In kayaking, a playspot is a place where there are favorable stationary features on rivers, in particular standing waves (which may be breaking or partially breaking), 'holes' and 'stoppers', where water flows back on itself creating a retentive feature (these are often formed at the bottom of small drops or weirs), or eddy lines (the boundary between slow moving water at the rivers' edge, and faster water).

Skookumchuck Narrows during a strong ebb tide

Playspots exist both in natural and artificial whitewater.


Playboating is sometimes performed on dynamic moving features such as haystacks (large boils) and whirlpools, or on flat water (this is often referred to as flatwheeling). Playspots are found on natural whitewater, on artificial weirs, on artificial whitewater courses, and occasionally on tidal races in the sea.

Popular PlayspotsEdit

Natural year-round playspotsEdit


North America

Further natural year-round playspots

High volume riversEdit

Many high-volume rivers are often run for their playspots:


North America


Man-enhanced playspotsEdit


North AmericaEdit

Tidal racesEdit


North America


The Tryweryn in Wales, the Dee near Llangollen in Wales, the Washburn in England, and Hambledon Weir on the Thames have been modified (by moving boulders on the river bed, or in the case of Hambledon by installing pneumatic kicker ramps on the river bed) to create better playspots.[citation needed]

Construction has been completed on Brennan's Wave a project in Missoula, USA, that is converting a broken diversion dam into a playpark for kayakers.[citation needed]


  1. ^ A where to go guide of the Ottawa River for Playboaters
  2. ^ Location of 'Heavy D' is in south corner of powerplant on map