Whitewater rafting is a sport that is quickly gaining popularity in the US and beyond. However, there are some common misconceptions that many people often still associate with rafting. However, these ideas are often based in fact and seem logical – so the misunderstandings continue. We have compiled a list of the:
Top 5 Misconceptions About Whitewater Rafting – Debunked
1. All Whitewater Rafting Requires Experience: Nope. Not at all. The only way that people become comfortable enough in the water to reach the highest classes of whitewater rafting is by practicing in calmer waters. So if you are new to rafting, or are nervous about it, simply speak with outfitters you want to raft with, and express your concerns.
2. You Must Be Able to Swim: Also not true. However logical it may be that you must be able to swim when in whitewater, many non-swimmers take to the rivers every year. While the ability to swim is helpful, as long as you are wearing all necessary safety equipment (especially a life vest!), it is not essential for your trip.
3. Rafting is Only Available in Summer: Although summer is one of the most popular seasons to take to the water, it is not the only one. Cooler weather and higher water levels often found in the spring and the fall mean that these two unique seasons are definitely worth the trip also. To ensure that you are prepared in the cooler seasons, make sure you are dressed appropriately, and to speak with your rafting company exactly about what that means in their location.
4. Whitewater Rafting is Dangerous: While of course, there some risks associated with rafting, this is true of any sport involving water, teams, people, land, or really anything that requires you to be in an element that is not totally controllable. Rafting companies work hard to minimize risks by providing up-to-date equipment, specially trained guides, and safety gear.
5. Rafting Guides are Only Burly Men: It is true that whitewater rafting does tend to attract the more “mountainous” types, rafting guides come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll find that your choices of guides often range from enthusiastic and energetic college-aged girls to slightly-greying fatherly types who know the water like the back of their hand.
Are there any other common myths that people have about whitewater rafting that we didn’t list above? Leave us a comment below and we will add it to our list. Have a question about rafting that you’re not sure about? Leave that in a comment too! We love to answer questions from potential whitewater enthusiasts (that don’t realize they are yet)!