Facts about Whitewater Rafting

One of the many recreational activities that are fast gaining popularity among the people who have a brave heart and a craving for adventures, especially in still or flowing water, is Whitewater Rafting.

In this recreational or adventure sport, an inflatable raft is the one that is used for navigating in water, which usually is a flowing river or some other type of water body. A raft is nothing but a structure, preferably having a flat top, that is capable of floating in water.

The adventure, which has been popularized since the later part of the 20th century, is usually offered by experienced operators of rafting to the adventure-seeking enthusiasts who are in pursuit of that extra thrill and excitement.

The inflatable rafts that are used in this leisure activity or adventure sport is basicaly nothing but an inflatable boat that has a number of independent air chambers in it. The material used for these inflatable boats are durable, vinyl fabrics or multi-layered rubberized fabrics.

Typically, an inflatable raft or the inflatable boat that is used for whitewater rafting comes in different sizes, depending upon the strength of the crew members taking part in this adventure sport. Typically the width of the inflatable boat varies between 6 feet and 8 feet, while the length of the raft varies between 11 feet and 20 feet. A typical raft can hold a minimum of 4 persons or a maximum of 12 persons, depending upon the crew and the size of the raft selected. For navigating through the waters, rafters use the paddles for propelling.

Thanks to stringent regulations and the precautionary measures, this dangerous activity has been made more of a leisure sport and more people enjoy and get thrilled by engaging in this whitewater rafting.

The thrill or the excitement that a person enjoys in whitewater rafting include treading through rough water, overcoming rocks in the water, waves – small, medium or large – in the water bodies, and most importantly, drops from a higher level to a lower level in a downstream.

Depending upon the quality or nature of the white water and the level of risk, on which the leisure activity of rafting is proposed, grading has been assigned. The whitewater bodies, under this grading, has been broadly categorized into six grades. The first grade or Grade 1 involves very little amount of rough areas in the navigation route and calls for some basic skills of maneuvering the moving water. The grading gets incremented as the level of risk increases – something like more rough water, existence of rocks, drops, and also slow or medium waves.

Whitewater rafting can be a leisure activity with great thrill and excitement provided some basic precautions are followed strictly. Basically, two types of risks are associated with whitewater rafting. One is related to environmental dangers and the other is improper behavior. Most of the regions where rafting is allowed, the environmental aspects are given adequate importance. Improper behavior like swimmer attempting to stand in the raft, especially when the raft is maneuvering a rock or a rocky river bed would just be an invitation for problems and risks.

One should be very brave mentally and physically to undertake these types of adventure sports.