What Is Whitewater Kayaking?

What Is Whitewater Kayaking?
Whitewater kayaking is a sport that utilizes a one man kayak that is maneuvered and directed down a river or tributary. Kayaking is typically enjoyed throughout the spring, summer and fall months when the water is above 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whitewater Grading

Whitewater grading determines how calm or complex a particular river or rapids is. The numbers range from 1 being the most calm to 6; being dangerous and impassable.


Whitewater kayaking gear may include a wet suit, dry tops, dry bottoms, a PDF (personal flotation device) kayak helmet, paddling gloves, kayak jacket, navigational gear and a waterproof dry bag to store supplies.


Whitewater kayaking is popular in locations with flowing rivers and water bodies in states such as New York, West Virginia, Colorado, Montana and California. Some of the most famous and popular rivers include the Snake River, Colorado River and the Arkansas River.


Whitewater kayaks are generally between 8 and 12 feet in length and weigh between 15 and 33 pounds. Kayaks made from PVC, Hypalon and Polyethylene are popular choices for kayakers.

Types of Whitewater Kayaking

River running; a non competitive ride down a river, Creeking; involving more complex rapids and waterfalls, Slalom; a competitive form of kayaking, Playboating and Squirt Boating involve tricks and technique are all types of Whitewater Kayaking.

Article Written By Julie Boehlke

Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.

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