Five Strategies For Staying Safe On Whitewater Rafting Trips

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Five Strategies For Staying Safe On Whitewater Rafting Trips

13 June 2016
 Categories: Recreation & Sports, Blog


If you're just beginning your journey with the wonderful world of whitewater rafting, you probably chose the sport because it provides an exhilarating way to enjoy spending time in a pristine wilderness environment. You probably also know that one of the most important safety basics of rafting is to keep your life jacket on at all times. However, staying safe on the water involves a bit more than just wearing a life jacket. Following are five essential safety strategies designed to make your whitewater rafting trip the best possible experience. 

Keep a Strong Grip on Your Paddle

The top section of the paddle is shaped like a T and is called a T-grip. You should always keep a strong grip on this part of the paddle, particularly when you are coming close to a rapid. The T-grip is made of hard plastic that can cause injury to the eye and facial areas of the person behind you if you lose your grip, so hold on tight!

Be Prepared For Bumps 

Whitewater rafting guides generally will call out "bump" prior to the raft hitting a rock, which gives you a chance to grip your paddle firmly and hold it on the floor of the raft while leaning in. You should also keep your eye out for any rocks from downstream in case your guide doesn't see them. 

Wear Your Helmet

You should always wear your helmet while you are whitewater rafting -- this piece of safety equipment is right up there with your life jacket in terms of importance. Always have it on even when you're in a long, calm stretch of the river. Also, make certain that your helmet fits right -- if it's too loose, it may not do its job, and helmets that are too tight will diminish the overall experience by causing pain and discomfort. 

Wear Sunscreen

Although this may not seem like a safety strategy when taken at face value, the fact is is that sunburns happen faster and more intensely at higher altitudes -- and whitewater rafting is a mountain activity. You can't focus properly if your skin is stinging from overexposure to UV rays. Slather up with sunscreen and keep your skin pain-free. 

Listen to Your Guide at All Times

Although it can be tempting to tune out your guide and completely focus your attention on the gorgeous scenery, always be attentive to your guide before and during your whitewater experience. Your guide will provide you with a safety briefing prior to embarking on your whitewater adventure -- give your guide your undivided attention to ensure a fun, memorable trip. To find out more, speak with someone like Andy and Bax.