Classes of Rapids
When you select a rafting trip you should consider the age of participants in your group and your previous white water rafting experience. You also need to decide what level of rapids you would like to raft. White water rapids are categorized into 5 classes. You should choose the right class of rapids for you or your group to ensure that everyone will safely enjoy the trip.
Class I Rapids (Beginner)
Class I rapids consist of quick moving waters with little or no interference. The present obstacles are easily avoided with little or no skill and experience. This class of rapids is ideal for families with young children.
Class II Rapids (Novice)
Class II rapids are slightly more advanced. Some paddling is necessary to move around rocks and medium sized waves. These obstacles can be avoided by trained paddlers.
Class III Rapids (Intermediate)
Class III rapids contain moderate waves which can be more difficult to avoid. Maneuvering is more complex and can be required in fast currents or around ledges. Previous rafting skills can be useful in avoiding these obstacles.
Class IV Rapids (Advanced)
Class IV rapids involve intense waves and powerful currents. Precise boat handling and paddling is required. Depending on the river, Class IV rapids can feature unavoidable holes and waves and may also include dangerous hazards. Previous rafting skills and experience are sometimes required.
Class V Rapids (Expert)
Class V rapids are more dangerous and expose the passengers to more risk. These rapids can contain long, violent waves and complex maneuvering. Rapids continue for extended periods of time requiring paddlers to be physically fit. Also extensive experience and proper equipment is essential for running a Class V rapid.