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Why Should I Care About What Float I Choose?
Not all floats are created equal! There are so many out there with many different levels of quality and if you're going to be using them outside of a pool setting, it's especially important to pay attention to what you're getting and make sure it works for your goals.
Float ExamplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
You Should Ask Yourself...
- Do you want to be able to get in and out of the water easily?
- Do you want to be in a seated position for the float? Or would you rather have the option to lay down completely?
- Do you want to be able to enjoy the water without having to actually get in it?
- Are you going to have a lot of friends going with you to float often? Will they need room on the float?
- How important are drink holders to you ON your float?
- How much stuff do you think you'll be taking out with you on the float that you would like to keep dry? Do you have a place for these items?
- How do you plan to inflate your floats?
- Where do you plan to store your floats?
Short story, you're going to need a pump, a cooler for your food and drink, and of course, the floats. If you can swing it, make sure you have two pumps because it just makes filling up go SO much faster!
Be very clear on your cooler needs as well. Consider what you'll actually need on the river and find the smallest cooler that will fill that need. It's not uncommon for there to be declines going down to the river and inclines getting out of it. The less weight you have to muscle around, the more you'll enjoy your time!
An efficient, cost effective pump that plugs into your DC outlets in your vehicle! These things fill up floats fast!
Keeping It Simple!
The Polar Bear Cooler is a GREAT cooler! It's soft-sided, but sturdy and it does what it says it will do - keeps things cold for HOURS! On especially hot days, it's not uncommon to leave the river with only water in the cooler. With this, you WILL have ice left. It's a bit pricey in comparison to others out there, but it's worth the investment.
This should be a decent sized boat to carry your cooler and your stuff :) AND this comes with paddles too that are a big help to have on other floats to help steer.
The better quality the float, the longer it's going to last you! Pool specific floats generally can't withstand the possible abuse the river may dish out by way of logs and sticks. Keep the gauge of the material in mind when selecting a river float!
Do you have a small army?
If you're making this a family affair, or are the type that maintains close friendships with quite a few people, you may be more inclined to get a larger float to accommodate more people. These keep everyone together and really can make for a good time with hours of fun and conversation!
One small note on the larger floats, they can be a bit unwieldy to manage as far as keeping away from the sides of the river or when you're at the end and trying to make it to the landing. Also, make sure that the float you select will fit through any possible narrow sections in the river. That's a lot of people to have stranded if the float suffers a puncture!
This float has it going on! It has a mesh center for cooling those feet off in but looks like it could double as a spot to put a round cooler in to keep nearby. You also have that nifty ladder to assist in getting you back in the float after a quick dip in the river
Double-lock or Boston style valves makes inflating and deflating floats a breeze! Look for those!
I personally own this float and it's a really great addition to river floats. It's best with 2 people but can fit 3 as well. It just makes it a little tougher to stretch out for some sun time if you want. There are drink holders in one of the "pillows" and the dipping hole in the center makes getting in and out of the float easier :)
You'll want to read my other articles if you're going to be floating the Edisto River, here in the Charleston area. But! Just in case you aren't, there are some things you'll want to consider before heading out to the water of your choice.
1. It's your responsibility to understand flood stages and at what point the river becomes dangerous. With the Edisto, our preferred river depth is no more than around 5ft. Anything more than that and the current becomes swift and makes managing the floats more difficult. It also drastically reduces the time out on the water. It's just not worth the time and effort to risk a fast moving river in these floats. Your location may be different. Get to know your river.
2. Floats are not safety devices. Exercise caution with any in your group that are young or not good swimmers. If they need a personal flotation device - get one! Don't skimp on this.
3. If you don't want it getting wet, don't bring it. There are things you can get to mitigate important items from getting wet, but if it would be an enormous loss to water damage, it's not worth it. These things include cameras and cell phones. There are dry boxes, dry bags, and other waterproof options out there that may be worth a try, but remember that there is always a possibility of loss. The river is a hungry creature.
4. There are logs, sticks, rocks, sand, bottles, cans, and even wild critters out in the river that could be a risk to your floats and you. Have patch kits for the floats, and bring some first aid equipment with you.
These things may seem like common sense, but it's better to go ahead and advise you of them, so you consider all angles and try to plan your trip accordingly. After you've got your safety covered, get out there and have fun!
Check out these related pages!
- Floating the Edisto River!
We aren't quite sure when people decided to start floating down the Edisto River but its been happening for a while and with good reason! It's just plain fun and relaxing! Read here for more tips on making the trip!
- Edisto River Float Access Points
That's GREAT that you've decided you want to take the plunge (hehe) and float the Edisto River! We know that first timers might need a little help getting to the river so here we are!
- Current Gage Depth for Edisto River Near Givhans, South Carolina
Want to keep an eye on the approximate depth of the river? This is your go to link ;)
- Access to the Edisto River
On this page the "Edisto River, main stem" section is where you want to be looking and that you need to estimate about 1 river mile per hour when the river is up at about 4-5ft.
- Edisto Floaters Facebook Page
Want to connect with other Edisto floaters? Go here!