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white water kayaking

Best White Water Kayak Reviews 2017 -Creek, River running, Playboating

Ever wanted to go for white water kayaking? If not then, this is the best time to go for a white water kayaking. White water kayaking is incredibly fun and entertaining. However, it requires you to get different types of kayaks than usual recreational kayaks. In this post, we are going to talk about some of the best whitewater kayaks on the market.

Whitewater kayaking requires different types of design and functionality to withstand the harsh water. We have already done the research to find you the best white water kayaks. Follow the best white water kayak reviews and find the perfect white water kayak for you.

Best White Water Kayak Reviews 2017

Riot Kayaks Astro 58 4.8Playboating
Dagger Nomad Medium Kayak Lime4.7Creek
Pyranha Shiva C4S Kayak4.8Creek
Dagger Axiom Kayak4.8Downriver Freestyle Kayak
Sea Eagle SE300X Explorer Inflatable Kayak4.6River Running
Innova Safari Inflatable Kayak-Red4.6River Running
Advanced Elements Attack4.3River Running

Riot Kayaks Astro 58 Whitewater Playboating Kayak

Riot Kayaks Astro 58 Whitewater Playboating Kayak

This is a dynamic freestyle playboat kayak which is intended to be used by the intermediate to advanced level kayakers. From surfing to vertical moves, this kayak is a fine option for different freestyle moves. It has a length of 6.3 feet and weighs only 38.4 pounds.

It has been designed in such a way to make sure that everything goes right on the water. The cockpit, hull surface is designed properly for better performance. The unity seating system makes sure you sit properly.

There are Suregrip thigh braces to protect damages to your thigh. These thigh braces are to provide fit, comfort, and control. Due to the thigh braces, controlling the kayak is much easier than ever. The design of Riot Kayaks Astro 58 and the high-performance contour fit allows you to do easy rolling with advanced maneuvers.

One of the best White water playboarding kayak


  • Thigh braces for better control
  • High-performance contour fit
  • beveled size edges
  • great design for playboating
  • Unity seating system
  • Good stability and maneuverability
  • Possible for Advanced maneuvers
  • easy to spin while surfing a wave
  • Carry handles on front and rear for easy carrying


  • Available in red color only

Dagger Nomad Kayak

Dagger Nomad Large Kayak

Dagger Nomad 2016 is the upgraded version of the popular Nomad series kayak. Dagger Nomad Kayak is one of the best creek kayaks on the market. A lot of world famous paddlers have trusted the Dagger Nomad series for a long time. Since Dagger Nomad is specially built for creek purpose, people who love creek kayaking has a special interest and love for Dagger Nomad.

Dagger Nomad Kayak is available in three different sizes: small, medium and large.  It offers excellent durability, stability, and performance. The three sizes make sure that paddlers of any size can get benefitted from this kayak series. No matter how big the water is, or how narrow the chutes is, it got you covered.

The new model has decreased the stern rocker to increase the speed.  You even get to do better controlling via the slightly increased edges (new models have the edges, not the previous model). You can grab the edges to have better stability and control via the edges.


  • Contour Ergo outfitting system
  • Updated hull for better speed and maneuverability
  • Excellent stability and speed
  • Added volume and reshaped Stern offers better resurfacing
  • Added volume to say kayak on top of the water
  • Stylish design with color


  • Expensive

Dagger Axiom Kayak

Dagger Axiom is a renowned downriver freestyle whitewater kayak. It comes in three versions: Axiom 8.0, Axiom 8.5, Axiom 9.0. This white water kayak is specially built and designed for river play and surfing. Though regular paddling can be done, the primary purpose of this kayak is whitewater river running.

Dagger Axiom kayaks are a good option for intermediate kayakers who are progressing to be a pro paddler. The edge of the kayak is to provide better controlling of the kayak. Dagger Axiom is a fantastic option for steep creeks, big water waves.

Dagger Axiom is a great downriver freestyle kayak for Intermediate paddlers.

Dagger Axiom kayak comes in several sizes. You can pick the right sizes and start to thrive in the water. You can chek different axiom kayaks at Amazon.


  • Security grab handles for better security and stability
  • Very stable
  • Freestyling is very easy
  • Very comfortable to play on big water waves
  • Thigh braces
  • Contour hip pads can be adjusted


  • Expensive


Sea Eagle SE300X Explorer Inflatable Kayak, Pro Package review

Sea Eagle S300X Explorer Inflatable Kayak

Sea Eagle S300 X is a fantastic inflatable kayak for whitewater rafting. Sea Eagle S300X comes with rugged 100 Denier Reinforced material for excellent durability.

Sea Eagle S300X can be used for whitewater rafting by one person. The whitewater rating of this kayak is Class IV. The kayak itself has a weight of 28 lbs, and the maximum capacity of this kayak is 350 lbs.


There are three chambers in this inflatable whitewater kayak. The chambers are in port, starboard, and floor. It uses three recessed one-way air valve to protect air from leaking.

Sea Eagle S300X is undoubtedly one of the best Inflatable Whitewater kayaks in the market.

There are also 16 drain valves for a super-fast-self-bailing in white water. The SE300X Explorer kayak comes with great portability. You can store this in the trunk of your car. It even comes with a removable slide skeg for better tracking on open water.


SE300X is very durable, thanks to the light yet super strong 1000 Denier polyester-supported high-pressure fabric. You can take advantage of the stern storage bag for a longer trip.


  • High-durability with 1,000 Denier polyester-supported high-pressure fabric
  • Three chambers [ Port, Starboard, and floor]
  • Quick inflation time: takes 5 minutes to inflate
  • 16 drain valves
  • 3 one way air valves
  • Whitewater rating Class IV
  • Tall back seat
  • Stern storage bag


  • Carrying bag is awkward


best lightweight inflatable kayak Innova Helios EX

Innova Safari Inflatable Kayak

One of the best inflatable white water kayak. Innova Safari Inflatable Kayak is a top notch kayak for class III river rating. Innova Safari is made of 1200-denier Nitrylon for high durability.

Innova Safari Inflatable Kayak comes with a highly visible red color. So it is very easy to spot Innova Safari kayak for safety. Innova Safari Inflatable Kayak offers a lot of features. Innova Safari has a Class III river rating.

This inflatable whitewater kayak comes with a removable fin. It weighs 24 lbs, and the maximum capacity is 220 lbs.

It’s comfortable, comes with wide capabilities, portability, thigh straps, drybag backpacks and technical paddling for whitewater.


  • High-durability with 1200-denier nitrylon
  • Wide range of capabilities
  • Whitewater Class III rating
  • Drybag Backpack
  • Removable fin
  • God portability
  • High visibility


  • Slightly expensive


What is White Water Kayaking?

The name is self-explanatory. It means kayaking in white water (Whitewater is fast moving water). In this kayaking format, you will use a specialized kayak for kayaking in fast white water. There are several classes of white water which defines how fast the water is. There are several classes of white water which varies from class 1 to class 6. Class 1 being the easiest while the Class 6 is most difficult.

How To Choose The Best Whitewater kayak?

As we have told, white water kayaks are different than typical kayaks. Even though you can use these white water kayaks on normal water, you can’s take a regular kayak on the white water. That will be a very dangerous thing to do, and you might get hurt while doing so. We will point out some points on choosing a right white water kayak for you.


The toughness of whitewater is classified into six classes. Class I being the easiest, and the class VI being the toughest.


While choosing a white water kayak, you need to grab one which offers high durability. It also depends on the class rating of the river you are planning to kayak


Creek boating, playboating, down river, freestyler or other. You need to know what types of whitewater kayaking you are referring. For example, Creek Boating will require a different kayak and so will for freestyle kayaking.

Hardshell or Inflatable

Both inflatable and hardshell kayaks are available for white water. It is you who will decide the material of the whitewater kayak. Note that hard shell kayak is better regarding benefits and efficiencies on the water. Hardshells are usually more durable than inflatable kayaks. However, inflatable kayaks have upper hand when manageability is a crucial issue. You can easily store and transport an inflatable kayak.

Final Verdict

Kayaking on white water is challenging, enjoying and risky. If you are already kayaking for a while, and now want to start exploring the white water, you need to be careful when choosing your kayak. You need to realize that life is more valuable than few bucks and act like that. Choose the one which fulfills your need, and makes you able to thrive in the rapid. If you love playboating, I would suggest the Riot Kayaks Astro 58. Check Dagger Axiom for river running and Nomad by Dagger for creek.

We will continue to add more whitewater kayaks on this list. Meanwhile, you can share you favorite whitewater kayaks with us in the comments section below. Safety is the most important issue when you are going for white water kayaking, and one of the essential gear to take is your kayaking helmet.


Good read: 

Kayak Reviews

Two person kayak

Inflatable Kayaks Review

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