The Different Classes of Rapids Explained

When planning a whitewater adventure it is important to do some research and make sure you are booking your group on the trip that’s right for you. Understanding how whitewater rapids are classed is crucial in this process. The last thing you want to do is misunderstand how that rapids are classed and put your group or family on a trip that they cannot handle, or a trip that is to mello for the adrenaline junkie. Rapids are classed from category one through six. Below are the different rapid classes of rapids explained.

Class I – Class I rapids are appropriate for all ages. There are no significant waves or significant obstacles. This water is very calm, typically flat water.

Class II – Class II rapids are known as easy rapids. These rapids have regular waves, clear passages and wide channels.

2014-08-05 17.41.54Class III – Class III rapids are considered moderately difficult. These rapids contain irregular waves, often have narrow channels, and maneuvering is required to avoid obstacles. These waves have the ability to move and flip objects.

Class IV – Class IV rapids usually have an age minimum of 15 to run and are considered difficult. These rapids contain complex channels with many significant obstacles to be avoided. Very precise maneuvering is required and good physical condition is highly recommended.

Class V – Class V Rapids have a minimum age of 15 and are considered extremely difficult. These are long continuous rapids that often flow into each other with almost no interruption. Good physical condition is required to take on a class V section.ABC_3161

Class VI – Class VI rapids are considered extremely dangerous and un-runnable. These rapids have a high possibility of serious injury or death.

Each different rapid type provides a different experience. The class I-III trips are great for first timers and also families. The class IV trips are good for experienced rafters as well as beginners who are in good physical condition. The class V trips are perfect for adrenaline junkies that are in good physical conditions and have rafting experience. Hopefully these rapid types explained can help you understand the difference between these rapids and can help you better select an AVA trip suited for your group.