Best Whitewater Kayaks for Beginners – Reviews in 2022

upward tilIn recent times, whitewater kayaking has grown to become a favorite form of sporting activity for many. In fact, it has become obvious that people are increasingly settling for the delightful; entertainment derivable from the out there. For the perfect choice for beginners, there are some whitewater kayaks that they can use. And to really get the most of the kayaking, there is various information you need to equip yourself with. You need to know about the styles of kayaks, models of kayaks, even you should know about the variety of water. However, this piece will be opening you up to relevant details through this review.

Best Whitewater Kayaks for Beginners

Pyranha Machno Whitewater Kayaks for Beginners

best whitewater kayaks for beginners

The Pyranha Machno Kayak is a unique kayak and a rare one. This one will be excellent choice for overnight trips. You can use this one in the harder whitewater.

Its design gives a delightful perception of unconstrained fun and safety. To start with, this comes with an innovative wave detector to better ready the rider for action.

And aside from that, the structure of the Pyranha Machno Kayak, which consists of the overall size, contoured cockpit dimension, paddle weight among others are exceptional features of the Pyranha Machno kayak that makes it the preferred one among its peers. You can even use it in rough water conditions. So for rougher waters, this one is just perfection.

For enhanced safety, the kayak comes with 5 aluminum grab handles that can help brace and secure experienced and beginners whitewater kayakers alike. You can use this one in a variety of whitewater without any problems. For kayaking, you need perfect piece of gear.

This beginners whitewater kayaks is soft and modest edge is also a plus as it helps in holding lines in big waters. It’s indeed one of the cheapest whitewater kayaks one can find out there. But this one is not ideal for larger kayakers. It comes with a comfortable seat.

Though, irrespective of how affordable the kayak might be, it might still not be a preferred choice for some. And this is not because it can’t provide what is needed but because different people have different preferences when it comes to making a decision.

Despite its affordability, Pyranha Machno still has one of the comfiest kayak seats that help aid riders balance while enjoying their ride. Its top-notch responsiveness can as well be attributed to its stout shape, and this, of course, gives it the lightning movement of a light-weighted kayak that offers an excellent experience for riders.

What we liked

  • Wave detection for enhanced security
  • It’s a perfect fitness platform

What we didn’t like

  • Some might see its affordability as reduced efficiency

Dagger Mamba 8.1 Kayak

Dagger Mamba 8.1 Kayak

As its name implies, the Dragger Mamba 8.1 is a kayak that glides effortlessly on the water with an astonishing balance that booster riders’ confidence.

When it comes to usability, it’s a kayak that gives professional kayakers an edge. Dragger mamba presents a whitewater powerhouse.

One of the Dagger Mamba 8.1 whitewater touring kayak features a contour Ergo outfit design that makes it attractive. It also has rigid storage tray. It also has a comfortable seat. You can even use it on challenging water conditions.

Likewise, quite a considerable amount of innovation has gone into its production as everything about it talks about safety. It has a safety step-out wall, security grab handles as well as precision adjustable thigh braces that keep you where you want and enhance your balance on the water. You will get enough support in your back for prolonged paddling.

One might want to say the cost of the Dagger Mamba might not be affordable for all users, but it does give value for money. It’s the perfect choice that eases your movement through the creeks and various water rapids without giving you much concern about the injury.

This kayak is designed to offer more high-volume boats and also enhance ideal distribution for freestyle moves. However, its array of irresistible features does not in any way hinder its unique speed. Likewise, its weight capacity to move fast also comes along with its great balance and crisper control for excellent maneuvering. And talk about comfort, its multi-adjustable seat contour hips pad, and adjustable backband pad, coupled with its stylish seating with leg lifters says it all.

What we liked

  • Comes with safety features
  • Great design
  • Great convenience

What we didn’t like

  • Might not be affordable for some

Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 Whitewater Creeker Kayak (Red, 8-Feet)

Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 Whitewater Creeking Kayak (Red, 8-Feet)

The Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 is a Whitewater Creeking Kayak that has the max weight capacity to withstand both mild and extreme whitewater kayaking.

Quite a handful of innovative consideration has gone into making the kayak one of a kind.

To start with, this kayak comes with firm thigh and adjustable foot braces that keep you steady, safe, and convenient while getting the most out of your kayaking escapade. This entire boat can change the direction smoothly.

This kayak also comes with enhanced convenience through its unity seating system that features a comfy and relaxing backrest that makes you want to go an extra mile kayaking.

Aside from the unique Kayak seat, the Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 also comes with a top-notch contoured cockpit fix that helps enhance the effortless torso wide range of environments motion for optimal efficiency.

Its dimension which consists of 8 feet, 45 pounds, and also 4 inches by 26.5 is a rare composition that gives the Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 an outstanding balance on the water. Likewise, to further enhance perfect balancing and maneuvering, it also comes with front and back flotation bags that undoubtedly deliver as expected.

Due to a lot of features infused into this Riot Kayaks Magnum 80, it might not be affordable for some users as its features really speak high values. Nonetheless, the kayak still comes with an anti-theft bar, isn’t that wonderful? One would say. You can do comfortable paddling here.

As if those weren’t enough in one single kayak, yet it possesses four heavy-duty creeks handles and drains plugs among others.

What we liked

  • Enhanced safety
  • Enhanced convenience
  • Anti-theft security

What we didn’t like

  • Maybe above some users budget

Lifetime Youth Wave Inflatable Whitewater Kayak Paddling

Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak Paddle

When it comes to the different types of kayaks, this one known as the Lifetime Youth Wave inflatable whitewater kayak Paddle is definitely a unique one among the array of kayaks.

It comes as an inflatable kayak which offers enhanced convenience as well as buoyancy.

Its inflatable feature of the Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak Paddle also boosts its capacity to maneuver effortlessly on the water. You can keep here extra gear.

Looking for kids whitewater kayak? The simplicity of this kayak makes it a suitable choice for kids. It will give a ergonomic paddling position.

This kayak also comes with an ergonomic generous cockpit size structure which aids perfect balancing and a faster kayaking experience. You can perform aerial tricks. For larger kayakers, this one is not suitable to use. This one is a fun boat of choice for many people.

The downside of this simple but effective kayak is the fact that you have to get a kayak seat for it separately. However, this still comes with the advantage of getting your desired kayak seat in case you want to change the previous one. With this, users are allowed to go for a better, more convenient, and stylish seat depending on their taste and financial capacity.

The overall structure of Lifetime Youth Wave Kayak Paddle coupled with its handles among other unique features such as the light-weighted paddle undoubtedly makes it a perfect one for beginners and also for kids.

What we liked

  • Suitable for beginners and kids
  • Enhanced convenience
  • Perfect balancing and buoyancy
  • Enhances speed
  • Comes with paddle
  • Can be easily taken anywhere

What we didn’t like

  • You will get its seat separately

Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

The Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak comes in a new style contrary to the conventional ones with a single kayak sit.

The tandem kayaks graces the white water kayaking platform with a two-user seat kayak which brings about the possibilities of combined efforts and fun.

Its dimension of 144/34/20 inches and 12 feet length further aids its capacity to conveniently accommodate two individuals. There are variety of conditions.

And aside from that, its comfy seats which are properly fitted in its seat hole enhance the convenience experienced while riding on waters. And you can do comfortable paddling here. It has an upward tilt.

Talking about versatility, the Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak sure gives users various options as it can be used mutually or solo. Its overlapping footwells also enhance users’ stability and convenience while riding. You can keep here plenty of gears.

Some actually see its double user capacity as a drawback that might affect the kayak’s speed. But on the contrary, some still see its double capacity as an edge over a single-seat kayak when it comes to speed. However, it all comes down to the taste or preferences of different users.

The kayak comes with handles that help brace yourself and conveniently carry it when necessary. With the Ocean Kayak 12-Feet Malibu Two Tandem Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, draining of water from it becomes so easy without any plug-ins.

What we liked

  • Double and individual user’s compatibility
  • Suitable for training kids and beginners
  • Can conveniently accommodate three people
  • It is fairly affordable

What we didn’t like

  • Might be too big for some users
  • Might be slower than others having a single kayak seat

Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle Hull Shapes Design

Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak with Paddle

The Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak happens to be a unique one that several users have testified to its effectiveness in various whitewater kayak reviews.

It is also one of those kayaks that come with suitable and light-weighted kayak paddles. For beginner paddlers, this one would be the best. It will be easy to use in moderate whitewater.

Likewise, it features a hull design that offers user enhanced stability and tracking. You can even go on a river trip with this one.

This kayak comes with multiple footrest positions for ease of use for users of different heights. So you can keep your foot comfortably. You can do whitewater paddling here. For seasoned paddlers, this one is perfect to use. It will give you a better paddling experience.

The consideration of various footrests in the Lifetime Lotus Sit-On-Top Kayak gives it an edge over other kayaks because it means it can be used by kids and adults with varying heights. You will get extra storage space here.

This kayak has exhibited a handful of features that make it appealing to existing and prospective kayakers; however, the absence of handles on both sides of the kayak might discourage some users. This is because there are times beginner paddlers might just want to hold on to something secure for the rapid time to pass.

Findings also show that some users prefer it to other sit-in kayaks because of its simplified sit-on features. Its features are further enhanced by its durable polyethylene construction, coupled with UV-protected features that prevent it from peeling, fading, and cracking. Due to its structure and stability on the water, it has also become preferred for fishing.

What we liked

  • Comes with multiple footrest positions
  • kayak paddles are inclusive
  • Comes with lace to hold items in position
  • Possess holes drain

What we didn’t like

  • Does not have side handle handles

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak

Right from the appearance of the Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Sit-On-Top Recreational Kayak, you probably have that perception of a kayak that will perform up to expectation.

It’s a one-sit kayak with threaded planning hulls water draining plugs. It features an ample stern rocker profile.

And when talking about the kayak that offers convenience, this kayak through its foam-padded seat makes your ride on it a comfy one irrespective of the length of riding hours.

Likewise, the ocean scrambler’s seat is also adjustable for enhanced comfort. You can keep here camping gear. You will get plenty of storage here. These day touring kayaks are perfect as a beginner kayak.

The kayak also features an overlapping footwell which helps the user adjust foot for convenience and also makes the kayak useable by beginner paddlers of different heights. It possesses suitable side handles for better balancing and also an innovative paddle holder coupled with a replaceable rear skid plate for better durability. You can even use it to use on difficult water.

However, a drawback has been associated with the Scrambler because of the holes beneath its seat. This makes the water around an inch to appear right under the seat; however, some users are good with that. But in case, you are not okay with the water that comes through those holes, there are various ‘Stopper’ that can help prevent it. You can keep float bags here.

The kayak also comes with 6” Cam-lock hatch in case users need to keep anything within that size dry. Likewise, other available treats include paddle holders, deck straps for bigger items, and cup holders among others.

What we liked

  • Have multiple footrest positions
  • Drain plugs
  • Paddle holder
  • Hatch for dry storage
  • Lace to hold items in position
  • Possess holes drain
  • Adjustable and comfortable foam-padded seat

What we didn’t like

  • Little water coming through holes under the seat might get the paddler wet.

Beginners Whitewater Kayaks Buying Guide

Kayaking is undoubtedly an intriguing recreational routine that people find difficult whitewater to stop due to the fun derived from it. Aside from it being a form of sporting activity, quite a number of people have started engaging in a kayak for various purposes. Nevertheless, little do people know that there are different types of kayaking; this kayak guide will shed some light on it. For beginners, there are many things about kayak for beginners you need to know. So, what are the different types of kayaks in existence?

Types of Whitewater Kayaks for Beginners

As there are many whitewater kayak types available for beginners whitewater kayakers. Even for experienced whitewater kayakers, this article will work. There is a wide variety and style of kayak. And to find the perfect kayak, you need to know everything about the kayak. The existing kayak can be classified under the following headings:

Sit-On or Sit-In Kayaks

Sit on Kayas are friendly to users. You can easily use this type of kayak even if you are a beginner. These have small holes that will help you to drain water flow. Even people who are not skilled paddlers can use this one.

On the other hand, sit-in kayaks are ideal for advanced paddlers. Your skill level needs to be high. If you want to stay dry with your friends while padding, you can use this one.

Inflatable kayak

Inflatable kayaks are not like the heavier kayak. They are easy to carry and you will get plenty of extra storage space systems to store them. A paddler can also do surfing with them. They have enough max weight capacity to hold everything.

Touring Kayak:

As the names imply, these kayaks are designed for long trips on the displacement hull flat water kayaking. They are usually longer than other forms of kayaks and specially built to have uncompromising carriage capacity, and aside from that, their balancing and buoyancy on the water are impeccable. But note that it is not advisable for beginners to go all out alone in deeper waters.

Recreational Kayaks:

This category of kayaks comes in shorter and wider shapes than the touring kayak that happens to be one of the longest kayaks. They are like shorter boats. They are built for use in shallow waters such as ponds and bays to mention a few. These have ergonomic paddling position. These kayaks have excellent maneuvering capacity due to their stout shape, and they also come as an ideal option to train kids and adult beginners. No matter what your whitewater skills are, you can use this one.

Whitewater Kayaking:

When it comes to a different type of whitewater, these categories of kayaks are specially designed to effortlessly glide despite the level of rapid and technical whitewater conditions. They also come in short shapes, with an oval-shaped bottom to forge ahead despite the wavering of the water. You, however, need to know that it’s not advisable for beginners or kids to start engaging in the turbulent parts of the whitewater without a proper guide from more experienced riders.

Downriver kayaks:

These kayaks are built for racing as they come with features that enable them to glide quickly through the water like a river runner. If you have seen downriver performance cookies, then you may have seen they also fall among beginners whitewater kayaks with the longest lengths like rocky creek boats. However, despite being a fast kayak, its maneuverability is not as perfect as other kayaks with top-notch controls.

Freestyle kayaks:

People usually use them to do surf. You can do freestyle kayaking in waterfalls. Freestyle boats design features that you can use freestyle tricks freely without causing any problem to you. Among the other kayak models, this one is famous.

Creek boats

For hunters, photographers, fishermen, and other outdoor professionals, creek boats are best to use. Usually experienced kayakers use these boat designs. They also have a removable seat option that you would love to use. Creek boats have a high-volume bow. This whitewater boat is not the perfect boat for beginners. Rocky creeks boat is also great. These works as expedition boats.

River runners Boat

You can use river-running playboats in many types of rivers. You can even use this type of boat on fast-moving water. That’s why many experts love to use variety of river runner boats. Because river feature gives better performance when you are going for the river trips.


Hard Chine

Hard chine has sharp edges. They have plywood hulls that are perfect to use. They have harder edges. Beginners can use hard chine. This one comes with a kayak with edges.

Soft Chines

Softer chines have rounded hull and they have soft edges. These have smooth transactions. So you will feel comfortable to use.

Weight and Size Kayak

You need to know the weight range of your kayak that you are planning to use. For beginners, heavier whitewater kayaks are hard to carry. That’s why you need to get a kayak that is lightweight yet, can carry you well.

Hull Shapes

There are many type of hulls. Among them, you can choose any type of hull for you. And these are,

  • Displacement Hulls.
  • Flatter hulls
  • Planing Hulls.
  • Semi-Displacement Hulls
  • V-Bottom hulls
  • Pontoon
  • Tunnel Hull
  • Multi-Hulls


When it comes to the stability of the kayak you are going to use, make sure to know about the difference between secondary stability and primary stability. If it is possible, look for something that has extra stability. Sometimes stability comes from kayak manufacturers.

Secondary Stability

Your kayaks also need secondary stability. Because if the kayak’s displacement hulls have high secondary stability, it means you won’t have any problems.

Primary stability

If your kayak has primary stability, then it will stay upright even in the flat water.

You need to cautiously check various kayak reviews before making your ‘buy or not’ decision to avoid getting a substandard one. But for better decision making when it comes to getting any desired kayak, there are certain factors you need to look out for to get that suitable kayak that will serve you.

What you should consider before buying your desired beginners whitewater kayaks

  • Height and length of your legs
  • Generous cockpit size Kayak
  • Suitability of the kayak seat
  • Consideration between ‘Sit on’ and ‘Sit-in’ kayak
  • Skegs and Rudders
  • Length, depth, and an extra weight capacity of the kayak
  • Kayak materials such as polyethylene, ABS, and composite, etc.
  • Tandem kayaks or solo kayak
  • Inflatable, foldable, or others
  • Where you want to paddle
  • Your budget and your desired kayak prices
  • Durability among others
  • Make sure to consider kayak sizes

Aside from the above, you also need to be cautious about which online or local vendor to patronize. There is no doubt there will be substandard kayaks out there especially in online kayak carts where you can physically feel what you want to buy and this is why it’s important to do some research before buying. Only buy from reliable vendors and accredited sellers. For beginners, you must oblige to do some research about beginners whitewater kayaks.


Considering the relevant information spread out in this kayak buying guide, existing and aspiring kayakers should find it straightforward in selecting that kayak that gives optimal value. Likewise, a thrilling and intriguing aspect of kayaking is the ability to quietly move across the waters while observing the awesomeness of nature, and at the same time, keeping your body fit. Furthermore, choosing one of the best whitewater kayaks for beginners or any other form of water kayak is not only about the price tag, but the convenience, simplicity, safety, and level of satisfaction derived from it. You can visit any kayak shop and get them.


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