How to Scout Whitewater Rapids

  • Post last modified:October 10, 2021
  • Reading time:8 min(s) read

Scouting Rapids might seem simple. Get out of your raft or kayak, walk downstream and look at the rapid. Then decide upon a planned route through the whitewater and finally run the rapid. However, there are steps and details within the scouting process that can greatly improve the probability of success while minimizing risk to you and your team. Before Launching Before launching on a trip have a guide meeting at put-in to discuss logistics for the day, boat order and any hazards of note. During the meeting decide which rapids to scout as well as where to pull over to scout. It is important to create…

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Rafting the Grand Canyon in 1 Day

  • Post last modified:October 19, 2021
  • Reading time:5 min(s) read

Almost 6 million people visit the Grand Canyon each year. However less than 1% of those people see the bottom of the canyon. Spending a day rafting the Colorado River provides a much deeper Grand Canyon experience. The question to answer is which one day Grand Canyon rafting trip is best for you. The main rafting options in or near Grand Canyon are the Glen Canyon flatwater tour, the Hualapai River Runners whitewater trip and the Black Canyon smooth water trip. While only one of these trips is in the actual Grand Canyon, the other two options provide a similar experience with easier access and a lower…

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What to Wear White Water Rafting

  • Post last modified:September 30, 2021
  • Reading time:11 min(s) read

Deciding what to wear on your white water rafting trip depends primarily upon the type of river trip and the time of year. Almost no matter where you are rafting it is best to show up with river attire for sun and cold. Even during the summer, a splashy day of rafting can turn cold when the sun goes behind some clouds. In this post we try to help you understand how to best use the items on your packing list and steer you towards some of our preferred gear options. We've broken down our list into essential items and later discuss additional options that can improve…

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Best Whitewater Rafting Shoes and Sandals

  • Post last modified:October 6, 2021
  • Reading time:12 min(s) read

Proper footwear can make or break your river rafting experience. Quality rafting shoes and sandals dry quickly, secure well to your foot and provide traction in a variety of conditions. Unfortunately the same footwear is not ideal for everyone and every whitewater trip. Some trips need footwear that is primarily suited for swimming, others need it to be better for walking on rocks. This article breaks down the advantages and disadvantages of the most common and best shoes and sandals for rafting. We also discuss which shoes/sandals are better for specific types of whitewater rafting trips. Rafting trips provide access to some amazing hiking, did you bring…

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Best Practices for Swimming Whitewater Rapids

  • Post last modified:September 24, 2021
  • Reading time:13 min(s) read

Numerous people stop rafting rivers after a bad swim. Most bad swims can be prevented by training of crews to keep everyone in the raft, wearing more flotation and using best practices once in a rapid. A key component is training with whitewater skills regularly to be comfortable using the swimming techniques and one's PPE (personal protective equipment). Active Swimming: Self-rescue This is the preferred technique and should be used during most whitewater swims. Be an active part of your rescue rather than lying on your back waiting for someone to come rescue you. The most common use of active swimming is to swim back to the…

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Whitewater PFD (Life Jacket) Flotation

  • Post last modified:September 6, 2021
  • Reading time:10 min(s) read

The most important aspect of whitewater rafting life jackets is flotation. This article looks at how flotation impacts the amount of time swimmers spend under water as well as other advantages of high flotation PFDs. If you are not a big fan of reading check out this video discussing the importance of flotation with my friend Zach Collier. There are many reasons why people don't select a high float PFD: how it fits, how it looks, where the pockets are, what color it is, it's easier to move and swim in low float jackets. Yes, these are all considerations when selecting a whitewater PFD. However, flotation actually…

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Wrapped Rafts
Blossom Bar Wrap

Wrapped Rafts

  • Post last modified:October 10, 2021
  • Reading time:8 min(s) read

When I started guiding in the early 1990's we were still using bucket boats. Once those rafts wrapped (and they did so much more often than self-bailers), they were extremely challenging to remove from a rock. Luckily the stiffer hypalon and polyurethane self-bailing rafts don't wrap nearly as often (they flip more!) as the old hypalon bucket rafts. However many people still treat wraps like their rafts are bucket boats. In this article we will review some basics about preventing wraps and simple ways of getting your self-bailing raft off a rock. How to Prevent a Wrap The best way to unwrap a raft is to not…

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Whitewater Raft Materials and Designs

  • Post last modified:October 25, 2021
  • Reading time:11 min(s) read

There are variables to consider when purchasing a whitewater raft: design, size, cost, materials, and type of usage. People tend to focus on the size (particularly length). However, raft performance depends heavily on raft materials (scroll to materials) and design. In this post we are going to break down these variables along with what different manufactures offer to help you figure out the right inflatable raft for you. We also have a post on the different types of whitewater crafts. Variables of Raft Design Raft Length People tend to spend the most time considering length which is a good place to start. The length of a raft…

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Yosemite Rafting

  • Post last modified:August 14, 2021
  • Reading time:5 min(s) read

While Yosemite National Park is one of the most famous parks in the world, many people miss out one of its best activities, whitewater rafting and kayaking.

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