Riot Kayaks Review | Epic Kayaks or Flop? [2020]

Suppose you plan on cruising in the quiet waters for your camping trip, fishing, or even venturing through rough waters to practice kayaking as a sport. In that case, Riot offers a variety of products and models that can cater to your specific needs. Riot claims that their kayaks have been made with the best materials. However, you may be overwhelmed by the number of features listed by various products in their market.

Luckily, we have made the job of selecting the best Riot kayaks for you to choose from, together with their notable features for your convenience. Weigh the pros and cons of each product to find the best ones that would fit your kayaking needs.


Dive into the list below and know more about the best Riot kayaks that are on the market today. Read the series of reviews and consider what these Riot kayaks have to offer. 

The Top 7 Riot Kayaks Reviewed

  1. Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV – Best Overall
  2. Riot Kayaks Brittany 16.5 – Best Value
  3. Riot Kayaks Boogie 50 – Editor’s Choice
  4. Riot Kayaks Enduro 12 Angler
  5. Riot Kayaks Quest 9.5
  6. Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Angler
  7. Riot Kayaks Mako 10

#1. Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV – Best Overall

Riot Kayaks Edge 14.5 LV

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Specifications:

  • Length: 14’6’’ (4.41m)
  • Width: 22” (57cm)
  • Weight: 58.6lbs (26.6kg)

Riot’s day-touring kayaks are designed to glide through flatwater. Their Edge 14.5 LV kayak is built to have an elegant slender body, with a slim bow and deck line for efficiency as well. It has a Cross-max construction Riot that focus on the balance in durability, stiffness, weight, and quality of finish.

Swiftness and versatility make these unique with just the right amount of chine and keel. You won’t have to worry about the wear in its material as it is made of polyethylene that also gives great tracking and its swift and versatile character. Its advanced features make these kayaks comfortable and efficient. 

Flex 4 Seat technology is Riot’s innovative technology that gives this kayak a well-engineered seat for your convenience. This kayak has a seatback. You can easily adjust with a single knob design that makes your adjustments effortless. The seat has a thick foam base that will make you comfortable for long sessions of kayaking. 

A center adjustment chord is also added at the front of the seat so you can adjust your seat’s leg support easily for your comfort and stability. The removable seat covers will make it easy for you to replace without replacing the whole seat, making maintenance budget-friendly. On top of all these seat features, the seat’s fabric has reflectors that would be useful during the day and night to aid your eyes and other people to see the kayak easily.

The seat’s Drytech technology allows water to bead and roll out and not be absorbed further into the foam like other kayak seats. You won’t have to worry about having a damp feeling because of a water-soaked seat.

Your safety will be guaranteed with its self-rescue straps and pilot rudder that will ensure control and safety. The pilot rudder is also praised for added control on the kayak even when your paddle is down, making precise turns and stability when you try to take photos and focus on one direction. The rudder will also bring great service when some strong winds and waves try to overpower your kayak.

This kayak is most well-sought because of its narrow and slim body for a faster and smoother ride, having advanced technology features for your safety and comfort. If you want a comfortable and enhanced kayaking experience with enough storage, this is for you.

ProsCons
Has a narrow and slim body for faster speed build-up Expensive than most day-tour kayaks
Precise control even with strong currentsHeavy and bulky
Adjustable seat that has dry technology
Durable

#2. Riot Kayaks Brittany 16.5 – Best Value

Riot Kayaks Brittany 16.5

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Specifications:

  • Length: 15’10” (4.83m)
  • Width: 22” (55.2cm)
  • Weight: 62.2lbs (31.75kg)

Riot boats of this award-winning British-style sea kayak. It is fast and agile, which expert paddlers love. It provides plenty of deck storage, compass recess, and safety lines and straps that will ensure your safety. This kayak is known for its elegance and fun movement.

Like most Riot kayaks, this kayak also has its advanced technology that offers a comfortable and dry ride. It also has an easily adjustable custom seat with dry technology, keeping you from the water’s cold, damp feeling.

It gives a great tracking experience together with the skeg and with the rudder up. Be ready to have a great tour around as this kayak is not built to be lazy. You can do your tanning session when you park it on the coast of the sea. This kayak will complement the riders who can’t get enough of paddling. This kayak is guaranteed to keep up with your needs.

Prepare to receive lingering eyes on your kayak because of its sleek and classy design, which will garner lots of compliments. It will slip through the water with ease and aid your easy paddling. Just be sure to keep up with it because its primary stability might get some time to get used to for a beginner, with subtle secondary stability. However, you’re sure to get its full experience and be able to maximize your kayaking experience once you get the hang of kayaking.

If you are already an experienced kayak paddler who wants to get more out of an average kayak, this would be an upgrade for you to enjoy!

ProsCons
More deck storageUnstable for bigger people and might take some time to get used to
Sleek and elegant  Incompatible for beginners
Fast and agile

#3. Riot Kayaks Boogie 50 – Editor’s Choice

Riot Kayaks Boogie 50

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Specifications:

  • Length: 7’8” (2. 35m)
  • Width: 24” (61.5cm)
  • Weight: 36.3lbs (16.5kg)

This classic kayak is a high-performance whitewater type. This kayak is designed for power steering. It has a power seat engineered for a wide range of motion. You can conquer rocky waters with this kayak’s tremendous speed and carving power. You can also be comfortable with its easy-to-shape foot blocks.

 Many will adjust to it with its small body that is easy to maneuver and control. Beginners and experts alike may enjoy this classic kayak. Its versatility will allow you to use it not just on the river but also through sea and ocean waves due to its great tracking and lateral stability.

Polyethylene material makes up this kayak’s sturdy construction, making it tough yet lightweight enough for ripping through water obstacles. You can also count on its drainplug and Drytech technology that can help keep water out, especially on your long adventurous excursions. 

If you’re looking for a versatile kayak that can handle whitewater but can also be used on open water, this affordable kayak is worth the look!

ProsCons
Has drainplugs and Drytech technology to keep you drySome people over 80kg are having problems on stability
Tough yet lightweight and easy to move aroundNot as forgiving as other kayaks
Easy to maneuver and very responsive
Cheaper
Versatile

#4. Riot Kayaks Enduro 12 Angler

Riot Kayaks Enduro 12 Angler

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Specifications:

  • Length: 12’ (3.66m)
  • Width: 30” (77cm)
  • Weight: 68.2lbs (31kg)

This kayak is designed for those who love fishing. It is known for its excellent stability yet is still balanced with great performance. You can be comfortable in it for long periods in it. It is not as fast as the other touring kayaks, but it can go slow and steady and reach far distances. 

You can rely on the large deck capacity and weight capacity of this kayak. It has two spacious dry storage compartments with incredible sealing properties, keeping your cargo and other stored materials dry. It also has a convenient net in the cockpit to hold other items you want to be easily accessible, like bottled water and packed food.

You’ll have full experience both in kayaking and fishing activities. It also provides a large cockpit that can fit large-framed men. You won’t have to worry about balancing even in choppy water in windy weather.

If you enjoy fishing and would like to kayak simultaneously, this would be perfect for you. It is also offered at a reasonable price. Anyone will have ease in using and fitting into this kayak.

ProsCons
Perfect for those who both love fishing and kayakingNot compatible for those who are looking for a more aggressive kayaking experience
Generous and convenient storageHard to accumulate speed
Superior stability
Reasonable price

#5. Riot Kayaks Quest 9.5

Riot Kayaks Quest 9.5

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Specifications:

  • Length: 9’7’’ (2.92m)
  • Width: 28” (70cm)
  • Weight: 31.6lbs (14.35kg)

If you need a kayak just for leisure and recreational purposes, this kayak is designed for you. Riot puts this kayak under one of their recreational kayaks that anyone can enjoy. You don’t need to be an expert or a good paddler to use it as it is well-engineered to fit the needs of leisure kayaking.

The design of its hull is double-arched and provides a spacious cockpit. The hull grooves also give great tracking and durability, the Quest kayak is known for. Its short body length makes it maneuverable and easy to move from place to place, especially when loading and unloading it from your vehicle. 

The storage compartment and front deck bungee storage are appreciated by many with its incredible sealing properties. The Drytech and flex light seat system gives a comfortable and secure ride. Two drain plugs are also installed for easy draining, allowing for a dry kayaking experience.

Your security will not be compromised as this kayak has a front deck bungee storage and a front airbag for floatation, keeping a worry-free experience for an exciting time on the lake. If you are a beginner and have a small built body, this recreational kayak is for you. 

ProsCons
Generous storage compartments with excellent sealant propertiesMay not be compatible with advanced paddlers who want a more aggressive kayaking experience
Built with safety guaranteeing technologyDifficult stability for large-framed bodies
Comfortable and adjustable seats
Lightweight and easy to maneuver

#6. Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Angler

Riot Kayaks Escape 12 Angler

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Specifications:

  • Length: 12’ (3.66m)
  • Width: 30” (77cm)
  • Weight: 68.2lbs (31kg)

This kayak is a sit-on-top fishing type. Your legs can sit pretty and exposed out of the kayak if you prefer your body to feel the wind or the sun on your skin instead of being hidden in a cockpit. It has the perfect blend of stability and performance that has an excellent load capacity that can accommodate different body types.

Tracking is average with the use of paddles and is improved with the use of the rudder. Seat fasteners are easily adjustable, and the steering pedals are easy to manipulate as well. The storage ports and 360-degree rod holders make this kayak convenient as well.

If you are looking for a sit-on kayak that is flexible and would like to engage in other activities such as fishing, photography, bird-watching or just tanning your body under the sun in the middle of a lake, this kayak would be great for you.

ProsCons
Great load capacity even with its relatively average body weightIncompatible for those who want their lower bodies to be covered underneath the kayak
Versatile, which can be used for different activitiesSome complaint of instability for some cases that they are incompatible with the kayak
Sit-on feature allows easy access and flexibility
Great tracking with the use of the rudder

#7. Riot Kayaks Mako 10

Riot Kayaks Mako 10

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Specifications:

  • Length: 10’4″ (3.15cm)
  • Width: 36″ (90cm)
  • Weight: 67.7lbs (34.85kg)

This pedal type Riot kayak is known for being the lightest and most affordable impulse propulsion kayak. Its comfortable and adjustable seats will give a more comfortable and hassle-free ride. You can easily maneuver this kayak with its pilot rudder system with hand steering.

Get yourself comfortable with the easily adjustable seats built as a mesh for anti-sweat, keeping your bottoms dry. This kayak can also be used to go fishing as it is built with four-rod holders. It also has abundant tracks for you to mount your additional gear. 

Despite this kayak’s pedaling features and the abundance of built-in technology, it is easy to move around. It is lightweight enough to carry and easily mount on and off your car.

Overall, this kayak would be great for those who prefer pedaling or would like to switch between paddling and pedaling. If you are looking for a lightweight pedal kayak and is offered at an affordable price, you should go for Riot’s Mako kayaks!

ProsCons
Pedaling gives more power to the kayak taking you to places fasterPedaling cause more disturbance on the water making the fishes swim away
Designed to carry additional gear, would be great for fishingSome prefer paddling as this kayak would require both arms and legs to work
Affordable price for a pedal propulsion kayakSome had problems with the packaging
Lightweight

A Brief History of Riot: Kayaks

Coran Addison started Riot kayaks in the 1990s, where his whitewater kayaks became popular. His kayaks have the reputation of being the leading surfing and racing designs, which have been noticed by many industry magazines. Reviews were also rampant for their kayaks and are believed to have inspired modern kayaking.

Riot kayaks are known for the variety of kayaks they offer that cater to people’s specific needs. They have a kayak to offer, from a quiet ride or recreational day tour to conquering a tough river, and everything in between. 

They launch different technologies every year to improve the quality of their kayaks. They focus on improving their kayaks’ quality, gear, and safety because they believe that even the tiniest details matter and comfort is important. Riot guarantees that their customers get the most out of their products.


Types of Riot Kayaks

Recreational Kayaks

These kayaks are shorter, more lightweight, and easier to maneuver. However, it is more unforgiving and has poor tracking relative to the other types of kayaks. It has a large cockpit that would fit any body type and can even accommodate an additional child if you wanted to.

Day Touring Kayaks

These kayaks have longer and narrower bodies that make them accumulate more speed and are better at tracking.  They have smaller cockpits that have thigh braces so you can balance yourself upright. These kayaks are relatively more expensive than the other types.

Fishing Kayaks

These kayaks are designed to have generous storage for fishing gears and other objects you will need for a long stay on the lake. It is mostly built for stability. Riot still balances stability with performance as their fishing kayaks will also be great for long distances. However, expect them to have difficulties in speeding up relative to the other types of kayaks.

Sea Kayaks

These kayaks have long bodies that can accumulate speed yet is balanced with some stability, making it an in-between kayak for recreational and day touring. Most aggressive paddlers prefer this type as it has a perfect blend of stability and speed in it. Beginners may take some time to get used to it but can be doable with practice. These kayaks have generous storage as well with excellent sealant properties.

Pedal Kayaks

These kayaks are impulse propelled and mostly powered by your legs and have a pilot rudder system for hand steering. Riot’s pedal kayaks are also designed and well-engineered for fishing, as these may be a convenient way to move while holding your rod on hand. It also has generous storage for your rods and other important gear.

Whitewater

Modern whitewater kayaks are designed to have smaller bodies to allow sensitive maneuverability and response. They are built to withstand tough rivers or waves on open water. You can also use them for flatwater but expect poor tracking and a relatively unforgiving kayak. However, old school kayaks would be a little longer and more forgiving but have smaller cockpits than the modern ones.

Sit-on-top

These kayaks are easy to get in and out of due to the absence of closed cockpits. However, rides on these kayaks would make you prone to getting wet because of your whole body’s exposure.


Conclusion

Riot kayaks are proven and classic kayaks that have been in the market since the 1990s. It is one of the brands that have a significant impact on the modernization of kayaking. They are commended for the variety of choices they offer for the specific needs of kayaking.

Ensure that you get the full experience of kayaking that you want by knowing the different types of kayaks that Riot has categorized separately. Once you match your needs with the type of kayak Riot offers, you may browse through the list of the best chose products where one product for each type was chosen, which garnered good ratings by other consumers.

Riot can also be commended for the innovative technology in their kayaks like the Flex 4 and Drytech technology that enhances comfort for your kayaking activities. They release new products or add new technology in their kayak line to cater to your kayaking activities’ needs.


(FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I easily get in and out of a kayak coming from the dock?

If your kayak is parked near the dock, the first step is to sit on the edge of the dock. You may lower your lower half of the body using your hands and arms for support at the edge of the dock. Insert one leg on the farther side of the dock, based on the direction you’re facing. Once your bottom is settled on the seat, you can now rest your second leg inside the cockpit.

What is the warranty claim for Riot kayaks?

Riot kayaks’ warranties are valid for five years upon purchase for hull damage and within one year for part replacement except for the skeg and rudder blades. You should also ensure that you haven’t used your kayak for commercial purposes such as pro-deal, training, education, and the like.

How do I transport my kayak?

Kayaks are usually put on top of a vehicle with a good racking system that ensures the kayak’s secure and stable placement. You can also put paddings to your roof rack or invest in a padded kayak cradle to ensure the safety of your kayak while traveling with it.

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