Only in Dreams Part 2: Freestyle
I'm sure that old Wavesport Transformer that you picked up for cheap will get the job done. It may not be flashy, it may not be comfortable and it may be just fine for flat spins and the occasional cartwheel, but if you're looking to go big in your local playhole in 2016, it may not be ideal. Same goes for that Pro-tec helmet, but we'll get to that later. Either way, this package is for both the soul surfer and the competitive playboater. With more and more whitewater parks popping up across the state (and country for that matter), playboating is establishing itself as a very popular aspect of kayaking in general. If you want to look your best in all those photos that random tourists seem to love taking at whitewater parks, this is the best freestyle package that 2016 has to offer.

1. 2016 Jackson Rockstar Competiton

  • Jackson has been at the forefront of playboat design for a while now and the new Jackson Rockstar (released last summer) is no exception. It REALLY is looser, faster, slicier, more comfortable, and goes bigger! Seriously though!

2. 2016 Astral YTV

  • The Astral YTV was given a face-lift for 2016, with an improved lashtab and all new colors. It is still low-profile and super comfortable.

3. NRS Freestyle Wetshoe

  • The NRS Freestyle Wetshoes are fleece-lined neoprene booties that are low-profile enough that they can easily fit in most playboats. This is especially nice for those of use blessed with small skis for feet.

4. Werner Double Diamond

  • The Werner Double Diamond uses Werner's proven foam core technology, which increases the buoyancy of the blade, assisting with both rolling and bracing. Can't get that back deck roll down? It's probably just because you don't have a Double Diamond...
Noah_Loop The Double Diamond is the paddle of choice for those of us who want to throw loops like CKS Staff member, Noah. Photo by Logan Myers

5. Sweet Strutter Helmet

  • Lightweight, comfortable and stylish, the Sweet Strutter is the whole package. The prominent bill keeps splashes out of your eyes, so no more complaining that water in your eyes was the reason for missing that loop.

6. Immersion Reseach Kling-On Bungee Skirt

  • The Immersion Research Kling-on bungee skirt is the perfect playboating skirt. It is easy to put on and take off and stays dry for ride after ride.

7. Smiley's Nose Plugs

  • As goofy as they look, nose plugs are acceptable when play boating.
Smileys_Nose_Plugs 8. Doc's Pro Plugs
  • Kayakers use slang that can be hard to understand at times. Make sure the next time you say "WHAT?!" it's because you can't understand them, not because you can hear them. Surfer's ear sucks.
Docs_Pro-Plugs_Ear_Plugs Next week's post will go into the best river running package of 2016. Get stoked!

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