Renting kayaks

Do a lot of places that have whitewater have places where you can rent whitewater kayaks cause I decided I’m happy just renting a kayak instead of owning one.

generally the answer is no. I don’t think most folks want the liability of renting a ww kayak unless they are providing instruction, a tour, or actively involved in some way with your river adventure . Some shops offer demos for a fee (ace WV, natahala outdoor center NC)- but may require you to provide your own pfd, sprayskirt and paddle. There may be places where you can rent ww inflatable kayaks (duckies) or even a raft (yough in PA, deschutes in OR) but in general if you want to ww kayak you need to hook up with some like minded folks. Often club members will loan out boats to newbies., especially at clinics , What area are you targeting?, Where are you located? If you share that with us then we can give specific suggestions. .

As duckies sometimes if it is easy class 1 to 2. But WW hard shell kayaks kayaks involving a skirt? Not unless they know your paddling skills really well and probably not then.
WW boats can be picked up used for a couple to three hundred bucks, not much more or even less than the cost of a WW skirt, PFD and paddle.

From what I have see, rentals can be available, but there are limitations due to the inherent risk of white water paddling. For example, here is the rental information for one of the shops I have rented from in California: The river location they refer to being on or off is a standard class II run they are located next to. That run they only ask some simple questions before renting. If you are off that run, they likely ask much more specific questions related to your skills and where you will be paddling.

Renting a closed deck kayak with skirt would likely require more questions and stricter limits on skills and where you are paddling than a hard shell sit on top or a IFK.

These guys have rentals…

These guys don’t, but could probably hook you up at another location…

Even on flatwater locations, I have found that some rental liveries require you to demonstrate that you can roll or wet exit and remount before they wiil rent you a sit-inside touring kayak to use with a sprayskirt, unless you are going to be with a guide from their company. This is why most rentals are sit on tops.

On a trip a couple of years ago to Lake Tahoe I wanted to rent a sit inside to tour around the shoreline of the lake but they would have required that. Though I did have paddling clothes with me I did not feel like starting out the day soaking wet due to the test - the water was smooth as glass and comfortably warm in the areas we were going to paddle so the chance of getting wet while out by accident were minimal. So I opted for the sit on top.

The only whitewater rentals I know of in the SW PA area are strictly if you are going out with a guide/instructor. Way too much liability to just let somebody with indeterminate skill and experience take out a boat like that on whitewater of any rating. Even if the paddler doesn’t get hurt (or killed) you could lose the gear.