Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Must-Know Whitewater Rafting Tips For Beginners

Wenatchee River Whitewater Rafting

Heading out on a whitewater rafting trip is like stepping into an awesome, wet roller coaster ride. But if you’re new to the game, there are some cool tricks and tips you’ve got to know before hitting the rapids. Let’s get you prepped and ready for this wild ride!

Beginner Tips For Whitewater Rafting

Safety and Comfort

Putting on your gear correctly during a whitewater rafting tour is super important, not just because it would make you look good but because it’ll keep you safe on the water. Let’s talk about the must-have gear and why each piece matters a lot:

  • Life Jacket (PFD): This is like your best buddy on the river. Make sure it fits tight and doesn’t move up when you’re in the water. It is very important because, no matter how good you are at swimming, the river can surprise you with its strong flows. Choose life jackets made from materials that keep you warm and floaty, even when they get wet.
  • Helmet: Your head needs protection because the river has rocks and other stuff that are dangerous on the path. You’ll get a helmet from your guide, but make sure it fits right and doesn’t wiggle around.
  • What to Wear: You might think it’s about dressing for the weather, but it’s actually all about the water temperature. Since you’re going to end up soaking wet, wear clothes that dry fast and keep you warm. That means skipping cotton, which stays wet and makes you cold, and going for materials that dry quickly and keep the heat in. Layering up is smart because it lets you adjust if you get too hot or cold during the trip.

Listen to Your Guide

Your guide is the captain of the ship. They know the river like the back of their hand. Before you even start, they’ll give you the lowdown on what to expect, how to paddle properly, and how to stay safe. It is very important to listen up during this chat because it’s packed with tips to help you dodge problems on the river.

As you’re floating along, keep paying attention to your guide. They’ll tell you when to paddle hard, when to lean in, and how to handle the crazy parts of the river. Trust them—they want you to have an awesome time and get back safe. Following their lead not only keeps you out of trouble but also helps everyone work together like a team.

Hold the Paddle Correctly

Your paddle is like your steering wheel and accelerator all in one. Holding it the right way makes a huge difference. Put one hand on the very end of it—that’s the T-grip. It helps you control the paddle and keeps it from smacking you or your friends in the face. Your other hand should be a bit down the shaft for good balance and strong strokes. Don’t grip it like you’re holding onto a cliff edge, though. If you’re too tense, you’ll get tired super fast. And whatever you do, don’t let go of that T-grip; it’s your tool for staying in control.

Respect the River

Rivers are wild and can change in a blink. They deserve a ton of respect for their power. Don’t ever think you can outmuscle the river. Standing up in moving water is a no-go because you could get your foot stuck, and that’s very dangerous. Always keep low to stay stable and be humble about what you’re up against. The river is stronger than it might look, and being careful and respectful is the way to go.

Come To Us For Your Whitewater Rafting Adventure

At River Recreation, we are super proud Whitewater Rafting Adventure to be the top spot for whitewater rafting fun in Monitor, WA, ever since 1982. Our Basecamp is very close to Leavenworth, Lake Chelan, and Wenatchee, which means getting to the awesome Wenatchee River and its cool rapids is a breeze.

We’re here to make sure you have a fantastic time, no matter if you’re new to rafting or if you’ve been riding the rapids for years. Looking for an amazing rafting adventure in Washington? Our Wenatchee river trips are where it’s at. Come join us and make memories that’ll last forever! Book now.