Duckies from Colorado River Rentals give you the freedom to paddle your own “mini-raft” while getting closer to the waves and action! No experience necessary: duckies are a great introduction to kayaking and are a fantastic way to be independent on the river and away from the raft.

Rental includes inflatable kayak, paddle and life jacket.


Thinking about taking on the river solo? Duckies are a great rental option to get in some river miles. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie heading out with the crew or a family vacationing for the week in the west, whitewater is a great way to get everyone involved. However, even when you think you have the right gear, things can go wrong. Let us help you make the best of your river trip with these four tips!

Safety First  

Safety should always be the first on the list for any wilderness adventures. Whitewater is a beast in itself, so knowing that kind of trip will suit you and where you are going is essential prior to putting in the water. All rivers are ranked on an international grading scale from I to VI. This scale directly reflects the level of difficulty and skill level needed to part these waters. I is the easiest on the scale and will yield a beautiful, calm day on the water, whereas VI is strictly for the extreme adventurist and one who has had plenty of experience navigating a kayak through rapids. Water flows change drastically, so up until the day of your excursion the rapids can change.

Having at least a general knowledge of the area you’re rafting is also beneficial. Your Class III section of the river can become a Class IV during a water release. Be mindful of these things and talk to local guides in the area. Certain areas can receive hail in the summer as well.  This is not a comfortable weather situation to get caught in, so be prepared for all potential situations. Learn what obstacles you can encounter, such as a strainer, and the techniques for handling them. A strainer, for example, is where tree limbs gather like a dam. Water will go through and objects will not. Having the knowledge on the correct way to handle these situations should be on your to-do list.

Be Prepared  

Whether you’re racking up the river miles on a day trip or spending a few days in the backcountry, nothing puts a damper a great day like sunburn. Once you’re on the water you’ll want to be sure to have all you need packed for your trip. Make a check list of everything you think you’ll need on the river. Food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated and is easily transportable is must, along with clean water or a water filter, towels, sunscreen, and an any emergency gear (first aid supplies, medication such as insulin or an inhaler). Pro tip: make sure you wrap those glass bottles in duck-tape. For all those Snapple loving kayakers, you don’t want to deal with broken glass along the river bank.

What to Wear

Wear the right gear and you won’t be miserable the entire trip. That’s right, if you get cold first thing, it’s going to be a daunting task to attempt to get warm again.

Do’s

  • Neoprene socks and proper footwear are a great investment for boating.
  • Synthetic anything is a good choice for water, as this material is fast drying and won’t pull heat from your body to dry itself.
  • A good dry bag to throw all your belongings in
  • A solid pair of sunglasses should come along with you as well.  You’re closer to the sun on Colorado’s rivers, and the reflection off the water can seem even brighter. Protect your best asset with a pair of shades and be sure to not lose your glasses by attaching some chums to hang them around your neck.
  • A great backpacking sleeping bag.  You’ll want something lightweight, but that will also keep you warm.  Colorado nights get chilly, especially when you’re sleeping next to a river or under a clear sky.

Don’ts

  • Electronics.  You won’t have phone service anyway, so leave it in your truck for your trip.
  • Cotton will quickly get wet and stay wet, so avoid wearing anything cotton on your trip.

Have a Good Time

Being aware of the river is what makes for a good time! We highly recommend having some prior experience with unguided kayak adventures. If this is your first time, roll that duckie up and head to Lake Dillon or Wolford Mountain Reservoir for some calm water to paddle around. This is a great place to learn to control your kayak and an overall fun time for the entire family. Duckies can be easily inflated in almost any location, giving you tons of mobility with these river riders. All inflatable kayak rentals include a paddle and life jacket.