Whitewater rafting is an outdoor activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a natural or manmade river. For wave after wave of thrills and excitement, get a youth group together and find a whitewater rafting venue for some fantastic fun.
Image courtesy of wikipedia. For more information wiki rafting.
Whitewater rafting is a very thrilling way to go down a river. There are three types of river that you can go rafting on. These are:
- a man-made whitewater river such as the one at Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham. This river is controlled and is used for canoeing competitions. A man-made river is ideal for spectators to see the entire stretch of water.
- dam release rivers such as Canolfan Tryweryn - The National Whitewater Centre in Bala, Wales. Dam release rivers use the periodical release from dams to create the whitewater. The advantage of this type of river is that you can use it for whitewater rafting when other rivers have dried up during hot weather.
- a natural river such as the River Dee. This whitewater river is not dependant on Dam releases as other Welsh venues are, which makes us truly the only year round White Water Rafting in Wales.
YouTube has several videos of whitewater rafting at places like Holme Pierrepoint.
The rafts used are not the old fashioned set of logs tied together as made when you are in Scouts. They are inflatable boats that are resistant to the buffeting that is experienced when whitewater rafting down a wild river. Whitewater rafting can be a dangerous sport, so there are various safety precautions that must be taken. Depending on the area, legislated safety measures now exist for rafting operators. These range from certification of outfitters, rafts, and raft leaders, to more stringent regulations about equipment and procedures. It is generally advisable to discuss safety measures with a rafting operator before signing on for a trip. The equipment used and the qualifications of the company and raft guides are essential information to be considered.
The team at Nottingham are great, and will provide you with an unforgettable whitewater rafting experience. Starting with getting kitted out with a wetsuit, buoancy aid and helmet, you get full instructions on how to behave whilst still on dry land. They will tell you what to do if you fall out, how to get back into the raft, and at all costs don't let go of your paddle.
With paddle in one hand and helping to carry the raft in the other hand, you set off onto a calm piece of water at the head of the river. Then you all head off over the first weir. The advantage of the manmade river is that the instructor will guide the team in the raft to the calm eddies at the side of each weir to brief them on how to tackle the next weir. The instructor explains what to do and then you experience how the raft behaves as you cross from one side of the water to the other. If you should happen to fall out, all you do is just lay back and float. The remainder of your team in the raft have to paddle to reach you and then pull you into the raft. The downside of the manmade river is that it is shoprt compared with a natural river, and when you reach the bottom you all have to get out and carry the raft back to the head of the river for another whitewater run. If you are on a natural river, you just go down once, but the distance is much further.
For whitewater rafting in the UK you can visit:
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