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River Rafting in Rippling White Waters

Updated on September 4, 2017
River rafting
River rafting | Source

We have heard about mountaineering and it’s almost a bit of rise in the heartbeat by one or two. The advent of river rafting has replaced this adventure with its higher rapids and gradients. Rowing through turbulent and tortuous waters is challenging definitely; as there is no looking back once you get hooked into the rafts! Rafting is arranged in rivers that are lengthy with gorges. These rivers may have several tributaries flowing through different channels.

River rafting means navigating a river with an oar and an inflatable raft. Upper reaches of rivers are chosen for river running, as waters flow in the form of wild waves with current. Rocks cause froths and foams of sparkling white when waters touch them. Gorges have rapids that are caused by either a sudden gradient or by a variation in the volume of water. Inward pressure occurring on some parts also can be a reason for the formation of rapids.

Classification of grades

The difficulty of a rapid is measured according to its grade which can be from 1 to 7. Grade 1 is cool, mild stretch of water that can be overcome easily with basic paddling skills. Grade 2 is also gentle caused by rocks occasionally. Grade 3 has rough waters of small waves with some danger and requires experienced paddling skills. Grade 4 is tough with white waters of medium waves that get encountered in a rafting trip. Advanced paddling skill persons can handle that. Grade 5 is the dangerous rapid involving higher waves of high volume of water that can be faced by professionals only. Grade 6 is for highly skilled and experienced professionals, which is extremely risky on account of its depth. Swimming knowledge can help avoid accidents to some extent, even if it is not a must.

Where is river rafting performed?

Upper reaches of rivers are chosen for river running, as waters flow in the form of wild waves with current. Rocks cause froths and foams of sparkling white when waters touch them.

Arrangements in a raft trip

The raft is usually made of inflatable rubber with compartments, covered with nylon. One raft can include a crew of eight with an experienced guide. Paddles are given to each voyager to increase the strength. Helmet and lifejackets also save those who go out-of-the-raft when some strong current occurs. Most commercial trips have arrangements for rescue and first aid on adjoining banks. All the participants are given basic instructions and guidance required for a successful, safe cruise over the swirling river.

Rangitata river rafting in Newzealand

The 75 miles long Rangitata River streaming north of Temuka, flows through the eastern side of the Southern Alps. It is formed by the confluence of two main tributaries, the Clyde and Havelock Rivers. Rafting through the magnificent gorges of this river is not only thrilling; but also discovers the wild landscape consisting of four endangered species of birds.

A 2.5 hours cruise in this river is good even for beginners as each stage teaches the paddler how to handle rapids from the mild ones to the most dangerous ones in progression. Running the rafts can be made funny by surfing in mild rapids. Jumping out of the raft against the rapid by lying on the back and floating on the water with head held high is called body surfing. Swimming in turquoise waters and taking a brave leap from the “jump rock” are the other forms of running the river. Rafting in grade 5 rapids creates adrenaline pumping for sometimes in Rangitata River.

Rangitata river
Rangitata river | Source

Kayaking and canoeing

These are additions to white water sports, demanding more degree of skills and are done solo. A Kayak is a light decked craft, propelled with a double blade paddle. Canoe is also similar to kayak with some differences in the paddle. An expert kayaker has the ability to go underwater and come out, within a blink of the eye. Kayaking includes white water, polo, sea kayaking, water touring and many more kayaks adapting to various activities.

River rafting is daring as well as recreational for people who enjoy water sports. Even for the bravado, jumping from a rock ten or fifteen feet high into the water is a matter of trifle scary. Some people are addicted to running the river and they never stop themselves as they enjoy the dual benefits; rejuvenation and recreation.

Kayaking | Source

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© 2014 Radhika Sreekanth


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    • radhikasree profile image

      Radhika Sreekanth 3 years ago from Mumbai,India

      Hi Ruby,

      River rafting is an extreme sport that requires lots of courage to embark upon. Thank you for stopping by.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I admire anyone with the courage to go river rafting. ( not me. Ha ) I have gone canoeing and loved it. Most interesting. Thank you..