Wet and risky must be the words that stir interest only among outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Today, white water rafting is quickly becoming a popular activity to almost any group, regardless of outdoor experience or ability.
Should you have plans of having the first rapid-ride of your life, here are some pointers to help you get the most of it.
Know What to Expect
American Adventure reminds people, especially rafting newbies, to be aware of what you are about to go through. Reading other people’s experience of white water rafting might prepare you for the thrill ride.
For beginners, choose a class 1 to class 2, or maybe class 3 rivers. According to experts, rivers have 6 types, in ascending order of difficulty. Class 1 rapids feature slow current, low waves and almost no obstructions, ideal for beginners; class 6 white water rivers have courses with large, frequent waves, sharp turns, and usually rocky to almost boulder, making it almost deadly when attempted and are thus reserved for the professionals.
Royal Gorge white water rafting is a strenuous physical activity that exercises the upper body including the arms, abs, core, shoulders, and hips. If you are not used to working out those parts, perhaps you need to train before rafting. White water rafting has several health benefits; it is worth the experience.
While you might have a good grip on the boat, expect a bumpy ride. One minute, you are in the boat; the next, you might be out swimming next to the raft. This is why learning how to swim is a must.
Prepare Your What to Wear and What to Bring List
The sun may still be hiding behind the clouds during the early hours, and you will not appreciate its surprise later in the day. Prepare and bring sun block to keep your face, neck, knees and legs from sunburn.
While on the trip, put on quick-dry clothes, wetsuit boots or water shoes. Do not bring money or pieces of jewelry with you. You might lose them, and give you bad memories of your supposed super adventure.
To keep you safe, wear a helmet and a life jacket or the personal flotation device (PFD). The PFD should be well-fitting, comfortable and not limit your movement. Check the straps once in a while because the constant motion and the water may loosen the straps.
Work with the Team and Listen to the Guide
Paddle in sync with the team. Do not do it as if you are racing with somebody else. To keep balance in the raft, comfortably sit on the outer rim, unless the guide tells you to get down.
The best thing for you to do is to be alert, listen to instructions and obey. Do not panic when the raft passes through fast streams or near boulders, the guide has the training to handle rough situations while on the river.
It will be a rough ride, but preparation and safety precautions are great antidotes to fear. Besides, without the waves, turns and boulders, it will probably be less thrilling. So, if you are up for the fun and the challenge, why not try the rapids?