Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Kayaks

Wave Sport Mobius

88

2014

Wave Sport Mobius

The Wave Sport Mobius is a great all-around play kayak for park-and-play and moderate river running (Class III to easy Class IV). The boat’s short length (two inches less than the Project X) helps paddlers perform everything from spinning and throwing cutting-edge moves to old-school front and back surfing. 

Innova Swing II

79

2014

Innova Swing II

Innova Swing II is a great option as a touring IK when you want to stay out of the elements, thanks to an enclosed deck and a streamlined shape for hull speed. 

Advanced Elements Attack

78

2014

Advanced Elements Attack

The Advanced Elements Attack is a great starter boat for gentle whitewater and has one of the best price points around; but it’s not necessarily designed for the Grand Canyon.

SOAR S10

77

2014

SOAR S10

The SOAR S10 is the perfect craft if you’re planning on as much touring as you are whitewater. Its rocker means quick spinning in tight situations, but it comes at the cost of speed. Its high profile also is a bit of a bear in the wind.

SOTAR Liquid SL

82

2014

SOTAR Liquid SL

The SOTAR Liquid SL is a great, durable kayak especially suited for tight, technical whitewater. Larger tube diameters keep you high and dry and ample rocker aids turning, albeit at the sacrifice of hull speed compared to more fleet-footed models. 

AIRE Force 1

83

2014

AIRE Force 1

Buy the AIRE Force 1 if you’re serious about IKing whitewater. While a tad spendy, it’s a great design combining maneuverability with hole-punching ability that will handle waterways of all walks. 

Hyside Stinger

83

2014

Hyside Stinger

The Hyside Stinger is beefcake mobile for getting you through big water high and dry. It’s the craft of choice if you’re heading out in big water like the Grand, and is built to last a generation.

NRS Outlaw 1

82

2014

NRS Outlaw 1

The NRS Outlaw 1 is a great inflatable kayak for tooling around in whitewater. It handles great for most every application you’ll throw at it, and gets you out on the water less expensively than any other worthwhile watercraft.

Dagger Jitsu

83

2014

Dagger Jitsu

The Dagger Jitsu proved perfect for park and play and whitewater play runs. It seemed to have a looser hull than other playboats we sampled, and was bar none the most comfortable of the bunch.

Jackson's Rock Star Kayak

84

2011

Jackson's Rock Star Kayak

Eugene Buchanan hits the river in Jackson's Rock Star Kayak.