whitewater essential gear

i have finally made my decision to start whitewater kayaking, and i have scheduled lessons with Riversport in PA on Ohiopyle. I am 99.999% sure that i am going to love whitewater kayaking, and i am planning on buying my kayak after my lessons are over. What other gear is essential for the beginner kayaker, that i will need to get at that time? I figure i am going to have to buy the spray skirt, paddle, and a helmet, is there anything else that i need? I am also a scuba diver, and i am wondering if i can use the same wetsuit for diving and for kayaking, are there any differences, except for cost.

Nose Plugs
Buy a pair of nose plugs before you take your class. I’d hold off on buying anything else except for maybe a helmet until after your class that way you can try different things/gear during your class and ask your instructor alot of questions. hth

are a must if your kayak fits you snugly. I use dive booties so if you have them they should do.

Diving wetsuits are often thicker than kayaking wetsuits. The makers of kayaking wetsuits claim they are cut better for sitting in a kayak and for more freedom of movement. I’d say use your diving wetsuit farmer john if you have it but try to avoid the wetsuit dive jacket. I tried it and padlling was double the work.

Once you get into the sport a bit more there will ALWAYS be something else to get

you will want…
a thinner neoprene wetsuit eventually. paddlejacket, obviously good river shoes. Take your time and have fun :slight_smile:

Most folks find that a full wetsuit chafes for extended paddling, and it may restrict your range of motion. But there’s no harm in trying yours first.

Once you have some river sense, get a throwbag and some instruction on swiftwater rescue.