Rafting for Beginners: How to do your rafting adventure?

Rafting for beginners in 2022

You would like to learn and start a new extreme sport? Rafting is one of the most extreme sports in the world. Here is rafting for beginners guide you can follow to learn more. 

Every year, extreme sports enthusiasts are looking for newer and newer impressions. Mountain biking, bungee jumping, mountaineering and parkour – these are the most frequently chosen disciplines. 

As you can see, lovers of extreme adventures decide to face the land or air, forgetting about water. Rafting is a sport based on extreme rafting – was created for people who want to face the strong current of rivers. 

  • How to start your rafting trip? 
  • What to take on a rafting trip? 

We explain!

What is rafting?

Rafting is a river or stream rafting in extreme conditions. It differs from the classic rafting mainly in the number of obstacles and numerous dumpers – the current of the river itself is also important; the most difficult sections of the rafting routes are full of waves and strong water currents. 

Another significant difference is the number of participants – while kayaking is possible alone, a trip on a much larger pontoon dedicated to rafting requires teamwork.

How to start rafting for beginners?

Beginners who want to feel the thrill in safe conditions should sign up for a rafting trip with an instructor-lifeguard who will take control of the situation in case of danger. You can go on such a trip with the whole family – it is essential, however, to use the services of experienced rafters or rafts men, and not private individuals. 

Most local companies organize rafting dedicated to individual tourists who, by definition, do not have the entire group willing to go rafting – so single people can easily join hitherto unknown tourists looking for similar experiences.

People who want to become acquainted with rafting at an advanced level should, first of all, improve their swimming skills and improve their overall physical fitness. 

Importantly, apart from the ability to swim, it is also important to keep a cool head during a rollover. 

It happens that even the best swimmers, after a sudden fall into the water, lose their ability to swim – so before embarking on the route without an instructor, you should practice swimming in open water reservoirs to get used to the wild element.

Rafting for for beginners difficulty levels 

Rafting seems to be an advanced sport only – nothing could be further from the truth. All sections of the rivers where rafting takes place are classified in a way that allows you to choose the right route even for the most beginner water sports enthusiasts. 

The difficulty level of the routes is determined by a multi-level scale:

  • Zero level – this level is intended for beginners. People who have never tried water sports before can cope with it. But don’t be afraid if you are a beginner in rafting. As a rule, the rafting is completely unobstructed, and the river current is quite calm. On the routes marked with the Zero level symbol, not only adults can try their hand, but also older children. Routes with this level of difficulty can be overcome either alone or, in the case of families with children – with an experienced employee of the company organizing the canoeing trips.
  • Class I – this level is intended for people who have already tried routes at the ZWC level and want a better experience. On routes with this difficulty, the first waves and single obstacles appear, but the entire section is relatively easy to cover;
  • Class II – at this level, the current of the river accelerates and a large number of waves becomes normal. The routes marked class II can be started by people experienced in traditional canoeing, if kayaking on a moderately fast river is not difficult for you, try your hand at rafting on this level;
  • Class III – at this level, apart from controlling the pontoon on a rapidly rushing river, you need to pay attention to avoiding obstacles, which are much more numerous than on easier routes. If you are a lover of fast, rapid rafting, but on traditional kayaking routes you miss difficult obstacles and a thrill, try the route at this level;
  • Class IV – this is the difficulty level for people who not only maneuver their oars well, but also have enough physical strength to cope with the strong current, the winding riverbed and quickly avoiding obstacles. The routes marked as class IV are extremely exhausting and intended for people in great shape;
  • Class V – routes for professionals are marked with this symbol. Numerous rock thresholds are conducive to capsizing, and capsizing – the loss of a pontoon that can flow away with a strong current in a few moments. This is the level at which the slightest mistake can create a risk;
  • Class VI – this is the most extreme level, intended only for real rafting enthusiasts who have been training rafting for years. Routes at this level usually start in the mountains;

What to take on a rafting trip for beginner?

The most important element of the equipment is a vest dedicated to rafting, which, unlike traditional life vests, does not restrict freedom of movement, and is characterized by a similar displacement, necessary to ensure safety in the event of a rollover. 

You should also wear a helmet to protect your head from possible obstacles on the route. Both accessories can be rented from the kayaking trip organizer, or you can buy them yourself.

Beginners do not need to buy special footwear, it is enough for them to wear shoes that fit tightly to the foot; it’s best to choose a model that reaches above the ankle. 

People who decide on more difficult kayaking trips should get shoes and socks made of neoprene – before going on a trip on colder days, it is best to get a suit made entirely of this material.

Rafting river destinations in the world for beginners

Rafting in Montenegro

Rafting in Montenegro is extremely popular activity during spring and summer. Tara river is recognized as one of the best rafting rivers in the world. Many travelers and adventures heading to Montenegro to try Tara river rafting.

Through the territory of Durmitor National Park, the Tara river canyon represents a world protected heritage (proclaimed by UNESCO). The canyon is Europe’s deepest and second-deepest in the world after the canyon Grande on the Colorado River. 

Approximately 78 km of the canyon’s rocks reach a height of more than 1300 meters! 

Rafting camps in Montenegro are very popular, you can find it near the river Tara. It’s a real paradise with wooden houses.

Rafting in Dunajec in Poland

If you are looking for the perfect place for your first rafting, the Pieniny Mountains will be the best starting point. It is best to stay overnight in Szczawnica, from where individual transports of tourists take place right to the banks of the Dunajec River. Most of the kayaking trips are under the supervision of experienced instructors, who will immediately take control of the situation in the event of a tipping over. For this reason, Dunajec is the best choice for people who want to feel the thrill, but are afraid of the unpredictable element of water. It is also a good place for the first independent excursion on a pontoon with friends, without the company of an instructor.

Rafting in Bystrzyca

The route with the difficulty of class III, running along the Bystrzyca Dusznicka bed, will provide emotions to more experienced people who want to feel the atmosphere of rafting down a real mountain river. Numerous rocks and rock steps pose a challenge to those who want to try rafting in more extreme conditions, and at the same time – admire the beauty of the surrounding nature.

Rafting in Turkey

If you are going on vacation to the Turkish Riviera, you can break the blissful routine at any time by replacing the deckchair with a pontoon. All you need to do is sign up for an optional rafting trip – the most popular Turkish rafting trip is located in the mountain Koprulu Canyon, surrounded by numerous hills and greenery. Both experienced athletes and beginners can decide on the trip – most of the kayaking trips are attended by an instructor, also qualified in rescue. 

Rafting in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic will provide an experience for more experienced rafting enthusiasts. Kayaking trips starting in Dzika Orlica, Morawa or Jizera are much more extreme than canoeing trips, attracting new lovers of unforgettable adventures every year. Czechs also participate in canoeing trips relatively more often than Poles, so it is easy to find rafting companions among them.

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