Rafting Techniques: How To Stay Safe On The Rapids

If you are an adrenaline lover, then you definitely love rafting. Rafting is an exciting activity, but safety should always be on your mind when you're on the water. Rapids can be dangerous, and you should know how to navigate through them safely.

This article highlights a few techniques that will help you stay safe on the rapids.

Scout Your Route

Before you start, take time to study the river and check the rapids' location. Look for calmer sections or eddies where you can rest or have lunch during your rafting trip.

You want to know the terrain and locate any possible hazards. For instance, if there are any logs or rocks in the river or any changes in the water level, you need to be aware of them. You should also check for any signs of possible strainers that could trap your raft. 

Trees, branches, or partially submerged logs can cause a pin when you try to pass through. Make sure you are in a group that has the necessary skills to avoid such obstacles.

Proper Paddling Technique

Proper paddling is another essential technique for safe rafting. Your guide will give instructions on how to paddle and when and how to use your paddle during rapids. 

Depending on the type of raft you use, you may need to use your paddle for steering or to help propel the boat through rapids. 

For instance, in a paddle raft, you will have to coordinate with your fellow paddlers to create the thrust and turn. In an oar-powered raft, the oars person is in charge of steering and creating the necessary thrust. Make sure you follow your guide's instructions and use the proper paddling technique to navigate through rapids safely.

Proper paddling helps maintain stability and makes your raft maneuverable under different conditions. If everyone in the boat paddles in unison, you'll have increased power and better control, which is helpful in rapids.

Communication Is Key

Communication is another crucial technique in safe rafting. You need to work as a team when you are in the raft with others.

Before you start rafting, decide on essential communication calls and hand signals that everyone should use during the rapids. This critical team aspect ensures everyone is on the same page and ready to work together when navigating the rapids.

Make sure that you communicate any changes or updates on the route, especially when you see obstacles ahead. You could have different calls, such as "left" or "right," to indicate the direction you need to take. Also, you could use "back paddle" or "stop" to indicate when you need to slow down.

To learn more, contact a company to offers white water rafting experiences