White water rafting can be challenging and extremely fatiguing if you do not choose a route that is suitable for you. A river rapid classification system was developed to ensure that those looking to take part in a river rafting trip are able to do so at a level suitable for them, whilst also enjoying the rapids on offer.
White Water Rafting Classification System
The classification system ranges from a Level I to a Level VI, which ranges from complete beginner level right up to treacherous waters where rafting isn’t recommended. Here are the definitions of what each Class rating means:
Rafting Class I
Class I: Perfect for rafting beginners, Class I refers to routes with fast moving water with small waves. These routes are often used for River Tubing but are still a great option for families looking to try White Water Rafting on a calmer route. If you have younger children, a Class I route is worth considering to allow everyone to enjoy a rafting experience without the white knuckle highs.
Rafting Class II
Class II routes are great for those that have been out rafting before but would like to learn more of the technical elements of the sport. These routes feature wide, clear channels that are easy to manoeuvre which will allow you to build confidence and gain experience on a calmer route.
Rafting Class III
Class III requires a bit more experience and technical training to be able to enjoy properly. These routes have irregular waves that can be hard to avoid, fast currents and tight passages making it a great experience for those looking for an adrenaline filled experience. Larger waves and strainers can be present but these can be avoided. Your guide will show you the safest route for your ability and the best way to manoeuvre the waters.
Rafting Class IV
Class IV routes should only be used by experienced rafters as these rivers are very powerful and require precise and technical boat handling. Large unavoidable waves can be found on these routes and the risk of injury is much higher than the previous classes as the conditions mean self-rescue is more difficult. We would always recommend that when experiencing a Class IV route you do not venture out alone and ensure you are accompanied by a party of experienced rafters or guides.
Rafting Class V
If you are looking to take part in a Class V White Water Rafting route, as well as having the technical knowledge and experience, ensure that you have the fitness and stamina level required to navigate these waters. This class requires the proper equipment, extensive experience, and rescue skills.
Rafting Class VI
Class VI routes are the most dangerous, featuring rapids that are extremely difficult and likely have never been attempted. The waters are unpredictable and risk of injury is high to those looking to attempt these waters without the proper risk assessments, safety training and experience. The consequences of inexperience and slight errors could be fatal – these routes must be respected.
What Class Rating are our Routes?
The majority of our River Tay White Water Rafting trip has Class II rapids, making it a great option for families with younger children or those looking to experience rafting for the first time. Our guides are extremely experienced in these waters and can guarantee a safe, fun experience for those looking to try out White Water Rafting.
Our River Tummel White Water Rafting trip is for slightly more experienced rafters, with Class III and Class IV rapids. Our guides have excellent knowledge of the route and will be able to navigate which areas should be challenged and which should be avoided depending on the experience level and age of the group.
Nae Limits White Water Rafting
To check availability for your next adventure, visit our online booking system and choose from our range of upcoming activities and events.
We can also offer private hire of our rafts and exclusive trips for just you and your family or group. If you would like to make a request please get in touch via our Enquiry Form or by calling us on 01796 482600