Whitewater rafting is amazing. Paddling hard has a team, battling your way down the river, adrenaline racing through your body and then coming out the other side to some calm flat water to sunbath and go for a swim. Everyone who goes whitewater rafting loves it!
There are many whitewater rafting myths spread about. And unfortunately, they often they stop people giving whitewater rafting a go in the first place. I am here to put your mind at ease, bust those myths and get you excited to give whitewater rafting a go!
Whitewater Rafting Myth 1:
I need a lot of experience
One of the first whitewater rafting myths I always get asked is “Do I need experience to go whitewater rafting?”. The answer is quite plainly NO! Whitewater Rafting is for everyone.
I like to call whitewater rafting the ‘Bragging Right Sport’. This is because it is only sport where you don’t need any experience. You can just turn up and safely run some of the hardest rapids in the world! This is because the guide is in the raft with you. Imagine skiing, you have your skis and your guide has theirs. No matter how good the guide is or the number of tips they give you, it is down to you to perform the maneuvers and make your way down the mountains. This means that you are limited by your own skill and experience. Whitewater rafting is different, your guide is in the raft with you and they have complete control of the raft. All you have to do is follow 3 simple commands: “Paddle Forwards”, “Paddle Backwards” and “Hold On!”. As long as your guide has the skill, then you can run some of the best rapids in the world!
Whitewater Rafting Myth 2:
It’s very dangerous
Another big whitewater rafting myth is the danger. If done correctly, whitewater rafting will be very safe. At River and Soul, we abide by the highest safety standards.
As I said before, your guide has control of the raft and can keep you safe. That is there job. They will take you through a safety briefing, so that you know all of the commands. They will then let you practice these commands on some calm water before running the big rapids. Rafts are also rather large. They are unlikely to flip unless the guide wants to get you in for a swim. All our whitewater rafting guides are first aid and CPR trained, have been on whitewater safety training courses, and are qualified raft guides.
To top it off, you will also be wearing buoyancy aids and helmets. These help you stay afloat and protect you in the unlikely scenario that you do end up in the water unexpectedly. River and Soul also use safety kayakers. These are extra guides out on the river that will collect you and bring you back to the raft in case you end up in the river. They are some of the happiest people on the river, watch them as they surf the river waves and play on the river.
River are graded out of 5. 1 is the easiest and 5 is the hardest. In Nepal, we raft a number of different rivers with a variety of different grades from some very easy, calm and gentle rivers, to the biggest whitewater rapids you have ever seen. Have a look at our tours to find one that suites you.
Whitewater Rafting Myth 3:
I need to be super fit
Another popular whitewater rafting myth I get asked about is “How fit do I need to be?”. Well, you don’t really need to be fit at all. Whitewater rafting is a team sport. Everybody pitches in together and as a team you are strong. There is always going to be someone stronger than you. But, by the same philosophy, there is also someone who will be less fit that you too. Don’t worry about fitness as your guide is a good judge and will be able to give everyone a rest when they need it.
The other thing to bear in mind is that you are on a river. It flows and pushes you along without having to do any work!
Did I also mention the copious amounts of phenomenal food too? Whitewater rafting all day can make you hungry. You’re going to need a good team to keep you filled up with food. This is exactly what you get when you come whitewater rafting with River and Soul Adventures. We give you big buffets for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Food ranging from pancakes and eggs, fish and chips, curry, spaghetti bolognaise, popcorn, fresh fruit, to the local traditional dhal bhatt. We can guarantee your taste buds will be satisfied and your tummy will be full.
Whitewater Rafting Myth 4:
I need to be a good swimmer
People often think that they need to be able to swim to go whitewater rafting. The truth is – no, you don’t! Obviously whitewater rafting is a river sport and so being able to swim is going to have its benefits. But at the end of the day, its not necessary. As I stated in Myth 2, you are given a buoyancy aid. This will keep you afloat if you end up in the water. Plus, there are safety kayakers that bring you back to the raft – you don’t even need to swim back!
There is lots of parts to whitewater rafting, and swimming is only a tiny aspect that you don’t need to get involved with if you don’t want. Instead, learn about the river and how it works so that you are able to read it like a book. Have a go a guiding the raft. Or look around, and take in the stunning scenery that you pass through. If you come rafting with us, we’ll take you through some of Nepal’s the deepest jungle – keep an eye out for monkeys and Leopards!
Whitewater Rafting Myth 5:
I’m too old
This is often the whitewater rafting myth that surprises people the most. There is no age limit! Personally, the oldest person I’ve taken whitewater rafting was 85 – and he had a blast!
Whitewater rafting is often seen as a young person’s sport. It’s true that you can get bumped and you’ll defiantly get wet. But it’s about how old you feel rather than how old you actually are. Deciding if you are too old is a very personal decision. You know your body best and so will be able to decide if whitewater rafting is for you or not. But we will always be happy to take you rafting if you are wanting to go, no matter your age!