An Overview of Whitewater Rafting


Adventure sports such as rock climbing, bouldering, skiing, kayaking, and canoeing challenge the body and offers thrilling experience to riders. Whitewater rafting is an excellent choice that is becoming popular among individuals with a penchant for adventure. In this sport, participants guide and paddle a raft through white water or river rapids. The popularity of this game flourished when it became part of the Olympic Games in the 1970s.

Most of the whitewater rafting sports add thrill only when you ride in groups but it can be highly challenging when you ride alone. Choosing which type of raft depends on what type of ride you have practiced. Rafts are categorized into catarafts and self-bailers.

Self-bailers are the traditional inflated rafts with a wide flat chambered floor, which allows the water to flow down over the edge and out through the lacing. The ideal length of this modern raft is 15-16 feet with minimum of 18 footers nice for large rivers.  Since it is longer and carries a huge weight, it performs slower.

Catarafts are popularly called as cats and carry only few passengers like a sport car but are better maneuverable when compared to self-bailers. It is made of two inflatable tubes joined by a metal frame, which makes it easier to ride fast. Paddle rafts are highly inflatable plastic rafts, which usually seat a group of eight people plus a guide and races faster than other boats down the river.

The sportier version of paddle rafting called the R2 is more challenging as there are just two persons aboard. If you want to ride moderate river runs, oar rafts would be a good choice. Oar rafts are powered by a guide with a set of long wooden oars. They are inflatable and usually seat three to five persons and also intermediates advanced rapids with paddle assist. Kayaks are the other form of river crafts, which come in two flavors.  If you are looking for a river runner that also gives optimal performance, hard-shelled kayaks made of hard plastics and inflatable kayaks or canoes made of fiberglass, Kevlar or plastic would be your popular choices.

You may also come across J-Rigs and sweep boats. J-rigs are giant rafts constructed of huge pontoons and that is often motorised. Many of the commercial rafting companies use this type of rafts.  Sweep boats are basically very large self bailers and are named after the two big oars used for steering them.

Whitewater rafting is a challenging recreational activity that offers the possibility for…

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