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First whitewater boat?

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    I’m wondering what model I should consider for my first whitewater boat… I rushed into my first kayak last summer and bought a Riot Stealth, a nice boat but damn it I want to be able to get into some whitewater and obviously that aint the boat for the job sooooooooo

    If anyone has some reccomendations on a good model for me to pick up as my first whitewater boat I couldn’t thank you enough. I’m 20, 170ish pounds, 5’8".

    I guess I’m not really sure if I’ll end up preferring playboating or river running but I find with downhill skiing I usually prefer to find difficult steeps and drops over the terrain park… I dont know if the analogy really carries over anyway. Regardless, I’d love some advice.



    Hey Ken,

    Hopefully you have already booked a spot at Palmer Fest this next long weekend…it’s a great oppertunity to try all the boats. Most manufacturer sales reps will have boats there to demo.

    I believe that the event is fully booked otherwise. (but, contact Rapid mag for extra details)

    I hope this helps



    I don’t feel the analogy holds true. I love the steeps skiing and am more of a playboater… but that’s probably because of the types of rivers in my area. I would give the Jackson Fun series a try.

    James Mildon

    Project 52 is an amazing boat and would be great to learn on. (if your looking for a playboat)

    Derek Mereweather

    Why, a canoe, of course… :twisted:



    there would be a number of good boats in the 400 to 600 dollar range used on the classifieds that you could look at. There are many good begineer boats, and the fun series seems to be a popular boat among the begineers, but something a bit more river runnish might be good for you initially if you also want to try river running


    Hey kentron,

    i tried a few boats out before really getting into whitewater, i started with a riot booster 60, mostly starting with river running, but i bought my first boat which was a jackson fun series.. it is awesome, great for rolling, and decent river running. now as i am getting better and getting more into playboating, and the fun series is good for waves and river running.. id definately recommend a jackson series


    Think used boat. At this point, you probably don’t know what style of boating you are going to be attracted to: play, river runner, creeking. Buying used is a good way to figure that out without spending a ton of $. Use boats in the $600 range usually hold their value, allowing you to paddle a season, or part of one, and resell the boat with little loss.

    Going to an event like Palmer Fest where you can try several different kinds of boats is a great bet. If you can’t do that, come up to the Gull and try several different boats at the Boatwerks shop.

    If you can’t do either of those, ask other boaters to try out their boats. Most folks are keen to help out a newbie and let them take a few rides.


    thanks for all the support guys, I’ll keep you updated… I’ll definitely be up to the gull soon and I’m on the Palmerfest waitlist

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