Whitewater Rafting: Adventure Sports At It’s Best

Best Time for Big Whitewater when Rafting Grand Canyon

Enjoy White Water River Rafting Adventures in the Grand CanyonSports are often seen as those played within courts and fields. What people usually forget is that aside from indoor sports, there is an abundance of nature-based sports. These sports make the most of what nature has to offer including those found in oceans, mountains, rivers, canyons for example. Adventure sports have been increasingly popular over the past decade through the assistance of social media based platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, twitter for example. In addition to all of the beautiful photos floating around online introducing people to these great locations and because there are so many attractive aspects to adventure seekers, some of these attractions are located within the world's natural wonders, Grand Canyon for example. Rafting is a well-known example as it involves paddling or rowing through a river or any running body of water.

Colorado River Rafting Adventure Sports

If you are one of those enthusiasts who is eager to try something new, willing to pursue whitewater rafting as a vacation, sport or hobby, you will want to invest in some of the following equipment. However, for commercial raft trips, all of these items are included with your raft trip.

  1. Inflatable raft
  2. Life jacket
  3. Helmets - not required on Grand Canyon raft trips, more on this below
  4. Paddles
  5. Rain gear, preferably with neoprene enclosures at the neck, wrists, waist, ankles
  6. Carabiner
  7. Ropes

Techniques in Rafting

While there are many techniques and skills earned only after miles and miles of experience rafting and reading/navigating rapids, your qualified river guides commonly practice the following:

  • Punching - this is the most common technique used by water rafters. It involves paddling hard and fast enough to pass through currents or an eddy.
  • High siding - this is a maneuver which helps in preventing the raft to flip. This is often used whenever the hydraulics cannot be managed simply by paddling.
  • Low siding - this technique is used by professional guides to pass through narrow channels.
Is rafting dangerous?

Rafting and other nature related sports should not be singled out since all sports do pose risks. It is just that the risks involved in sports like water rafting at times unpredictable in nature and thus there is the need to be prepared for it. River guides in Grand Canyon must have rafted many rivers in order to graduate to the Colorado river. Further, they must successfully navigate the entire Colorado river multiple times before being able to carry passengers along in their rafts.

Safety Tips for Rafting

Adventure sports like rafting are indeed prone to accidents. Since it is often inevitable, many have released precautions before, during or after rafting. Below are some tips for a safer rafting experience.

  • Bring plenty of water and snacks/food along with you
  • Bring the appropriate warm clothes you'll need for when the sun goes down. The key to staying warm is staying dry and alternatively, the key to staying cool in the hot sun is staying wet.
  • It is recommended that you be accompanied by a professional water rafter - All 15 concessioners operating raft trips in Grand Canyon have professional knowledgeable guides navigating the rapids for you or calling out commands while in a paddle raft.
  • Life jacket are mandatory on these raft trips and do not remove it especially while rafting
  • Be knowledgeable, prepared and listen to your guides at all times
  • Do not continue to raft past dusk each evening

Differentiating Rafting And Kayaking Whitewater River Adventures

In the world of adventure sports, nothing can prepare you for the sheer thrill and excitement of shooting through some of the world?s finest whitewater rafting on river rapid systems like the Grand Canyon. Whether you seek to enjoy it alone or with a friend or in the company of other individuals in search of exhilarating fun as you are, the choice of the water vessel to use is paramount.

This Brings Up The Question, Kayaking Or Rafting?

As you could predict, both are excellent water vessels to navigate whitewater. However the kayak will simply outperform and outclass the raft because of the following unique characteristics of the kayak:

  • It has a very narrow, well-optimized, and very sleek and streamlined profile which allows it to literally slice through the water. This minimizes drag to allow the kayak to literally ?shoot? through the rapids.
  • It has a spray skirt which can protect you from water getting inside the kayak. So, even if you submerge or be pounded by towering waves, you simply will not capsize. And even if you do overturn, just shift your weight and you will be right back up.
  • You will be sitting at the level of the waterline. This puts you at a great advantage to use the double-bladed paddles for you to go faster than any other water vessel on the whitewater river system. Additionally, this lowers the center of gravity so you are basically more stable.
  • Kayaks are small often no longer than 14 feet long. You can conveniently carry one by yourself and then inflate it just before you go conquer the rapids.
  • Kayaking the Grand Canyon requires expert experience level given the class 10 rapids on the Colorado River.

Having pointed out the advantages of a smaller, more agile craft, the oar raft certainly has its own set of advantages.

  • Oar Rafts are larger, most carrying 4 passengers and a guide on commercial Grand Canyon rafting trips for example, however there are some that can carry up to 10 passengers. The raft is quite wide with provisions for seating as well plenty of space for other items such as camping gear and food/kitchen equipment for longer multi day raft trip which include camping.
  • Rafts depend on buoyancy and not displacement. As such they are perfect for gentler river systems as well as larger more aggressive rapids. While some can use the raft to navigate higher classes of whitewater river the those navigating the oars should have plenty of experience and command the other passengers appropriately when in turbulent waters.

Technically choosing between a kayak and a raft boils down to your wants, needs, skill level and the purpose of your river adventure. Grand Canyon rafting trip options include a variety of raft types including oar, dory, paddle hybrid and even some options which offer inflatable kayaks. For more information on these guided raft trips in the Grand Canyon, contact Advantage Grand Canyon who can coordinate your trip today!

Other Adventure Sports Options at the Grand Canyon

Get to know some of the Grand Canyon adventure sports that you can plan with your family and friends apart from rafting.

Hiking or Biking

For those who are not fond of extreme sports, but are looking for a rewarding physical Grand Canyon adventure, you can hike, jog or run along the canyon?s established routes. This can be a fun experience for your family, even for the younger members. Apart from good cardio you get when you jog, run or hike, you also enjoy scenic views of the Grand Canyon. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen! There's always a place for bikers around the infamous Grand Canyon. Bring your mountain bike along with you and start pedaling your way through. This activity is only for those who are already expert bikers and familiar with the terrain.

Breathtaking Helicopter and Train Rides

There are Grand Canyon helicopter and train ride tour packages available to suit your preference. There's no greater adventure than seeing on a wider scale the perfectly formed rock formations in the Grand Canyon and the majestic Colorado River that runs through them.