For many, whitewater kayaking is a fun, adventurous, and often adrenaline-filled experience. Whitewater rafting is usually done on a river in a kayak which is made of durable, tough plastic that is able to flex a little as it moves down the river. Kayaks can be anywhere from about 6 feet long to 12 feet or longer.
For beginners, tamer sections of a river are much better to learn in. the more extreme and advanced kayaking enthusiasts sometimes can end up looking like they are insane, especially if the river is particularly harsh.
Types Of Whitewater Kayaking
There are basically four types of kayaking. The first is generally called river running. This type of whitewater kayaking can be a combination of sightseeing and running down the rapids, or whatever types of challenges the river may offer. These kayaking trips can be one day or several days.
Creeking is a much more difficult type of kayaking. This is the type of whitewater kayaking that involves going down difficult parts of the river or rapids. Boats used in this type of kayaking are generally larger with a rounder front and back, which helps the kayak resurface more quickly if it happens to go under.
Slalom is another type of whitewater kayaking. This is basically the same as competing in slalom down a hill on skis. The kayaker navigates a section of a river, going in and out of the gates or poles. This involves going downstream through some gates and upstream through others. Interestingly, this is the only type of kayaking that is seen in the Olympics.
The unique form of whitewater kayaking is called play boating or freestyle. Instead of going upstream or downstream, the kayaker generally stays in one area of the river performing different maneuvers, which can include spinning, cartwheels, and other aerial feats. Sometimes you will hear this version of kayaking called whitewater rodeo in America.
Whichever version of kayaking interests you the most, there is one main requirement: you have to have a river to go whitewater kayaking. You can generally rent all the other equipment once you arrive at the river, but it will take some investigating to find a river suitable for whitewater kayaking near you.
Whitewater kayaking can be a thrilling and interesting sport to compete in. Of course, you have to have a certain love of the water since you will be immersed in it quite often if you are going to go whitewater kayaking.