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White Water Rafting Principles

The author, apparently a novice river rafter, makes a salient point regarding just how much influence guides and rafters have in the midst of crashing waves.

Some of the finest routes taken through the turbulence of Lava Falls Rapids in the Grand Canyon have come from less experienced river runners who did not fight the river's strength so much as just 'going with the flow'.

Occasionally during Orion's river rafting guide training, the instructors take over one raft and proceed to have some fun on the water by either 1) floating through a rapid with everyone's eyes closed EXCEPT for the captain, 2) 'intuitive' guiding where everyone in the raft steers, or 3) after setting up, just allowing the raft go wherever it is going to go.

Granted, these are Class III, maybe Class IV, rapids, and the raft's participants are well-versed in anticipating what the river and the raft will do, but, my point is, the inflatable raft muddles on through --- and as the author observes --- often with much less 'tension'.

These observations sometimes cause river rafting guides to wonder whether or not there is a need for their expertise and reading whitewater and steering a raft.

Well, there is an 'on the other hand'.

Going with the flow generally works and is much less work; however, setting up in a favorable position prior to entering a rapid can be key to success. In addition, being trained to know how to avoid certain hazards and employing techniques like ferrying can also make the difference between people paddle-high-fiving at the rapid's conclusion and tragedy.

After all, how do you think logjams form?

in reference to:

"white water rafting trip"

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