Everything You Need to Know About White Water Rafting

Whitewater rafting is an outdoor recreational activity that requires the use of teamwork to navigate down a river. As such, it could be fun to try while on vacation with friends and family. Before you consider it, though, there are three significant aspects to make note of; whitewater difficulty, maneuvering, and tricks. Tricks are for experienced rafters, so keep rafting until you’re weathered enough to try them. You can’t try them without learning basic maneuvering, however. Before doing all of that, however, make sure the class of the whitewater matches your personal capabilities.

Whitewater Difficulty

There are six levels labeled classes one to six. Class one is the easiest whitewater river to raft Class six means it’s not fit to be rafted upon, even if you’re an expert. Your main focus is on one through five. If you’re just starting out or want to have a relaxing time, then try a river labeled with one of the easier classes. Try a class one river if you have never set foot in a raft. Once you learn the basics of paddling, you’ll be ready for level two. You might start feeling bold after gaining some experience, so you’ll want to give the more difficult classes a try. The higher the difficulty, the more obstacles you must overcome in the river. Before you get there, though, make sure to learn proper technique.


Whitewater rafting is more than knowing how to turn or go straight. There’s the knowledge of overcoming various obstacles on the river. One such technique is low siding. This is used to pass a part of the river with low water smaller than the raft. Punching is a maneuver that has the rafters row as quickly as they can to surpass a high wave or hydraulic. Other significant pieces of information include learning some vocabulary, like hydraulic.


Doing tricks can potentially enhance the thrill of your experience, but only if you know how to properly do them. Execution of the move may not be the problem, but how it can affect you. The Pirouette, for example, requires the paddles to make the raft spin with the current. Though useful for avoiding obstacles, really give it a try if you can recover from dizziness pretty quickly. Some tricks allow for the boat to recover from other techniques that result in failure. One example is the back pivot, which helps the raft recover from an extreme ferry angle.

Whitewater rafting is skill-based, which makes it half the fun. The other half is working with your team to successfully make it down the river. Try out this activity for certain situations, like birthdays or even bachelor parties.

Evan Shaner