Rafting, the high-adrenaline sport of navigating a river in an inflatable raft, involves several levels of difficulty, depending on how choppy the river is. These ‘grades’ of difficulty are arrived at according to the presence of rapids, which evolve due to sudden plunges in the river’s height, and also because of rocks – small or large – that may be lurking in the waters.
Rafting is a challenging but tremendously fun activity – just remember to keep the instructor’s safety tips in mind! White-water (rapids) does invoke fear but river-running has done properly – under professional guidance, with the right training, using the appropriate equipment, taking all safety precautions, and by following a set of international safety and ecological norms – can be an extremely safe, enjoyable and exciting soft-adventure sport.
The sport’s popularity is probably due to the fact that almost anyone, including non-swimmers and those with no prior experience, can go rafting. All it takes is 15 minutes of instructions and you can have the time of your life – riding the waves, getting splashed and enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the river.
Rapids are graded on an international scale from I to VI progressively increasing in difficulty and danger. The size and type of waves, the hazards, remoteness, water temperature and nature of river (continuous rapids or a calm section between the rapids), the geographical terrain (a stretch of a gorge or flat, open country) all go into deciding the grade of a rapid. The overall grade of a river depends on the hardest rapid on that river.
Basic to medium swimming skills are required for Grades I to III, while a decent experience of white-water rafting is necessary for Grades IV and VI.
If you have a previous medical condition, mention them to the instructor, and do remember to carry the necessary prescribed medication.
The most important tip for white water rafting for beginners is to listen to your guide. He or she is there to help you stay safe while enjoying the ride to the fullest. Ask questions if you’re unsure of where to sit, how to paddle, how to strap on your helmet or life jacket, or anything else that comes up.
Perhaps the second most important tip is to relax. No, we’re not talking about being relaxed enough to fall asleep, but confident enough not to panic if you:
• Happen to fall off the raft
• Watch anyone else fall off the raft
• Notice approaching waves or obstacles
Use your adrenaline to fuel your excitement, and you’re much more likely to have an awesome time. And yes, you can expect there to be plenty of adrenaline pumping through your veins as you ride down the rapids!
You’ve decided that you’re ready to experience the rush of paddling down a river, splashing and laughing with friends and family. When preparing for your first rafting adventure, there are numerous beginner rafting tips that can help you be prepared. By understanding what to expect and how to stay safe, you will be ready to go on the trip of a lifetime!
Probably the most important tip is to pay special attention to everything your guide has to say. Our raft guides are highly trained river-lovers who are committed to making your trip as safe and fun as possible.
Before you head out, your raft guide will talk to the group about safety tips and what to expect. Be sure to listen closely to this introduction as they will tell you what you need to know before you head out on your river adventure.
Once you’re on the raft, continue to listen to your guide. They will tell you when and how to paddle if you need to lean to one side of the raft to keep everything balanced, and even what to do if a paddler should happen to slip out of the raft.
At every moment when you’re on the river, your life jacket and helmet need to be secured. Before you step onto the raft, ensure that they both feel snug and comfortable. If you need any assistance making sure that your safety equipment is on and fitting properly, ask our staff to help you.
The end of your paddle has what is known as a T-grip. It is absolutely essential that you always keep one of your hands over the T-grip. One of the most common injuries that can occur river rafting is injuring another rafter by taking your hand off of the end of your paddle. If this happens when you go through a rapid, the T-grip can end up making contact with another rafter.
Raft trips are a great combination of nature, scenery, and exercise, and as such, require ample hydration. Warm weather and physical exhaustion can happen, and you want to keep yourself hydrated.
Adventure rafting in the royal gorge there might be times when the river shells out some surprises. Maybe you weren’t prepared for a rapid or your raft gets stuck on a rock. In these situations, the key is to stay calm. When you are calm, your mind and body will be more capable of listening and doing what you need to do to keep yourself and others safe.
While you want to be sure to pay attention to safety and prepare yourself well for your day trip, the most important part is to relax, enjoy, and have a good time! Rafting is a great way to escape the city, exercise, and let go of any stress that your day job might carry. Let yourself be fully present and enjoy the time spent on the river.