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**Equipment for Rafting**:
– Rafting equipment has evolved significantly from old rubber WW II era military surplus rafts.
– Modern whitewater rafts are typically made with advanced nylon or Kevlar infused plastics.
– Plastic rafts are more durable, longer-lasting, and easy to repair compared to older rubber rafts.
– Paddles and oars are the typical means of propulsion for rafts.
– Paddles are a combination of layered wood, plastic, aluminium, carbon fiber, or other composites.
– Paddles are made of wood, plastic, aluminum, carbon fiber, or composites.
– Lower-end paddles are composed of cheap aluminum and plastic.
– Higher-end paddles are utilized by professional rafting guides, raft racers, and expedition paddlers.

**Rafting History**:
– Whitewater rafting dates back to 1811 with the first recorded attempt on the Snake River.
– The river was found to be too difficult and dangerous, earning the nickname Mad River.
– In 1940, Clyde Smith led a successful trip through the Snake River Canyon.

**Rafting Levels and Safety**:
– There are six grades of difficulty in white water rafting.
– Class 1 and 2 are considered very basic and require basic paddling skills.
– Class 3 may require some experience in rafting.
– Class 4 requires exceptional rafting experience.
– Class 5 and 6 are extremely challenging, with Class 6 rapids considered unnavigable on a reliably safe basis.
– Safety measures in rafting include mandatory lifejackets and sport helmets, waiver forms, safety presentations, and regulations.

**Risks and Environmental Impact**:
– Risks in rafting include environmental dangers and improper behavior.
– Typical injuries involve trauma, stress, overuse, submersion, and medical issues.
– Injury rates in rafting are relatively low but may be underreported.
– Rafting must balance nature use with river conservation.
– Conflicts arise from alterations to riverbeds by operators.
– Regulations exist to manage rafting impacts on rivers.

**Related Activities and Resources**:
– Related activities include packrafting, paddling, and whitewater canoeing.
– Raft guides play a crucial role in ensuring safety and enjoyment.
– Liloing and river rapids rides are also popular water activities.
– The National Wild and Scenic Rivers System supports rafting and environmental education.
– Various studies, publications, research, books, and organizations offer insights, resources, and information on rafting.

Rafting (Wikipedia)

Rafting and whitewater rafting are recreational outdoor activities which use an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other body of water. This is often done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water. Dealing with risk is often a part of the experience.

Rafting in Grand Canyon, USA
Rafting in Himachal Pradesh, India
Whitewater rafting along the Cagayan de Oro River, Philippines
Rafting on the Arkansas River, Colorado, USA
Rafting in Ladakh, India
Rafting in Alaska
Rafting on the Tara river, Bosnia

This activity as an adventure sport has become popular since the 1950s, if not earlier, evolving from individuals paddling 10 feet (3.0 m) to 14 feet (4.3 m) rafts with double-bladed paddles or oars to multi-person rafts propelled by single-bladed paddles and steered by a person at the stern, or by the use of oars.

Rafting on certain sections of rivers is considered an extreme sport and can be fatal, while other sections are not so extreme or difficult. Rafting is also a competitive sport practiced around the world which culminates in a world rafting championship event between the participating nations. The International Rafting Federation, often referred to as the IRF, is the worldwide body which oversees all aspects of the sport.

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