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White Water Rafting Travel Insurance

White water rafting is an outdoor activity whereby participants sit in an inflatable raft and traverse turbulent waters. There are six grades to determine the difficulty presented by each river, with the higher number representing the higher risk - this means that some whitewater is simple to manage and easy to cross while others are considered almost unnavigable.

The first recorded mention of rafting was in 1811, when an attempt was made to cross the Snake River Canyon in Wyoming. Without the training, equipment, and expertise held by modern whitewater enthusiasts, the expedition was deemed too difficult and too dangerous to go ahead. Rubber rafts were developed roughly thirty years later, however it wasn’t until the spring of 1940 that Clyde Smith led the first successful rafting trip through the Canyon. It still wasn’t until the 1960s though that the sport really turned into a recreational activity.

Negotiating the more aggressive rivers of the world has now become a great way to experience an adrenaline rush like no other. You’ll see sights in technicolour as you race on the rapids at great speed, dodging obstacles while trying to maintain control of the raft - teamwork is key, so it’s a great way to spend time with others and experience the fun as part of a group.

Who does a white water rafting on holiday?

A positive to whitewater rafting is that different abilities can be suited to different grades. For younger participants or inexperienced first-timers grades 1 to 3 may be more suitable, but for those looking for more of an adrenaline fix, grades 4 and above may be better. There are no prerequisites other than being able to swim and having a standard level of fitness - you will attend a full briefing before the activity starts, and the rafting guides are always available to ensure your experience is a great one from start to finish.

There are no restrictions for those with medical conditions, however because the activity involves moderate exertion and you’ll most definitely end up in cold water, it’s worth seeking advice from your doctor in case this might affect you. There is also always the possibility that an impact or collision might result in a break, sprain, or bruise.

Where do people go on white water rafting holidays?

The Noce River in Italy is one of the most exciting destinations for whitewater rafters in Europe. It is home to 17 miles of wild waters fed from glaciers high in the Dolomites, and offers rapids from grades 1 to 5 depending on the season. As you float through the alternating currents, you’ll experience crashing waves and soft streams surrounded by beautiful landscapes complete with green pastures, snow-capped mountains, and almost a hundred sparkling glacial lakes. The area is well-known on an international level for river sports, and is certainly one of the most interesting places for it - as you navigate past boulders and through white waters the experience is sure to be nothing short of electrifying.

Or head north to Norway, where the reputable River Sjoa translates literally to mean “white water”. This destination is known the world over as a firm favourite for rafting, with fast-flowing rivers running over huge rocks and through narrow canyons, giving the opportunity to ride grades 2 to 4. This means that from families and first-timers to experienced rafting enthusiasts, there are levels of expertise to suit everyone. Bold and beautiful, clear and crisp, the Sjoa offers breathtaking views with its endless greenery and high peaks, and you’ll be nothing short of astounded by your surroundings.

No whitewater bucket list is complete without a rafting trip down the 225 mile Colorado River. The season lasts from April through to October, giving you plenty of time to decide which part you wish to explore - that’s if you don’t decide to spend two weeks camping and traversing the entire length. One of the best whitewater destinations in the United States, the river includes a stretch through the Grand Canyon, where you’ll find yourself completely immersed in towering sandstone formations. The rest of the river provides spectacular views scattered with waterfalls and forests, as you navigate your way through both spinning rapids and calm waters, ranging from grades 1 to 6 and therefore suitable for all rafters.

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