Rafting

The sport of whitewater rafting has been around since the 1960s, and unlike most other sports it gives people the opportunity to take part in a very adventurous activity, with little or no experience. When was the last time, you saw headlines that read:"Complete novice climbs Everest?" Well, today, thanks to top quality equipment and world-class river professionals, first-time rafters can take a trip down the Rio Futaleufu in Chile, the Sun Kosi in Nepal or the Zambezi in Africa. Paddlers don their whitewater rafting equipment: wetsuits (in colder climates), lifejackets, and helmets, and are given a full safety briefing by their trip leader on what to expect if they fall out. A general safety talk covers how to float in the river (with feet elevated and in front of you), how to help your fellow paddlers back into the raft, how a guide or safety kayaker rescues you, and what to do in the unlikely event of a flip, when the whole raft capsizes. A guide then spends time practising paddling techniques in the raft. Timing and technique are everything, not brute strength; most guides will freely admit their best crews have been women. Once happy, the guide will take a position at the back of the raft and give commands such as "forward, forward hard, over left, right turn, HOLD ON!". Rafting works on the ultimate level of trust. The guide trusts you to paddle on their instruction, and you trust them to steer you away from hazards on the river..