Common Whitewater Rafting Equipment

Thinking of taking a trip down the river with buddies? Whether it’s a family bonding trip or a river adventure spent with good friends and the summer sun, renting out river equipment is a breeze.

7.30.13 am (9)Whitewater Rafts: The most common and obvious rafting equipment is the raft. There are a variety of rafts to get a fun thrill!  With all the different types of rafts we’ll break it down for you here.

Oar rafts have one person rafting, usually the guide, sitting in the back of the raft. These rafts are very large, stable, and made of metal. Paddle rafts mean everyone’s rafting and these sit 6-8 people, about twice as many people as the oar raft. While paddle rafts are smaller than oar rafts, they’re terrific for navigating through whitewater rapids and providing a wet and wildly-fun trip down the river. Oar assisted paddle raft is a mix between a paddle raft and oar raft which allows everyone to still get that whitewater rafting experience while giving the primary control to the rafting guide. Catarafts are fantastic for those looking for a solo trip down the river. Fairly large, catarafts are about 14 – 16 feet in length and are also used to carry loads of gear. Inflatable kayaks are another alternative for those looking to go it alone as they typically only fit one person and can be used for backpacking and overnight trips as they deflate, roll up and can be attached to backpacking gear for travel on land.

DSC_0031Oars and Paddles: Oars vary in shape, length, weight, and balance point. Oars and paddles are used for water propulsion.  Oars, however, are actually attached to the boat. Paddles are more commonly used for rafting, kayaking and canoeing.

Life Jacket: PFDs, or Personal Flotation Devices, are crucial when on the river to help keep your head up above the water when being thrown from the boat into rough waters. Lifejackets must be Coast Guard approved, in good serviceable condition, and the appropriate size for the intended user.

8-14-09 Browns 021Rafting Helmet: Protect that noggin!  To avoid roughing up the money-maker always sport a helmet to protect against any accidental knocks from your fellow rafters with their paddles and from any rocks or other objects in the river.

Repair Kit: Be sure to have one of these in your raft at all times for all those pesky rocks and other mishaps so you can get back on to the river and continue your Colorado rafting adventure.

First Aid Supplies: Being on a river, there is limited availability for medical help. It’s important to know how to address minor injuries sustained while rafting or while taking a break riverside and to have the proper materials to do so.

Sun Protection: While a tan looks great, up here in the Colorado Rockies we are at a high elevation, thus closer to the sun and therefore very prone to sunburns. Be sure to lather up all exposed skin with sunblock when you’re rafting because the sun reflects off water as well.

Don’t forget to bring the smiles!  Summer will be here sooner than you know, so visit Colorado River Rentals for all your private rafting and kayaking trips.