WHITE WATER RAFTING
  Rafting or white water rafting is a tough entertaining outdoor activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on white water or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the mid-1970s. It is considered an extreme sport, as it can be dangerous.

Whte Water Rafts
The modern raft is an inflatable boat, consisting of very durable, multi-layered rubberized (hypalon) or vinyl fabrics (PVC) with several independent air chambers. The length varies between 3.5 metres and 6 metres, the width between 1.8 metres and 2.5 metres. The exception to this size rule is usually the pack raft, which is designed as a portable single-person raft and may be as small as 1.5 metres) long and weigh as little as 4 pounds. Rafts come in a few different forms. In Europe and Australasia, the most common is the regular raft steered with a paddle at the stern. Other types are the irregular, rudder-controlled raft and the regular raft with central helm (oars) or Stern Mounts with the oar frame located at the rear of the raft. Rafts are usually propelled with ordinary paddles and or oars and typically hold 4 to 12 persons. In Russia, rafts are often handmade and are often a catamaran style with two inflatable tubes attached to a frame. Pairs of paddlers navigate on these rafts. Catamaran style rafts have become popular in the western United States as well, but are typically rowed instead of paddled.

Grades of White Water
Below are the six grades of difficulty in white water rafting. They range from simple to very dangerous and potential death or serious injuries.

Grade 1: Very small rough areas might require slight manoeuvring. (Skill Level: Very Basic)

Grade 2: Some rough water, maybe some rocks, might require some manoeuvring. (Skill level: basic paddling skill)

Grade 3: White-water, small waves, maybe a small drop, but no great danger. May require significant manoeuvring. (Skill level: Experienced paddling skills)

Grade 4: White-water, medium waves, maybe rocks, maybe a huge drop, sharp manoeuvres may be needed. (Skill level: white-water experience)

Grade 5: White-water, large waves, large volume, possibility of large rocks and hazards, possibility of a large drop, requires precise manoeuvring. (Skill level: advanced white-water experience)

  Grade 6: Class 6 rapids are considered to be so dangerous as to be in actual fact unnavigable on a reliably safe basis. Rafters can expect to encounter substantial white-water, huge waves, huge rocks and hazards, and/or substantial drops that will impart severe impacts beyond the structural capacities and impact ratings of almost all rafting equipment. Traversing a Class 6 rapid has a dramatically increased likelihood of ending in serious injury or death compared to lesser classes.
(Skill level: successful completion of a Class 6 rapid without serious injury or death is widely considered to be a matter of great luck or extreme skill)
Rafts in white-water are very different vehicles than canoes or kayaks and have their own specific techniques to manoeuvre through white-water obstacles.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia
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