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Plunge into the thrilling ripples of kayaking cinema, where adventure meets the raw power of nature.

This collection navigates treacherous waters and serene journeys alike, each story capturing the pulse of the paddle.

Eager to ride the cinematic currents of the best kayaking movies, shows, and documentaries? Dive in with us!

Best Kayaking Movies, Shows, and Documentaries:

  1. The River Wild (1994)
  2. Deliverance (1972)
  3. Paddle to the Amazon (1994) – Documentary
  4. Kayaking the Aleutians (2015) – Documentary
  5. The Canoe (2017) – Documentary

#1 The River Wild (1994)

  • 🎬 Directed by: Curtis Hanson
  • 🌟 Starring: Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn, John C. Reilly

In The River Wild, Meryl Streep stars as a former river guide who arranges a white-water rafting trip to celebrate her son’s birthday and salvage her shaky marriage.

Their outdoor adventure takes a turn for the worse when they encounter two mysterious strangers (played by Kevin Bacon and John C. Reilly) who turn out to have ulterior motives. The film is a thrilling ride combining family drama with tense action sequences set against the backdrop of America’s wilderness.

Where to watch: Peacock, Vudu, Amazon Prime Video

#2 Deliverance (1972)

  • 🎬 Directed by: John Boorman
  • 🌟 Starring: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox

Deliverance tells the harrowing tale of four city dwellers who embark on a weekend canoeing trip in the Georgia wilderness, only to encounter unforeseen horrors in the remote back-country.

With a focus on survival and the raw forces of nature, the film is both a thrilling adventure and a shocking drama, renowned for its cultural influence and the haunting ‘Dueling Banjos’ music score. Deliverance is an iconic, tense, and thought-provoking film that delves deep into primal fear and the will to survive.

Where to watch: HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV

#3 Paddle to the Amazon (1994) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Chris Forde
  • 🌟 Starring: Don Starkell, Dana Starkell

Paddle to the Amazon is a documentary chronicling the incredible journey of Don Starkell and his son, who set out on a quest to paddle a canoe from Winnipeg, Canada, all the way to the Amazon River.

This inspiring true story showcases the determination, courage, and resilience required to undertake such an ambitious expedition. The documentary captures the diverse landscapes and cultures they encounter while highlighting the profound father-son bond that develops throughout this challenging adventure.

Where to watch: Tubi TV

Read the book: Paddle to the Amazon: The Ultimate 12, 000-Mile Canoe Adventure

#4 Kayaking the Aleutians (2015) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Justine Curgenven
  • 🌟 Starring: Justine Curgenven and Sarah Outen

Kayaking the Aleutians presents the extraordinary journey of two women, Justine Curgenven and Sarah Outen, as they kayak over 2,500 kilometers along the Aleutian Islands.

Facing some of the world’s harshest weather conditions, the documentary captures their encounters with fierce winds, treacherous currents, and the stunning wildlife of the North Pacific. The film is a testament to the spirit of adventure and the incredible capabilities of human endurance.

Where to watch: Vimeo On Demand, Amazon Prime Video

#5 The Canoe (2017) – Documentary

  • 🎬 Directed by: Goh Iromoto

The Canoe touches on the broader themes of connection to nature and the significance of this iconic vessel in Canadian culture. The documentary features heartfelt stories from five individuals who share a deep passion for canoeing, conveying the intimate relationship that exists between people, water, and the canoe.

These narratives not only highlight the emotional significance of the craft but also illustrate the profound ways in which it shapes relationships and experiences.

Where to watch: Film Freeway



What is the best kayaking movie of all time?

“The River Wild” (1994) is the best kayaking movie of all time, captivating audiences with thrilling white-water scenes and a gripping storyline featuring Meryl Streep.

What are some good kayaking movies?

“Without a Paddle” (2004) and “Deliverance” (1972) are good kayaking movies, each offering a mix of adventure, drama, and the raw beauty of river landscapes.

What kayaking movies, shows, and documentaries are on Netflix?

The best kayaking movies, shows, and documentaries on Netflix currently are “Chasing Niagara” (2015), and “The River Runner” (2021), featuring breathtaking kayaking exploits and personal pursuits.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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