From Easy to Dangerous: The Different Classes of White Water Rapids

White Water RapidsWhite water rafting in Colorado is the epitome of fun. Families, little kids, and adventure-seeking friends can enjoy the rapids of the river. Safety is still of utmost importance, though.

Know Your Rapids before You Raft

Rapids fall under six classes with different difficulty levels. Rivers categorized into these classes will determine whether your trip will be a relaxing one or will provide you an adrenaline-filled ride.

If you and your group decide to take a white water rafting trip in Colorado, here are those classes:

  1. Class I – The easiest and most relaxing, Class I rapids can be described as a calming cruise along the river. The waves are small; you only need to maneuver the raft occasionally. These rapids are best for little children and the elderly.
  2. Class II – Easy but a fun ride, Class II’s require a bit of attention; you have to avoid rocks and other hindrances with simple navigation. Expect to get wet, as waves are bigger in this type of rapids. Only older children who can paddle should be allowed — adult supervision is a must.
  3. Class III – You had better packed a change of clothes if you are going for this class. This falls under medium difficulty. Rafting experts recommend scouting the river first if you’re a beginner.
  4. Class IV – Paddle those oars if you don’t want to capsize. This class offers more thrills — and a bit of scares.
  5. Class V – This class throws “fun” completely out the window and invites fear in. This is ideal for professional rafters.
  6. Class VI – Classified as non-navigable, Class VI rapids feature intense waves that are dangerous to traverse, even if you are a professional.
Safety First

Before you get caught up in all the fun, here are some guidelines to remember:

  • Always wear your life jacket.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and keep your helmet on.
  • Do your best to keep yourself inside the boat.
  • Don’t panic.

Make your rafting trip fun and memorable. Learn the guidelines and know the river—these can spell the difference between a spoiled vacation and a fun trip.