4 Tips For Your Beginner White Water Rafting Trip

Alyssa Murray

A whitewater rafting trip can spice up your vacation. Despite being overwhelmingly safe, the experience can be quite intimidating to newcomers. Beginners should not fret as long as they follow these 4 tips for your beginner white rafting trip.

1. Pick Appropriate Rapids  

Beginners should stick to tame rapids and build up to more intense trips. 

Rapids come with one of the following ratings to help you plan the best route:

  • Class I: mild waves and limited obstructions
  • Class II: wide channels and require only occasional maneuvering
  • Class III: medium, unavoidable waves through narrow passages 
  • Class IV:  powerful and intense rapids with narrow passages but predictable patterns
  • Class V: long, violent, and obstructed rapids only safe for physically fit experts                                                                           

2. Go With the Right Team 

Pick a team that consists of other beginners and a guide. The guide will teach your team paddling techniques and point out the coolest parts of the trip, such as waterfalls and wildlife. The guide will also keep everyone safe and on course. 

Advanced rafters should only join the team with the understanding that it will be a less intense trip.  

3. Protect Your Electronics

Water and electronics don't mix. However, many guests prefer having a phone in case of an emergency. Plus, most guests will want to capture the beauty of the adventure with a picture or two. If you do choose to bring your phone, keep it safe in a waterproof case in a waterproof pocket in your inside coat pocket. Only take your phone out when you reach a rest area. 

4. Wear Proper Clothing and Safety Gear 

When rafting, you want to wear a bathing suit and fitted athleticwear that won't get caught on anything. No baggy shorts or sleeves. Remove jewelry that can cause a hazard. Wear sunscreen if rafting in tropical conditions. Don't forget sunglasses to keep the sun out of your eyes. If the water will be cold, wear warm clothing above your bathing suit. 

Most importantly, wear your life vest and helmet. These items can save your life in the case that the boat flips in a dangerous area. 

Beginners will regret passing up on such a great experience due to fear. If you feel anxious about the adventure, ease your nerves by preparing to the best of your ability. These tips should help give you the confidence you need to take your first of many trips.

Learn more about beginner white water rafting before your next trip.