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Introducing the Riot Magnum & Thunder White Water Kayaks!

riot thunder magnum white water kayaksAt Canoe Shops we always strive to offer a wide range of white water kayaks that suit various paddlers’ requirements as well as their budget. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce that the Riot Kayaks white water range will be available in the UK once more with tried and tested models such as the Magnum and Thunder!





Riot White Water Kayaks

Riot Kayaks offer excellent value for money, which gives paddlers across a range of experience-levels the option to have a fully outfitted white water kayak at an entry-level price point. Although the Riot white water kayaks come in at this lower price-point, it certainly doesn’t mean that outfitting and performance are compromised in any way for all-round white water use.

We have chosen to bring you two classic white water designs with the Riot Magnum which is your typical creek boat, and the Riot Thunder which is a playful river runner. Models such as the Magnum and Thunder are great boats for paddlers looking to get into white water paddling as they are forgiving and very easy to get to grips with. At the same time they have the potential to grow with you and help as your skills develop and allow you to repeatedly push yourself taking on new challenges as your abilities improve. In fact, Riot Kayaks are used by some of the top white water paddlers in the world to take on big water challenges.

Paddling Riot Thunder River
Riot Kayaks produce some classic white water hull designs which suit both beginners and the more experienced paddler.


All Riot white water kayaks are manufactured from super strong HDPE polyethylene, meaning that these kayaks can certainly take the abuse of white water paddling. The Magnum and Thunder models come in a range of sizes/volumes to suit small to larger paddlers, and have internal outfitting that is simple but effective.

The Riot Kayaks white water range boasts a range of key features that you’d expect from any effective white water kayak including:

  • Buoyancy bags installed in the bow and stern
  • Micro-cell foam block pillars installed in the bow and stern
  • An adjustable padded seat with floating back-band
  • Adjustable full-plate footrest
  • Adjustable thigh braces
  • Comfortable contoured hip pads

So all in all when you take a closer look at the Riot kayaks, you end up asking yourself “What’s not to like?”

Testing the Riot Thunder on a Devon River
Ed from Kayaks & Paddles testing the Riot Thunder on a Devon river…. he gives it the thumbs up!


Riot Magnum & Riot Thunder Overview

Let’s take a closer look at the Riot Thunder and Magnum….

Riot Magnum ThunderAt first glance the Riot Magnum and Thunder look as though they mean business. They have clearly defined lines and plenty of rocker that tell you both are competent river runners.

Riot Magnum and Thunder Side View
The side profile of the Riot Magnum (top) and Thunder (bottom)

These are classic hulls designs that are tried and tested in the white water world. The styling is very modern and the outfitting looks comfortable. On closer examination, you can see both kayaks have plenty of volume especially over the knee area. This combined with a well defined deck profile shows that the Magnum and Thunder will resurface well after a boof, shedding the water smoothly and efficiently. A security bar and handle can also be found on the bow.

Front Deck of the Riot Magnum and Riot Thunder
The front decks of the Riot Magnum (left) and Thunder (right)

Moving along the Magnum and Thunder to the back of the boats, you’ll notice the 3 well-placed strong webbing grab handles on a tail that still has plenty of volume. These are well balanced kayaks that are not going to tail squirt unnecessarily or have you fighting to stay upright through mild grade-2 rapids.

Riot Magnum and Riot Thunder Stern View
The stern deck of the Riot Magnum (left) and Riot Thunder (right)
Riot Magnum and Thunder Stern Profiles
The stern profile of the Riot Magnum (left) and Riot Thunder (right)

One defining difference you notice between these two models is that the Magnum has a very smooth hull shape with minimal rails, whereas the Thunder has multiple rails that run right from bow to stern. The Thunder certainly looks the more aggressive of the two. Indeed, the Riot Thunder is designed to be a faster down-river kayak that carries its speed through from feature to feature. The Magnum has more ability to play the river as you traverse it and is more forgiving as you cross eddys and cut in and out. To this end the Magnum features a displacement design with a more rounded hull shape and the Thunder a planning hull meaning that it has more of a flat mid-section to it.

Side Rails of the Riot Magnum and Thunder Kayaks
The bow and side rails of the Riot Magnum (left) and Thunder (right)
Hull shape of the Riot Magnum and Thunder kayaks
The under-hull shape of the Riot Magnum (left) and Thunder (right)

Riot Kayaks White Water Outfitting

The outfitting in both kayaks is exactly the same and is more than comfortable enough for your average white water session. Both the Magnum and Thunder have a comfortable cockpit with plenty of space.

Cockpit view of the Riot Magnum and Thunder
The cockpit of the Riot Magnum (left) and Thunder (right)

A ‘Unity’ seating system with padded seat pad and ratchet adjustable ‘floating’ backrest along with some nicely shaped and effective hip pads make this seating position ideal for a days paddling. The ‘Sure-grip’ thigh braces are adjustable, aggressive and provide great connectivity. A very nice touch is the buoyancy bags that are installed and inflated in the bow and stern as standard – not something you get from most other manufacturers.

Riot Kayaks White Water Outfitting
Riot Kayaks Unity seating system is plenty comfortable enough for a day on the water

Both models come with a full plate footplate and additional foam padding to customise personally.

Riot Full Plate Footrest
An adjustable full plate foot rest is a very welcome feature on the Magnum and Thunder

Both the Thunder and Magnum are available in 2 sizes to accommodate a wide range of paddler sizes.

The Magnum 72 weighs in at 21.5kg and is designed for small- mid weight paddlers with the manufacturers optimum paddler weight stated as 50-82kg. For slightly heavier paddlers the Magnum 80 is ideal offering more space and volume, weighing in at 23.2kg with a manufacturers optimum paddler weight of 77-104kg.

Riot Magnum 72 and 80 White Water Creek Kayaks
Riot Magnum 72 in Red (left) and Magnum 80 in Yellow (right)

Similarly the Thunder 65 is the smallest and lightest size of Thunder sizing options. With a kayak weight of 21.8kg, the 65 is perfect for small & mid weight paddler with a stated manufacturers optimum paddler weight of 50-82kgs. For the larger paddler wanting more room and volume there is the Thunder 76, weighing only slightly more than the Thunder 65 at 22.9kgs. The Thunder 76 gives a better fit for larger paddlers looking for a comfortable white-water kayak to take on those long days on the water, with the manufacturers optimum paddler weight given as 77-104kgs.

Riot Thunder 65 and 76 White Water River Running Kayaks
Riot Thunder 65 in Red (left) and Thunder 76 in Yellow (right)

First Impressions

Riot Kayaks represent a great blend of features and performance but at a price that is perfect for paddlers on a budget. They are great as a first-time kayak for those just getting into the sport, but at the same time they have the performance capability to satisfy intermediate and even advanced white-water kayakers really honing their skills and who want a boat to take on challenging water. To this effect, they make great kayaks for club paddlers who want to progress their white water skill level from novice to intermediate and further. These classic hull designs feature outfitting that is simplistic yet effective and comfortable.  These kayaks really are excellent value for money. Come and take a closer look at the Riot Kayaks range and see for yourself!

Paddling the Riot Thunder on a Devon River
Ed from Kayaks & Paddles having fun with the Thunder on a local river