Whitewater Kayaking

For those who are excited by the prospect of increasing their knowledge and skill level in kayaking, it is always important to know which type of kayaking is the area of interest. This is important before investing too heavily in equipment which may not be right for the level of kayaking planned.

Whitewater Kayaking is the sport of paddling the kayak typically over a moving body of white water, and there are varying degrees of skill required as some water is moving at a slower pace whilst there is also kayaking over fast flowing white water rapids which is essentially much more dangerous.

River rapids are graded for their difficulty, so for the newcomer to the hobby, it is essential that the skill set matches the grading before embarking on the venture.

There are five sub categories within Whitewater Kayaking:

Playboating: This is also known as Rodeo or Freestyle and this involves keeping the kayak on the spot, quite often in a hole or on a wave, and performing various stunts or gymnastics such as spinning, surfing, loops, cartwheels and donkey flips for example.

River Running: This is a more pleasant trip down river and allows the kayaker the benefit of enjoying the scenery in addition to experiencing the joy of the white water. This type of kayaking is also used for the competitive challenge of racing down river and for day trips or trips which last over several days.

Creeking: This often involves the negotiation of very difficult rapids and is another sub-category of river running. It varies by its level of difficulty, and often includes waterfalls, tight rivers and slides. More specialist kayaks are required to help aid safety. There is also an extreme racing category.

Slalom: This white water challenge is included in the Olympic Games as competitor's race from top to bottom down a selected section but negotiating between 18-25 gates in order. Although the river is usually graded for level of difficulty, the gate adds to the difficulty as the kayak has to paddle through cleanly.

Squirt Boating:
This evolved from slalom kayaking originally. This utilizes surface and underwater currents to allow tricks to be performed. 80-90 % of the boat is under water.
Essentially Whitewater Kayaking is a fantastic sport for those who like adrenalin based activities coupled with the thrill of water sports.

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