Rafting is basically an outdoor sports activity. It has mainly recreational nature, and it comprises actions in which group of people use an inflatable rubber boat to navigate a little bit wilder parts of the river called whitewater. Single people can use the kayak for the same purpose.
It is considered to be a great corporate team event because you and other members of your team try to work together to find a way out of situations where things look like completely gone out of the control. Normally, these kinds of activities are going to be conducted on less dangerous whitewater thus accidents are relatively rare, but for people looking for an extreme adventure, there is always more extreme whitewater based on which six grades of difficulties were introduced, from easiest to hardest.
If you are not adrenaline junky but you want to get rid of the cruel reality at least for a while, or simply you have the need to feel and hear your heart beating inside from time to time, one of the best possible solutions could be whitewater rafting. Just try to imagine the situation with the sound of closing torrents and rapids, helpless feeling that neither dear God nor your safety belt and experienced guide on the front of the boat won’t be able to save you while you and your team companions try to paddle but the river constantly push you to other directions.
The sense of calmness and fulfillment once you finally enter the slow and peaceful part of the stream could be so tempting, but before you rush into this adventure, there are a couple of things to know about whitewater rafting.
Logically if we are discussing things to know about whitewater rafting one of the main issues generally everybody is always interested in is safety. As we already stated whitewater rafting is considered to be relatively safe extreme sports activity. Teams are led by an experienced guide who seats in the front of the boat paddling and commanding on team activities. Each team member has a safety belt. As fatal accidents are really rare, rafting injuries are more common, and they usually occur when a boat hits the rock in the river. That is why regular part of the equipment is also a helmet, which should be of special help if someone falls out of the boat. It should be stated that stress caused by sudden danger and the unpleasant situation is also reported as relatively often “side effect” as some people walk into rafting adventure psychically unprepared.
Of course, as being extreme activity, whitewater rafting is under strict rules of safety precautions meaning that guides and instructors conducting commercial rafting trips need to have adequate certificates issued by the professional institutions like International Rafting Federation – IRF. Also, besides helmets and lifejackets, there are other parts of equipment utilized for rafting like whistles and some floating parts that can be thrown into the water if necessary. It could be considered as a good advise to first carefully discuss all elements of safety precautions with commercial company which organizes rafting trip and again to discuss the same issue with your guide at the place of embarkation and of course to pay full attention to everything that guide has to say to the team before the start of the rafting as, finally, it is a well-known fact that the most important safety precaution advice is adequate behavior. As always in life, most of the accidents occur to irresponsible individuals who did not want to listen to a leader and did not want to act as a part of the team.
History and development of rafting as a commercial activity
It is hard to say when whitewater rafting begun as mankind was trying for a long time throughout history to navigate hard and inhospitable parts of the rivers to travel and to transport goods from one point to another in the fastest manner. If we are talking about whitewater rafting as a commercial sports activity, its beginnings are related to the twentieth century while significant boom started in its second part when the second world war was over and especially after it was officially recognized during the sixties. Soon after that, kayak version of rafting even became an Olympic sport. Today, different variations of whitewater rafting are considered to be the most popular extreme outdoor sports activities in the world gaining each day more and more followers, fans and admirers.
With the general acceleration of everyday life during the past few decades, followed by the constant need of individuals for some stress release techniques, as well as “flood” of life coaching schools and literature, increased popularity of extreme sports like whitewater is just a clear consequence. Certainly development of safety equipment and regulative also contributed. Finally, modern corporate management which strives to find new, more human ways to increase the productivity of a company, use team building events outside the office to achieve this goal by accomplishing a greater sense of team community. So, one of the things to know about whitewater rafting is that it is considered to be a perfect activity of this kind as team members find themselves in completely uncommon situations with elements of danger and vulnerability where all of them need to work together in order to fulfill basic life goal for every individual – to stay alive.