Cockpit Length 92.5cm / 36.4″
External Cockpit Width 49.5cm / 19.5″
Volume 276l / 73gal (US)
Optimum Paddler Weight 45 – 80kg / 99 – 176lb

Reviews From Real Customers

Erik S.
Matthew H.
paul D.

20. Jackson Kayak Antix 2.0 Medium Whitewater Kayak

Jackson Kayak Antix 2.0 Medium Whitewater Kayak

  • Hull Material: polyethylene
  • Length: [small] 7ft 7in, [medium] 8ft, [large] 8ft 5in
  • Width: [small] 25in, [medium] 26.25in, [large] 28in
  • Cockpit Dimensions: [small] 34 x 19in, [medium] 35 x 20.5in, [large] 36 x 22in
  • Volume: [small] 58gal, [medium] 66gal, [large] 76gal

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Next Adventure

Product Details

Conclusion

Whitewater kayaking is an exciting and challenging sport that can be enjoyed by people of all skill levels. While it may seem daunting at first, whitewater kayaking is relatively easy to learn and can be a great way to enjoy the outdoors.

With a little practice, you’ll be paddling through rapids in no time.

Whether you’re interested in whitewater kayaking for the adrenaline rush or simply want to explore new rivers and scenery, there are a few things you should keep in mind as a beginner. First, it’s important to choose the right kayak for your skill level and goals.

There are many different types of kayaks on the market, so it’s important to do your research before making a purchase.

Once you’ve chosen the perfect kayak, it’s time to hit the water. Start by practicing in calm water before moving on to more challenging rapids. Pay attention to your surroundings and always wear a life jacket.

With a little practice and patience, you’ll be kayaking like a pro in no time.

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