Riot Kayaks Brand Review

An In-Depth Look behind the Scenes at Riot Kayaks

Riot Kayaks has to be one of the most popular kayaking brands currently trending on the market. In this post, we’ll be doing a Riot Kayak brand review, taking a closer look at some of their best products, and we’ll also be showing you what they’re good for. By the end of this post, you should be able to understand if these kayaks are your thing and if they’ll add any value to your life.

Riot Escape 12$$
Riot Escape 9$
Riot Thunder 76 No reviews yet!$$$
Riot Edge 13 $
Sun Dolphin Excursion 12$
Emotion Kayaks’ Spitfire 8$

Before we get to the part where we show you how their different kayak models measure up, there’s some basic educational information we need to get out in the open.

Understanding Riot Kayaks – Why and How You Should Use Them

Well, that’s a good question. Riot Kayaks is a brand that’s synonymous with affordability. They’re also big in the kayak angling industry, making them one of the biggest fishing kayak names. Corran Addison, a pro surfer, and kayaker designed one of their most popular yacks, the Corisca, and he designed it especially for the purpose of taking on rough river waters with ease!


Are Riot Yacks Better Than Most Other Angling Kayaks?

The answer is probably no, but they aren’t any worse either. There’s nothing about Riot Kayaks that clearly indicate weak spots and the fact that Riot pretty much offers a model for every paddler’s needs is just amazing, so versatility and durability are definitely right up where it’s supposed to be.


Why Are Riot Fishing Kayaks so Popular?

This is simple really: it’s because they were exceptionally designed, and they really do what they were made to do. The entire Riot fishing kayaks range has been professionally constructed. They also feature oodles of storage space, come with rod holder, and they’re super easy to transport thanks to their ergonomic designs.


What’s NOT To Like About Riot Kayaks?

If we had to be picky and highlight a drawback about the Riot Kayaks (the angling models in any way), it would have to be the fact that their top-ranking yacks are a little heavy. We’ll elaborate on this in a minute, but first, there are a few more facts to get out of the way.


Different Kinds of Riot Kayaks

Riot manufactures their kayaks to such an extent that it caters for nearly all tastes and budgets. Here’s an explanation of the kind of kayaks that Riot provides the market with:

Rotomolded Kayaks

Riot makes use of rotomolded polyethylene and they also use their Cross-Max manufacturing process for these types of kayaks. This ensures that the vessels are reinforced with HDPE, effectively leading to these yacks having just the right balance when it comes to quality durability, weight, and stiffness.

Thermoformed Kayaks

The range of thermoformed kayaks from Riot is made using a Cross-Light construction method. This process sees the use of roto-molding techniques as well as composite boats being incorporated into the finished product. Thermoformed kayaks are said to be up to 25% lighter, faster, and stiffer than its competitors, plus the aesthetic appeal is right up where it needs to be.

Composite Kayaks

The Bio-Fusion composite process used by Riot ensures that the kayaks from their Composite range are well-balanced and forged to perfection. Built to absorb impacts and vibrations in the bow and stern, these kayaks are light, stiff, and very durable. The fact that they are manufactured in an eco-friendly manner just seals the deal.


Riot Kayaks Highlights

We’ve rounded up a few of the best kayaks currently on offer by Riot. Have a look and what they stand for and how they might be able to make your paddling experiences more enjoyable!

Riot Escape 12

Riot Escape 12

The Riot Escape 12 comes available in an Angler and Sit-on-Top version, the latter being the bare-bones version for anglers who are looking to save just a few extra dollars. The Angler comes with 5-rod holders and also sports a pilot rudder system. Downsides here include the fact that these yacks trend around the $700 mark and they weigh in at a whopping 55 pounds.

The Escape 12 Sit-on-Top, on the other hand, comes with 2-rod holders and offers you a little more leg room. It’s not as comfy or as heavy as the Angler, but it will help you stay below budget if that’s your main aim.


Riot Escape 9

Riot Escape 9

As their most affordable recreational model in the range, Riot’s Escape 9 is hugely popular. Sure its small (9 feet), but it’s also very lightweight, coming in at a mere 37 pounds. This kayak is known for its agility out on the open waters, although it’s not going to be the fastest kayak around. In order to ensure that the yack is as stable as can be, tracking has been compromised somewhat. All-in-all, this is one of the best budget angling kayaks on the market, but you definitely get what you pay for.


Riot Thunder 76

Riot Thunder 76

The Thunder 76 is Riot’s answer to the competition when it comes to advanced professional kayaks. It will cost you a pretty penny, it’s not big, and for an 8-foot kayak, it’s super heavy, weighing in excess of 45 pounds. We have to say that this isn’t an aesthetically appealing kayak, but the fact that it’s fast and comfortable more than makes up for its downsides. If you’re into long range and high-risk paddling, the contoured seat is perfect, which is why this would be an excellent choice for your specific needs.


Riot Edge 13

Riot Edge 13

The Edge 13 is one of Riot’s largest Sit-In kayaks, and it’s definitely NOT a budget option. What it is, however, is one of the best touring kayaks that money can buy. The Edge 13 is super lightweight, weighing in at a mere 44 pounds, which is fantastic for a 13-foot vessel. Completing the picture is a retractable rudder, a low deck profile, seating that’s fully adjustable, and oodles of storage space for anglers.


What We Love About Riot Kayaks (The Pros)

  • They produce kayaks that sport a lot of great, very useful features
  • Their kayaks are almost always adjustable to ensure optimum conform levels for paddlers
  • The kayaks from Riot usually have a lot of storage space on board
  • They manufacture kayaks perfect for anglers and also include need-to-have widgets such as rod holders.

What We Wish Riot Kayaks Would Improve On (The Cons)

  • We reckon that quality is one of Riot’s biggest downfalls
  • Compared to their durability and longevity, we reckon that some Riot Kayaks are way overpriced


Alternatives to Riot Kayaks

Life is not fair, or so they say. Riot might not be all that you hoped for, but we’re still here to lend you a helping hand. Take a look at some of the alternatives for Riot’s most popular yacks…


Best Alternative to the Riot Escape 12 – Sun Dolphin Excursion 12

Why This Kayak?

Sun Dolphin Excursion 12 SS Kayak

The Sun Dolphin Excursion 12 offers you an opportunity of purchasing a high-performing, great tracking, and exceptionally maneuverable yack. It’s not nearly as heavy (or expensive) as the Riot Escape 12. It also sports 2-rod holders, just like the Riot, but also comes with retractable carry handles, shock-absorbent deck rigging, paddle holders, and a waterproof accessory carrier.


Best Alternative to the Riot Escape 9 – Old Town HERON 9 Angler

Why This Kayak?

Old Town HERON 9 Angler

The HERON 9 Angler from Old Town Kayaks is one hell of a looker, especially with its sleek and sporty design. The yack is super easy to paddle and has insane maneuverability. In contrast to the Escape 9, this kayak tracks well and is much faster than the competition. We reckon these facts more than qualify the HERON 9 as a suitable alternative to the heavy and slow Riot Escape 9.


Best Alternative to the Riot Thunder 76 – Emotion Kayaks’ Spitfire 8

Why This Kayak?

Emotion Kayaks’ Spitfire 8

As one of 2015’s most popular and fastest 8-foot angling kayaks, the Spitfire 8 is a perfect alternative to the Riot Thunder 76. This is a solo paddling, SOT kayak, and it’s also best known for its simple design that ensures the paddler gets speed, stability, durability and comfort! Weighing in at less than 39 pounds, it’s one of the lightest high-performance yacks on the market and makes for the perfect vessel if you’re into long and heavy water excursions.


Best Alternative to the Riot Edge 13 – Necky Vector 14 Sit-On-Top Sea Touring Kayak

Why This Kayak?

Necky Vector 14 Sit-On-Top Sea Touring Kayak

Measuring in at 13 feet long, the Necky Vector 14 is your best alternative to the Edge 13, unless you’ve got a limitless budget, in which case you might consider the Hobie Mirage. Back to the point here… The Vector 14 is considerably more affordable than the Riot Edge 13, and it happens to be one of the 5 leading touring kayaks currently available on the market. It just makes sense that the Necky Vector 14 comes in as a perfectly suitable alternative to the heavy and very expensive Riot Edge 13 Touring Kayak.


Final Thoughts

What a whopper of a review post! Riot Kayaks essentially form their own market segment. They allow you the opportunity of truly experiencing the essence of fishing in a yack. We hope that this post has helped you realize what exactly Riot Kayaks stands for, and what the brand might be able to add to your life in terms of real value for money. We also hope that you’ve enjoyed reading about your alternative options, just in case you love the idea of Riot, but you’re not entirely sold on the brand!