Riot Kayaks Astro 58 Whitewater Playboating Kayak

A couple of days before we got our hands on this kayak we had looked at its older sibling. A lot of us here were really torn on the boat because we believed it was a decent boat. Yet most of us would never actually buy it because the other options out there where simply better.

The problem was that we thought we may have been biased when grading the Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 Whitewater Creeking Kayak. In our line of work, we can’t fall for any one particular brand. If we do that then these reviews lose all sense of objectivity and therefore amount to nothing. Just when we thought we may need to quit our jobs this next boat came along. 

The Riot Kayaks Astro 58 Whitewater Playboating Kayak. Since we got out in the water with this boat we felt exactly what a play boat should feel like. Maneuverability, speed, and even that sense that is like a mixed feeling of thrill and danger. Let’s back up a little bit though and give you all of the technical ins and out on this boat!

About The Product

Everything that makes this boat stand out is in the design. The boat is only 25.7 inches wide. Most of those 25.7 inches are occupied by the cockpit. Which means that you won’t have to be reaching out when you paddle. This is not only a feature that will make you more comfortable, it also increases speed and maneuverability.

The hull design allows for great stability. Even though the boat itself is very thin you won’t flip it easily. It has unity seating system with a floating backrest. As far as safety features go it really does away with a lot of the features that the creeking boat offers.

This allows the boat to be a lot lighter in and out of the water. Overall this is a boat that will allow you to have some good times out in the water. Not to mention the fact that carrying and transporting it is quite easy. Not only the weight but at 6.3 feet in length it can fit in most trucks and vans. 

Key Points 

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    Measures 6.3 feet by 25.7 inches
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    High-performance Contour Fit Maximizes Your Torso’s Range of Motion
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    Unity seating system with floating backrest
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    Dynamic Freestyle Playboat Kayak
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    Suregrip Thigh Braces 

What We Like

There are plenty of things to like on this boat. The first thing we noticed was how light it was outside the water. At first, we weren’t sure if that was such a good sign. When we actually got to the water though it was a great advantage. It made the boat easy to maneuver even without the need to paddle. With this boat sometimes all it takes are a couple of hip and torso movements to put you in the right spot. This makes the whole experience a lot less physically demanding. Of course, you can always paddle your way around as well. Especially if you are someone who needs to feel in control at all times.

Staying on what makes it a lot less physically demanding we have to talk about the cockpit. The design allows you to paddle with a more natural stroke. One of the complaints we had with the 8 foot Riot boat was that the farther back you sat the less natural of a paddle stroke you had to make.

We were worried at first also with how stable it might be. To be honest the worries started to fade once we actually got into the water. The hull design actually takes advantage of the size. You rock a lot less than in a lot of other bigger, wider boats. Last but not least we liked the price! It is on sale at a very decent price tag for a boat like this. Quite frankly we can’t understand Riot Kayak’s pricing techniques. In this case, though we believe they worked.

What We Do Not Like

There are plenty of safety features on the boat. This is a good thing don’t get us wrong. The problem we found is that with so many things crammed into a small cockpit it’s hard to fit. Even for people who are not that tall, you have to ride in an awkward position. At least it will seem awkward for people who don’t use play boats on a consistent basis. That is going to be an issue for people who are getting into play boats for the first time. Even if they are shorter than 6 feet. Other than these minor “issues” this is a great boat!

Buying Advice

No offense to the veteran play boater’s out there, but this section is not targeted towards you. Chances are if you are an experienced play boater you’ve already come across this boat and made up your mind about it! The more novice users and especially other kayakers looking to get into playboating hear us out.

Go to a dealership near you and ask if you can sit on this boat. When you do this come appropriately dressed. We don’t mean come in your wetsuit obviously! Wear clothes that take up roughly the same amount of space that you would normally take up on a boat.

Heck, ask to borrow a life jacket. It is absolutely imperative that you find out if you fit in the boat before you buy! It wouldn’t be fair to you or to the guys at Riot if you had a bad experience with this boat due to something like that! This is meant to be a long-term investment keep that in mind! 


If you are looking to get into play boats, this is a great option. It is being sold at a decent price and it will no doubt allow you to experience what real playboating is like. If in time you, like each an every kayaker develop your own likings and they differ from what this boat can offer you can always switch it out. At this price range, you at least won’t feel like you were cheated out of a larger sum of money. If you are still intrigued go check out the Riot Kayaks Astro 58 Whitewater Playboating Kayak on its Amazon page or the Riot official site!

If safety is your main concern, you should really at least have a good look a this boat. The Riot Kayaks Magnum 80 Whitewater Creeking Kayak is one of the boats that would keep your family more at peace when you go out!

Our Rating

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