Wet and wild kayaking gear for beginners and experts alike

WATER SWIRLS, river currents tug and you grip the paddle as your boat rockets downstream. The thrill of kayaking, be it in whitewater, a lake or ocean waves, is unlike any other outdoor sport.

Seated in a kayak, you’re truly immersed in the action. Water pours over the hull. Waves splash your face.

Whitewater kayaking has long been a staple Scouting activity with the Whitewater merit badge. But in 2012, the Kayaking merit badge helped make the sport more accessible to Scouts of all skill levels with an emphasis on flat-water kayaking. (Read the leader’s guide to the kayaking merit badge.)

Want to suit up and give kayaking a try with your Scouts? Check with local marinas to see if kayak rentals are available. And when you’re ready to take the plunge (with a more substantial investment), the equipment on these pages will help you get out on the water and go. All prices are MSRP.

Stephen Regenold is a kayaker and the editor of GearJunkie.com.

View more collections of top-rated outdoors gear at SCOUTINGMAGAZINE.ORG/GEAR.

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