White Water Rafting is a fun, but challenging activity that can be enjoyed by most, probably 4-5 years old and up, with adult supervision. In White Water Rafting, rafters sit in a large, inflateable raft. Rafts usually have a thick, heavy plate on the bottom to protect it. Rafters use single-tipped paddles while rafting down rivers.
There are five different levels of difficulty when it comes to a river. Class I, is the lowest: meaning very calm. These Classes range from 1-5 on the Roman Numeral Scale. The highest is Class V, meaning extreme.
In 1842, Lieutenant John Fremont of the U.S. Army first journalized his rafting expedition on the Platte River. Horace H. Day designed the equipment he used in rafting. Day’s rafts were constructed from four independent rubber cloth tubes and wrap-around floor.
In 1960s, rafting was then recognized and paths like Grand Canyon were routed and whitewater rafting companies were established.
In 1970s, rafting marked its major development as a leisure sport when it was then included in the Munich Olympic Games.
In 1980s, as rafting continued to gain its popularity, a lot of rivers were opened for rafting activities. Rivers in South America and Africa were just a few of them.
In 1990s, rafting was included in major game events like the Barcelona Games in 1992, Atlanta Games in 1996, and the whitewater events of the Summer Olympic Games hosted by Ocoee River in Tennessee Valley. In addition, the International Federation of Rafting was instituted in 1997 and in 1999 the first Official International Championship was held.
Nowadays, river rafting is still gaining popularity among extreme water sports in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers.