TopKayaker.Net: Kayak White Water Articles

paddleKayak - search our database with this handy tool...and, of course a Paddle, preferably of white water design. This latter link takes you to a comprehensive article on choosing the correct paddle for all types of kayaking.
pfdLife Vest (PFD), with waist belt, fitting properly. See Stan Bradshaw's article on PFD use with interesting stories illustrating the necessity of wearing one properly and choosing the right one for you here: Choosing the Right Personal Flotation Devices - PFD's
helmetHelmet, A helmet perfectly designed specifically for the kayaker. Includes foam liners for a proper fit. Here's a fun story of the necessity of a helmet: "Helmet? I Don't Need No Stinking Helmet!"
knee strapsKnee Straps (or knee tree on available models) For greater control, rolling and bracing. Read also our article: Backrests, Knee Straps, & Paddle Leashes by Tom Holtey
dry suitKayak Clothing, appropriate to water temperature, including sturdy footwear. Link takes you to a comprehensive, illustrated article on clothing available to the kayaker. White Water Paddlers should also read: Cold Weather Clothing & Paddling Tips.
throw bagThrow Bag Primary rescue gear for white water paddlers. Can be used in many water sport situations. Throw bag consists of: 50 feet of yellow ¼" floating poly line, 900 pound test. Durable drawstring bag with built in float. Resists rot and mildew.
knifeKnife Link takes you to an article about the importance of the PFD knife.
See the general-purpose safety checklist for additional items, many applicable to the white water environment.

white water sit-on-top
(Photo: Our forum's KayakInRiverOtter on his OK Sprinter)


Sit-on-top kayaks are safe and easy to use, but the white water environment is still very dangerous to all boaters. Always wear helmet and PFD each and every trip. A white water lesson is an essential component to the process of safely enjoying the sport of river running. Look for a qualified instructor that can teach you the basic skills, safety tips and river reading with practice time on a river.

The ACA www.acanet.org has listings of kayak lessons, and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Some lesson programs will utilize only standard sit-in-side kayaks. If that is OK with you than go for it, and transfer the skills to your boat of choice. Many paddling schools now offer sit-on-top options in their white water program. Seek an instructor who has SOT experience and will be able to teach you using a sit-on-top kayak. Inflatable kayaks (soft shell) are very popular for river running. A school or outfitter that specializes in soft shells may be a great resource for sit-on-top white water instruction.

For more info see: kayak lessons

More Articles:

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