Looking for a way to beat the heat while on vacation in Colorado? Come on down to Canon City and hop on the river with our large variety of whitewater rentals. We offer package deals that include life jackets and helmets to keep your whole family having fun, while staying safe. In this blog we will go over all of the rental options we have to offer, and where to use them!
Where to Float?
Canon City, CO offers world class whitewater! If you are new, our class 1-2 town run is a great place to start. Lots of people around, easy to navigate features that can easily be scouted or portaged if you don’t feel comfortable. A good place to start for that is Centennial (Duck) Park located off of S. 4th street just off of HWY 50. There are a few boat ramps and play waves. Lots of people float from the top of the park to the bottom and then walk back up for more action! If you want a longer run, park a second vehicle down at Reynolds bridge on the east side of town and float all the way down. This will give you a few miles to practice. Once you’ve mastered this and want more of a challenge, head west. Bighorn Sheep Canyon is located 15 miles west of Canon City and offers class 3 whitewater and beautiful scenery. This will require a guide book or an experienced guide to show you the way. Need a thrill? The end of BSC is the beginning of the Royal Gorge section. This is class 4-5 whitewater and for very experienced boaters only. If you are unsure of your abilities it is a good idea to avoid this area unless you go on a professionally guided trip. There are 10+ outfitters in the area who would love to take you. Okay now on to the rentals!
We offer RMR inner tubes rentals. These are not your ordinary pool floats. These high quality inner tubes are built from thick, tough PVC raft material and are built to stand up to bumping into rocks and sticks without fear of popping. These whitewater innertubes come standard with 2 grab handles so you can feel safe and in control when going over waves or bumping into rocks. They come in a variety of sweet colors such as Teal, Lime, Raspberry, and Yellow. These are very compact when deflated and can be a good solution to grab something for fun for the whole family without breaking the bank or taking up too much space. Come on down to River Station Canon City today and let us get you on the Arkansas River!
Inflatable Kayaks (Duckies)
A step up from an innertube. Inflatable kayak rentals offer more boat, more control and the ability to use a kayak paddle to navigate rapids. These long inflatable kayaks are still very compact when deflated. Once blown up, they are very stable and predictable on the water. You will have tons of fun navigating through the whitewater park or Bighorn Sheep Canyon on one of these babies. They can easily handle class 1-3 whitewater or even class 4 sections like the Royal Gorge for advanced paddlers. These rentals come with a kayak paddle, and can be combined with a PFD and helmet to get a whole package deal. Inflatable kayaks are a great way to get a good introduction into the sport of whitewater before you decide if you want to get a much more expensive raft.
Stand-up Paddleboards (SUP)
Stand-Up Paddleboarding is pretty much known by everyone these days. We offer a few different styles of SUP boards from Hala Gear, a local, trusted Colorado company with many years of experience building SUP’s specifically for use in whitewater. River Station Canon City offers boards that are flat and stable made for flatwater as well as rockered and short, and made for whitewater. Either these rentals are a great way to get the whole family together for some fun on the Arkansas River. They will come with adjustable paddles, a pump and even easy transportation bags. As always you have the ability to get a package deal with a PFD and a helmet.
River Surf Boards and Boogie Boards
Want to have a super fun time in the play wave? Try out a Badfish surf board or boogie board. This will really allow you to get out there and learn some unique river skills and make some new friends. River surfing has blown up all over the country and for good reason… It’s SO FUN! River Station Paddling Shop in Canon City offers rentals on foam boogie boards for body surfing, and even inflatable boards if you are feeling up to the challenge of standing on a surfboard. You wont need a paddle for these boards, just a PFD, Helmet and a sense of adventure!
We currently have one Kokopelli packraft for demo. This is a good way to see if you like packrafting before you buy a bunch of expensive equipment. Pack rafts are similar to duckies but far lighter. They can be transported very easily and are very compact. Weighing in at 5-8lbs is quite a feat for how strong they are. These are great for a whole variety of water. Ranging from flatwater lakes to class 5 remote whitewater. Around here the play park in downtown Canon City, CO is a great place to start. If you are feeling up for a harder challenge than take it up to Bighorn Sheep Canyon and give it a lap on some fun class 3 whitewater.
PFD’s and Helmets
Of course we offer the option for PFDs(Life Jackets) and Helmets with every rental. If you have your own no problem, but we can provide both of these into a package deal with your rental boat. Currently we use NRS Havoc helmets, as they are very universal and can fit most people. Why do you need a helmet? We are in the Rocky Mountains, and there are rocks in our river, sometimes hidden beneath the surface. We want to protect your noggin from those rocks. Studies show that the rocks in class 2 whitewater are just as hard as the rocks in class 5 whitewater. Hah! For PFDs we offer NRS Ion life jackets. They are a good universal life vest with high floatation. They will pop you up to the surface quickly if you fall off of your craft. We will make sure they are fitted and work properly before we send you out!
Quick Do’s and Don'ts of Whitewater
Don’ts - If you flip or fall off of your craft DO NOT EVER TRY TO STAND UP IN THE RIVER!
This is very dangerous and can lead to a foot entrapment which will likely end in the worst case scenario. Sounds scary because it is, luckily it is also 100% AVOIDABLE. If you find yourself in the river do not panic, point your feet down stream and keep them near the surface with your toes out of the river pointed towards the sky. Think of a lawn chair position or “Nose up, toes up.” Once you gain your bearing, you need to turn over onto your belly and swim towards shore or raft. Keeping your feet and arms near the surface. Your PFD will help to keep you above water. Swim all the way to shore before trying to stand up. This is really the most important thing you need to know about river safety.
Do’s - Do have FUN out there! Make friends, be respectful of the water and of others using it. Playing in the river is always more fun and SAFE when you have a group of people around! Enjoy!