Whitewater rivers are given a "Grade" or "Classification" from 1 to 5.
The higher the grade the harder the river.
This is basically flat moving water. There may be some small waves but no obstacle or features in the river to manoeuvre round. But essentially this is just a chilled out float along.
This is where the term "Whitewater" really kicks in. There will be some small waves that are likely to get you a little wet. There may be some manoeuvring around river features, but for the most part you can let the river take you where it wants.
The rapids get bigger here and the water is obviously running faster. There are specific channels down the rapids to take. There may be some complex manouvers required but any major hazards are easily avoided. You will definatly get splashed of water in your faces here!
These rapids will get your heart pumping! The river is powerful and turbulent. There are likely to be large unavoidable river features such as waves and holes. There are tight channels that must be taken and precise manoeuvres are needed here! Expect to be soaked by the end of the rapid!
These are the most difficult commercially run rapids. The rapids can be extremely long, very obstructed and a have violent flow. The waves can be meters tall and the holes can be the size of Double-Decker buses! Following your guide's commands here is essential. Tight and complicated manoeuvring will be required. You will be praying to the river gods to keep you safe!