While setting up your whitewater rafting package for this summer there seems to be an endless number of locations, river sections and difficulties. Looking at all this information it can seem like a fairly daunting task getting all of the information you need to make the correct decision for your group of friends or family. Here at AVA we do our best to have as much up to date information on all of our rivers possible so we are able to put parties on their ideal trips. When it comes down to the higher class trips, you also want to ask yourself a few questions before booking your trip. Here are three ways to know if you’re ready for a class V whitewater trip.
The first thing you want to do when considering a class V whitewater trip is to self assess; you want to not only be physically prepared but mentally prepared as well. The mental preparation is going to be just as important as the physical because a quick lapse of your attention while out on the water can lead to a long cold swim which will not be very fun in class V rapids. Physically you want to be in great shape. You want to be the person that regularly works out and has the cardio and swimming ability to be able to make that tough swim to the eddyline if needed.
Next, you will want to think back to your most recent whitewater rafting trip and ask yourself if you were comfortable running the Class IV Numbers section on the Arkansas River last month? Do you think you would be that comfortable on a more technical, quicker moving section of whitewater? Has your mental and physical preparation propelled you to where you expected to be for your class V trip? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you might not be ready and may want to consider another class IV trip before moving up to a class V. If you were confidently able to answer yes to all these questions, you will want to consider all these factors for the rest of your group.
While on the boat, your group will work as a cohesive team. Each paddle stroke will need to be symphony of six oars all moving together at the same rhythm. You need to be able to fully trust all other members on the raft in case of a rescue situation.
Class V is defined by American Whitewater as extremely long, obstructed, or very violent rapids which expose a paddler to added risk. Make sure you are 100% committed to the trip. Now that you and the rest of your party are ready for a Class V section, what section will you run