Kayaking on Rivers | Paddling for Beginners

Kayaking on Rivers | Paddling for Beginners

Watch the Paddle Tales Adventure Series – https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVcFbzilrdXoei-31FMxOzSa0wf4I41sn

Take a free online US Coast Guard Safety Course for canoeing, kayaking, and stand up paddling (SUP): https://cms.americancanoe.org/Online-Courses/Present/Paddlesports-Safety-Online-Course

Gear I used in this video or regularly use:

Sea Eagle 393rl: https://bit.ly/3mVOXbw
Oru Kayak Inlet: https://bit.ly/3vpjxhS
Intex Challenger K1: https://amzn.to/3u276JY
Pakayak Bluefin 142: https://pakayak.com/?ref=ken
Hobie iTrek-9: https://bit.ly/3o0TMlM
Jackson Kayak Tupelo 12.5: https://bit.ly/3phR8aS
Wilderness Systems Pungo 120: https://bit.ly/3E5BoOl
Perception Pescador: https://bit.ly/3FPuWeK

Aquabound Manta Ray Carbon Paddle: https://bit.ly/3xHYpn7
Aquabound Tango Fibreglass Paddle: https://bit.ly/3iaGleJ
Aquabound Whiskey Carbon Bent Shaft Paddle: https://bit.ly/3z1kiOH

NRS Vibe Water Shoes: https://bit.ly/2U2qoQ4
NRS Kicker Remix Shoe: https://bit.ly/36F1B6Y
NRS Boundary Boot: https://bit.ly/2TaCMgl

NRS Guide Long Sleeve Shirt: https://bit.ly/3yVID8j
NRS Guide Short Sleeve Shirt: https://bit.ly/3ibhRlE
NRS H2Core Silkweight Shirt: https://bit.ly/3xF43pX
NRS H2Core Silkweight Long Sleeve Shirt: https://bit.ly/3yZGbO2
NRS Hydroskin Short Sleeve Shirt: https://bit.ly/3wCvoI3
NRS Riptide Splash Jacket: https://bit.ly/3BbAZZJ
NRS Flux Dry Top: https://bit.ly/2U3Pvlw

NRS Odyssey PFD: https://bit.ly/3ibIk2n
NRS Zen PFD: https://bit.ly/2VCfrF3
NRS Chinook PFD: https://bit.ly/2TaEAG9

Zoleo Communicator: https://bit.ly/2VrWlSs
NRS Drylander Sprayskirt: https://bit.ly/36z5BG6
WRSI Current Helmet: https://bit.ly/2Te6KA6

NRS Benny Board Short: https://bit.ly/2VIbK0L
NRS Hydroskin Shorts: https://bit.ly/3hCXPl2

NOTE: These are affiliate links where I’ll earn a small commission if you make a purchase at no additional cost to you, but it’s a great way to show your support. Thanks!

Rivers are some of the best places to launch kayaks. But there are some things to know about paddling in rivers with flowing water (river current) to keep your kayaking trips safe and fun. In this video, we talk about the basics of paddling on rivers.

Check out my other paddling tips and Gear Review videos: https://youtube.com/paddletv

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#PaddleTV #RecreationalKayak #RiverKayak #RiverKayaking #KayakTouring #KayakingSafety


  1. e4 d5 on June 28, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    Who is eddie?

  2. Stuntz650 on June 28, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    What kind of gopro attachment do i need for the rail on the wilderness pungo kayak?

  3. Brad M on June 28, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    Well I can’t give you an opinion because my iPhone 13 Pro is back ordered for 4 weeks! Please stop saying how good the phone is so people stop buying it until get mine..lol!

  4. Lizard on June 28, 2022 at 9:01 pm

    Well done and succinctly put. 👍

  5. PaddleTV on June 28, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    Take a free online US Coast Guard Safety Course for canoeing, kayaking, and stand up paddling (SUP): https://cms.americancanoe.org/Online-Courses/Present/Paddlesports-Safety-Online-Course

  6. Christel Vinot on June 28, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    I’ve kayaked on like 10 rivers this summer as my first kayaking experiences, all by myself. I should have watched this first lol but I’ve been getting through it.

  7. Bull's Crazy Adventures on June 28, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    Wow, Just got me a sit on top, never kayaked in my life, and you Just helped me out alot!!!! I subscribed as well brother, thank you for the tips!!!!

  8. Scott Thomas on June 28, 2022 at 9:05 pm


  9. Abby A on June 28, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    As always, well presented, very informative and helpful. I always learn so much from you. Thank you!

  10. canajian on June 28, 2022 at 9:07 pm


  11. ljeffe on June 28, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks, great basic video.

  12. Micah and me on June 28, 2022 at 9:10 pm

    You are not carving. On skis or a boat.

  13. Randy Compton on June 28, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    I just did my first run down flowing water, I did everything you said not to do and I flipped two times, just learned a great deal, thank you for this video, wished I had watched it before I went out! 2 thumbs up

  14. Wooly Puffin on June 28, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    In Switzerland the "Aare" (Rivers Name) Boating is very popular but we have a few drownings every year despite many warning signs. We have one place that has one of those big waves and luckily I can start my tour a few metres under this danger point, but many will just go into it and see if they can get out. Also, when swimming in a river, keep your feet up and in front of your body. That way you won’t get caught up.

  15. Max Bolton on June 28, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    Learned the hard way with leaning away from a rock, "hug the rock" lol

  16. Humberto Rodriguez on June 28, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    I’m a beginner and this past summer I went paddling down the Delaware River with my son and wife, from Bush kill up north down 9 miles stopping once. I went through 5 rapids the last one was very challenging. I was in my Pelican 10 ft Mustang and I wasn’t expecting or prepared for this rapid. I could hear it from far as I paddle down. I freaked out at first but I remember what I learned from watching your videos. I must say, for a sixty five year old dude, I handled it like a pro. My kayak was awesome. I learned how important it is to scout and study the river. It was an awesome experience.

  17. Karla Labath on June 28, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you for doing these videos. As a newbie paddling some big rivers: Mississippi and Chicago having some info like this really helps.

  18. vaiana on June 28, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    This techniques can be used on inflatable kayaks?

  19. Buffle F on June 28, 2022 at 9:19 pm

    *Edit Suggestion the first step to preventing drowning is to wear a life vest

  20. om Brom. on June 28, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    Thank you for the information it is very helpful it will come in handy this summer when I am on the small rivers in Missouri

  21. Nigel Tijou on June 28, 2022 at 9:23 pm

    Really informative video, well done

  22. Jeannine on June 28, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    Praise the Lord! 👍

  23. Euro Pols on June 28, 2022 at 9:27 pm

    Thanks for making this.

  24. Russell Kling on June 28, 2022 at 9:27 pm

    Any tips for a motorized Kayak on a river?

  25. Don Eddy on June 28, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    What about canoes? Do any of these rules change ?

  26. George Cooper on June 28, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    Very interesting and helpful, thanks. I have just started to Kayak and have been watching many of your videos, you even helped me choose my first kayak ( The Challenger K1 ) after watching your review I thought yes that’s perfect for me to start, and you will be happy to know they fixed the problem with hitting the side tying of points ( bet I got that name wrong ) So wanted to say Hi and thanks for all the great info, and looking forward to watching more from you…

  27. Tim Martin on June 28, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    What does it mean when that Eddie line is a huge spot of the river?

  28. Redwood River on June 28, 2022 at 9:31 pm

    Thenk you, Ken, for these very helpful videos! I so appreciate how clear you are in your descriptions of potential conditions, and how to manage them safely. I am an old whitewater rafting guide…haven’t been on the river (sadly!) in far too many years, and I am now having a thrilling time getting out on flat and slow-moving waters in my sea kayak. It is a whole different animal from guiding rafts through Class V water, and I’m loving it! Your videos help to refresh my memory, and to tailor my river knowledge to my current level of capabilities. I would add that using a sprayskirt in a closed boat is a great way to keep waves from swamping, and makes things a lot warmer as well in cooler season boating. Can’t wait to watch more! Many thanks!

  29. Erik on June 28, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    Looking to start Class 1 (slow and fast flowing) river kayaking on sit-on-top kayak next spring/summer and really appreciate these tips. Great tutorial!

  30. MTB Joe on June 28, 2022 at 9:34 pm

    Thanks that nice basic river course ! That will be nice that you make the same thing for a class 2 river for an example ! For my 40 birthday last year, my wife bring me to Jacques-Cartier river (Québec, Canada) with brand new Pelican from Canadian Tire …. With no experience on this river and not kayaking experience at all …Loll

    Imagine that nightmare episode …. Go in class 3 with a Pelican Argo 100XR (a quiet lake kayak) with no helmet at all … We are lucky because no one have been injured but …. im saying that had be a little scary adventure !And thanks to my wife … I will never forget my 40 birthday 😂😂😂😂

    If you want a taste a ´´Not To Do Video 🙈: https://youtu.be/I4xNEWKhVQ8 (french) 😂

    I wished i listening your video before i co there !!! loll The Pelican is for sell now … im looking too buy a Wildernes Pungo 120 or Dagger Axis 12.0 (with a spray skirt) ✌🏻

  31. Thomas Smith on June 28, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    How many cfs would you consider fast moving water?

  32. Karen Siddall on June 28, 2022 at 9:38 pm

    Good info for knowledge of being on a river!

  33. Michael Keene on June 28, 2022 at 9:40 pm

    Never talked about importance of PFD

  34. Janice Jones on June 28, 2022 at 9:40 pm

    Great video.Thank you. Clear and useful guide to understanding what the water is doing and how to paddle – really helpful o getting from an eddy onto the main flow.

  35. One to Watch on June 28, 2022 at 9:40 pm

    Brilliant video again Ken! I’ve just started to do some easier class 2 river trips and this has completely put things into perspective!! 🎥🛶👌👏

  36. Terry Smith on June 28, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    Thank you for all the great info. Cheers.

  37. DeadmanDave on June 28, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    And always take a deadly weapon with you to defend yourself with in case you encounter any trailer park trash rapists.

  38. Jill Johnson on June 28, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    I’m a beginner kayaker and would like to know if it’s realistic to train to be ready for class 2 rapids in an IK in August. I have rafted a lot of Colorado rivers as a child in the 70s and am still a strong swimmer despite my age, so I’m not afraid of rivers and know how to spot the dangers. I love the feel of kayaks but don’t have tons of skill. What to do?

  39. Milivoj Vasiljevic on June 28, 2022 at 9:45 pm

    i just got my first kakyak(inflatable)..but still had not tried it. i am supper happy for finding your videos. thanks you very much 🙂

  40. Apollo Cleber on June 28, 2022 at 9:48 pm


  41. Kayrenar on June 28, 2022 at 9:48 pm

    Excellent video and tips! New kayaker here that ❤️ calm water. I’m staying there!

  42. Denny T 53 on June 28, 2022 at 9:51 pm

    Love your videos. Thanks much.

  43. Kamil Jurewicz on June 28, 2022 at 9:51 pm

    It’s like being on the conveyor belt through the outdoors. 😀

  44. AllonsY ! on June 28, 2022 at 9:52 pm

    Hi Ken! I recently started kayaking on a local river (before that I only went on lakes). It is class I with a couple of a fairly low key class II sections (low key compared to the examples you showed, anyhow–I still think they’re a little spicy–LOL). I think it’s a good river to practice basic skills on. I have a question about a part of it that I can’t seem to get right. At one point the river curves very sharply to the left. If you don’t paddle hard to veer left, the current will shoot you into the right-hand shoreline full off reeds (and possibly rattlesnakes–eek). So, I paddle hard to the left, but as I come out of the turn I’m typically spun around so that I’m facing back upriver (after re-watching your video, I believe it’s an eddy line spinning me around). Frankly, I’ve been letting it do that because when I try to fight, things get sketchy. I’m in a Sea Eagle Razorlite (without the skeg on the river–this seems to make me much more maneuverable on the calmer sections). I tried leaning into it, but the main flow caught the underside that was up because I was putting weight the left butt cheek as you’d say, and that’s the closest I’ve come to flipping. Once I’ve been turned facing back up river, I’m in an eddy, so it’s no problem to just turn myself back down river and mosey on–just tedious to do. I also did this same river with a Pungo 120 and had the same issue in the same spot–though it was much less maneuverable than the Razorlite–in my limited opinion–lol. Any tips for those sharp turns? Thank you!

  45. Fisken on June 28, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    9:50 but what if I want to go go from calm too fast flowing waters to go upstreams, how do i do that

  46. Amy Leibman on June 28, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    Great video! I just went on my first kayak trip today on Jack’s Fork in Missouri. I struggled and flipped twice. First one wasn’t bad and now I know what I could have done to prevent it. Second flip was scary and why a) life jackets are necessary and b) why it’s nice to have others with you. I don’t know what I could have done differently as the majority of kayakers were eating it at this spot. But I got trapped underneath my kayak. So, to not let fear keeping me from kayaking again…learning some more. Great video and I will watch more!

  47. Andy Reasbeck on June 28, 2022 at 9:54 pm

    If in a river that could fallen trees wouldn’t it be good to float feet first but lean back a bit to keep your feet up, goes along with foot traps you mentioned?

  48. raymond smith on June 28, 2022 at 9:55 pm

    Hi.im raymond Smith from dalhousie nb. And just want to say I love the way you teach.your videos every thing is awesome..you captured alot of people by the simple ways you explain things.want to say a big thank you.

  49. CatBird1479 on June 28, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    Wow! I will revisit this one a few times. Been kayaking for 2 years now on small protected lakes, class 1 river and Mississippi backwaters. My previous experience was canoeing, but that was 45 years ago!
    Have been lucky with some tricky situations, being a cautious person and having good instincts, but those things only go so far.
    Thanks so much for these well presented videos. Being prepared is priceless!

  50. Leslie David on June 28, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    The only time I paddle alone is on man made lakes. Anytime I’m on a river with current I go with a group. I have an Oru so I’m sticking to flat water since that’s what the kayak is intended for.

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