Wildwater is the equivalent of marathon paddling on through various difficulties of rapids over a stretch of river lasting 5-10km.  "Wildwater" is a European term for whitewater over long distance.

Wildwater is all about getting down the river the fastest way possible. Boats are 4-5 metres long with lots of volume for increased buoyancy. Paddlers use a double bladed kayak paddle for K1 events. A single bladed canoe paddle is used for C1 and C2 events.

Boats have no rudders and the paddler steers with the paddle and by shifting body weight. Spray decks keep the water from filling the boat. Lifejackets and helmets are important safety equipment.