There are many reasons for you to get an inflatable kayak. They are extremely portable, tougher than most people realize and highly stable when they’re on the water. They can vary in quality though and therefore getting the best inflatable kayak for whitewater is important.

Due to the demands of being on fast-moving water, getting the best inflatable whitewater kayak means making sure it excels in some key areas. In this guide we will investigate those key areas and show you the 8 best products available to help you choose the perfect kayak for you.

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How To Choose An Inflatable Kayak For Whitewater – Buying Guide

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Scupper Holes

Kayak scupper holes can be an important feature on a kayak, especially when you are on the whitewater. The reason for that is that you are much more likely to get water into your boat with the splashes that are going to happen.

This is why scupper holes are important as they will be able to drain out that water so that it doesn’t build up inside of your kayak and eventually sink you. Scupper plugs are rarely needed on an inflatable whitewater kayak as you are going to have an endless amount of water coming into your kayak.

The other solution would be to get a kayak bilge pump, but this can be very difficult when you are on moving water as you need to be able to steer yourself through. A scupper hole will allow you to keep kayaking without having to worry about the water ingress.

Short and Wide Design

In terms of being on fast-moving water, being able to quickly maneuver yourself is going to be important and that’s where a short and wide design will give you the edge as most of the weight will be centered, allowing for quick turns.

Obviously this is going to be more difficult to achieve if you have a kayak that is able to seat two or three people. With these kayaks though, you will have more people to steer and therefore it’s going to be less of an issue.

Stability is important when you are on rushing water. As you can imagine a thinner kayak is more likely to capsize but if a kayak is too wide, then it would be harder to control and it would also be too slow through the water. A good middle ground is needed in order to find the right balance.

Portability

If hard-shell kayaks were easy to carry then there wouldn’t be much need for an inflatable kayak, even though they do have other advantages. An inflatable kayak though is incredibly portable as they are much lighter and can be deflated to a small size.

They are not going to be anywhere near as light as an inflatable you would find at a pool, for example, as the material is required to be extremely thick in order for it to be highly resistant to any punctures that might occur.

Having a good carrying bag is always a useful feature as this will enable you to easily transport it to the water. You also want a kayak that is going to inflate and deflate quickly in order to make your life as easy as possible when you are using it.

Durability

When it comes to inflatable kayaks, many people’s biggest concern is naturally how durable it is going to be considering this is a product full of air that is going into some fairly harsh surrounds where contact with rocks is highly possible.

The material that is used in these kayaks is very thick and much thicker than other types of inflatable. That gives it a large amount of durable and is able to cope with most heavy contact with rocks and other sharp objects.

Despite this high level of protection, punctures are always a possibility and it’s always good to know how to fix this problem. It’s also a good idea to look for a kayak that has multiple chambers as this will mean that if one of them is punctured, you’re still going to be able to float to safety.

FAQs

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Q: What Makes An Inflatable Kayak Whitewater Worthy?

A: When it comes to the difference between a kayak that you would use on a lake and one that you would use on whitewater, the differences come in terms of how stable it is going to be in the water, how easy it is to move and also how durable it is.

For whitewater, you need the kayak to be stable enough and for that, you need a kayak that is wide enough to help it to be resistant to any capsizing. This is an important feature and one that isn’t going to be as important in other situations. That width is also going to allow it to be highly agile in the water.

An inflatable whitewater kayak also needs to be made to the highest levels of durability as its material will be challenged a lot more than it would be in other situations. All the products that we have looked at there have a very high level of build quality and are very resistant to punctures.

Q: How Are They Different From Hard-Sided Kayaks?

A: The difference in inflatable vs. hardshell kayaks can be big in some respects but they are essentially extremely similar products, the durability of regular kayaks in naturally going to be a lot higher when it comes to the highest quality models.

In terms of maneuverability, this is another area where hard kayaks have the advantage as they generally sit lower in the water and they are also a lot heavier, meaning they are thrown about a lot less by any rushing water.

It’s what weight though that gives an inflatable kayak its biggest advantage as it’s incredibly portable and easy to take from one place to another. Even with a great kayak rack, transporting a hard-shell kayak can be extremely difficult, especially if you wanted a solo adventure.

Inflatable kayaks also can be folded down which means they are very easy to store. It’s these advantages that see many people turning to inflatable kayaks. They are a great option for many people and don’t differ much in importance from regular kayaks.

Q: Are Whitewater Inflatable Kayaks Safe?

A: Kayaking with an inflatable is a lot safer than many people think but it’s still important to know you inflatable kayak safety tips to ensure that you are as secure as possible when you’re out there. There are other key features to know too.

Knowledge such as how to adjust your inflatable kayak air pressure and how to complete a kayak self-rescue is important. As well as these key safety features, it’s also a good idea to know how to care for a kayak and what to do if it gets damaged.

Your inflatable kayak care and repair is going to be important as is knowing how to dry out your inflatable kayak in order to prolong its life. Once you know these tips, then you will be in a much better position to stay safe while you’re out on the water.

Globo Surf Overview

Once you have a great inflatable kayak then you will be able to set out on your adventure and enjoy the thrill of the whitewater. It can be an exhilarating experience and one where you need the best equipment available, and that starts with a kayak that is going to be able to easily handle those tough conditions.

In order to choose the best kayak for you, the first thing that you need to consider is how many people will be using it. After that you want to make sure that it has all of the features that you are looking for which include having a high amount of durability and also portability too. Once you know what you need, the choice becomes a lot easier.

Hopefully this buying guide has given you all the information that you need. We’ve looked at some of the best products on the market and once you’ve chosen the one for you, you’ll be able to head out onto that whitewater and have the time of your life.

More Kayak Reviews:

Globo Surf Inflatable Kayaks For Whitewater Reviews

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I love whitewater kayaking and I was not sure about trying it with an inflatable kayak. Thank you for the recommendations. I got the Sea Eagle 330 Inflatable Kayak with Deluxe Package and the experience was perfect.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!