River difficulty rating in rafting, kayaking and whitewater sports

You would like to go rafting or kayaking on a river but you don’t know what the difficulty of a whitewater trip is.

You would like to know more about River Classes.

YOURAFT is there to explain everything to you on this subject.

The Principle

As in many outdoor sports, the environment in which we are led to evolve is rated, classified by level of difficulty and commitment. This allows professionals and practitioners to give each other reliable information on a precise route, a given itinerary, while being based on an official scale known and accepted by all.

For example, in France in Climbing, the difficulty of the routes is rated from 3 to 9 by adding to each number the letter a, b or c (e.g. 6a). In Canyoning we rate the difficulty according to the verticality, the aquatic aspect and the commitment on a scale from 1 to 7 (ex: V4A3II), in Via Ferrata we rate the difficulty from F to ED where F corresponds to “easy” and ED to “extremely difficult”.

rafting sur la basse guisane à Serre Chevalier vue de dos

Difficulty levels of the whitewater courses

In whitewater and therefore when rafting or kayaking, the rating of the courses includes a rating of technical difficulty as well as a notion of commitment related to risk in case of unforeseen events.

Each level of difficulty is calculated according to the strength and size of the water movements and the complexity of the passages.

This difficulty corresponds to a normal water flow for the river but if there is a very high flow, it can be increased. For example, a level 3 rapid may be equivalent to a level 4 rapid in the event of high water.

How the technical aspect is rated

Technical difficulty levels range from 1 to 6. These levels are called River Classes, written in Roman numerals.

For example in the valley of Serre Chevalier on the Guisane :

  • The Upper-Guisane from Monêtier-les-Bains to Chantemerle is Class II-III because the course alternates between level 2 and 3 rapids.
  • The Lower-Guisane from Chantemerle to Briançon is Class III-IV because the course alternates between level 3 and 4 rapids.

Sometimes one or more numbers can be added in brackets. This makes it possible to specify that one or more rapids are of a higher level than the general rating of the course.

For example the course of the Durance Gorges is noted:Class III-IV (5,6,X). This means that the general level of the course is an alternation of level 3 and 4 rapids with punctually one or more level 5 and 6 rapids as well as one or more impassable for the letter “X”.

The 6 river classes

  • Class 1 : Very easy level, part of a calm river with a smooth and regular current forming at most only a few waves. Obstacles easy to avoid with little practice. It is easy to swim back to the bank. Class 1 courses are often used to discover the first sensations of canoeing in a river.
  • Class 2: Beginner level, course with simple and obvious rapids to be crossed. The current becomes more irregular but the waves and other water movements remain of average size. This level of difficulty is ideal for learning river kayaking or rafting with children.
  • Class 3: Intermediate level, part of the river with irregular rapids with moderate sized waves and obstacles to overcome. Crossing the rapids requires good control of the boat and good balance. When swimming, the return to the bank remains relatively easy but is longer than in the lower classes. In Rafting, this level of difficulty is ideal for families or groups to experience the thrill of whitewater while remaining accessible to all.
  • Class 4: Sporty and advanced level, difficult river section with rapids that are not entirely visible in advance. This sometimes requires prior spotting. The water movements are powerful and the slope is important. In case of swimming, recovery is more difficult and may require little outside help. In rafting as in kayaking, this level is sensational and sporty to navigate.
  • Class 5: Expert level. Very complicated rapids requiring a great control of the trajectory with the boat. It is the length of the rapids, the power of the water movements and the important slope that make the rapids very demanding both technically and physically. In Rafting these rapids can be navigated by a sports team, with good paddling technique and a perfect knowledge of river safety rules.
  • Class 6 : Navigability limit. The crossing of these rapids is extreme and can be perilous. Reconnaissance is essential and when it is possible it is imperative to set up a collective safety system allowing to recover a swimmer. Class 6 corresponds, for example, to a series of major falls in gorges or extremely steep rapids.
  • impassable X : It is a passage or a portion of the river that is not crossable until proven otherwise. The impassable may be classified as a 6 if a person can successfully navigate through it under normal navigation conditions.

photo d

How is the commitment rated

The notion of commitment in the rating of a river run corresponds to the difficulty to leave the run in case of unforeseen circumstances. This goes from 1 to 3 and is noted E followed by the number.

For example, in the case of the Haute Guisane, the rating of the commitment is “E1” because it is very easy to reach the road from the river.

The different levels of whitewater commitment

  • Commitment 1 (E1): easy access to the river and quick escape close to the road.
  • Commitment 2 (E2): Difficult escape route and long time to reach a road.
  • Commitment 3 (E3): Exit very difficult or almost impossible without outside help.

Examples of rivers rating around Briançon

  • The Guisane in the valley of Serre Chevalier Briançon, Class II-III E1 for the upper course and Class III-IV E1 for the lower course.
  • The Durance between Saint-clément-sur-Durance and Embrun, Class II-III E1 with the passage of the famous Rabioux wave.
  • The Guil on the classic course, renowned for its beauty and technicality, Class III-IV(5) E2-E3.
  • The Ubaye on the classic course, Class III-IV E1.
  • The Gyr, glacier river, Class IV(5) E2.
  • The Gyronde, magnificent alpine river, Class III-IV E1.

rafting sur la basse guisane à Briançon vue de dessus avec un guide YOURAFT

How do I choose the difficulty of a river trip if I want to go rafting with my family or with a group?

If you want to go rafting in Serre Chevalier, in the Alps or elsewhere, you may be wondering what difficulty to choose in relation to the level of the group and your desires. Here are some elements of answer.

Up to Class 2 with a few passages of Class 3, in rafting the course will be accessible to everyone provided they know how to swim, this corresponds most of the time to a minimum age of 6 or 7 years. This type of course is rather easy, with little risk of falling into the water unintentionally. It is therefore ideal for a discovery of whitewater or with children. The Family Rafting Trip on the Upper-Guisane in Serre Chevalier, Class II-III, falls into this category.

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From class 3 and 4, in rafting the course becomes sporty and technical but also more sensational, perfect for thrill seekers. However, rafting companies may set an age limit for children. For example for the rafting course Rafting Sensation Trip on the Lower-Guisane in Serre Chevalier of Class III-IV, the age limit is 16 years old minimum.

Classes 4 – 5 and above are technical, physical and sensational rafting courses. These courses are designed for sporty, adventurous people who already have experience in canoeing or rafting. The age limit is often set at 18 years old minimum. The integral Guil or the Royal Ubaye Gorge are magnificent courses in this category.

During a company seminar, an EVJF or EVG, to combine challenge, sensations, team spirit and accessibility the category class 3 – 4 is ideal. The Rafting Sensation Trip will suit you perfectly if you take a trip to Serre Chevalier.

To learn more about rafting and to prepare a whitewater trip in Serre Chevalier, this article will answer your questions.

Is It Better To Raft Or Canoe Down Delaware River

Rafting and canoeing are both popular ways to explore the Delaware River. But which is better? Rafting is a great option if you’re looking for a more adventurous trip. You can go at your own pace and stop whenever you want to explore the banks or take a swim. Canoeing is a good choice if you’re looking for a more relaxing trip. You can paddle at your own pace and enjoy the scenery. Both rafting and canoeing have their own benefits. It really just depends on what you’re looking for in a trip.

The Hot Dog Man Food Stand is an outdoor restaurant that is floating on the water. Every 10-15 minutes, a free shuttle bus leaves to take you to the river. It was invented by us in 2010 as a means of increasing safety, efficiency, and ease of use. Because there are two clip straps on each tubers, our two clip straps allow the tubers to clip and unclip at the same time. The Delaware River Tubing Special Edition Pirate Skull T-Shirt is $5 OFF weekdays and $2OFF on weekends for all general admission tickets for life. Adventure Island provides all meals, and any waste that is not properly disposed is collected and properly disposed of. Alcohol and coolers are not permitted in our park because we do not want to harm the environment.

The Delaware Water Gap, located on the border of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, spans more than 40 miles of the Delaware River and is surrounded by a ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. Kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and rafting are just a few of the popular activities that visitors enjoy in the area each year.

It’s because of the change in insurance policies that we can’t let you bring your own equipment into the station and use our shuttle services. We do not allow private recreationalists to park in our lot. Any of the services and properties on which we provide services must be rented from Delaware River Tubing.

Can You Raft Down The Delaware River?

Credit: FunNewJersey.com

Yes, you can raft down the Delaware River. There are many companies that offer this service and it is a great way to see the river and its surroundings.

Six different points of access can be found along an 8-mile stretch of the river in Philadelphia. There are two locations at the bottom of the Ben Franklin Bridge. The first is located downstream from the first access point on the Schuylkill Expressway, near the top, and the second is located at the top, about a mile upstream. The third is at Grays Ferry, which is just downstream of the second access point. The fourth access point is located at the bottom of the Reading Viaduct, which is about a mile downstream from the third access point. The fifth and final access point is located at the bottom of the PATCO Speedline, a mile downstream from the fourth access point. The sixth and final access point is located at the bottom of the Viaduct.
The river has been a popular vacation spot for hundreds of years for people who paddle, swim, tubing, and board. When the Dutch sailed up the Delaware River in 1609, it was the first time Europeans saw the river. The river was a vital link between the Dutch colonies in New Netherland and their home country, the Netherlands, for the Dutch.
The Delaware River was a major transportation route for Americans in the early 1800s. The first steamboat on the river, the sidewheeler Caroline, served as a launching point for steamboats in 1812. Goods from and to Philadelphia were also shipped via the Delaware River.
Philadelphia and the surrounding area now have an excellent recreational resource in the Delaware River. Canoes, tubes, paddleboards, and jet skis can all be paddled down a shallow river that is easily accessible.

Can You Canoe The Delaware River?

Credit: kittatinny.com

The Delaware River is a great place to canoe. It is a beautiful river with many different types of scenery. You can canoe the Delaware River from many different starting points. There are many different companies that offer canoe rentals.

It drops rapidly through riffles and rapids in the Delaware River between Hankins and Barryville by swimming in short pools. There are no road signs or signs of civilization on Minisink Island, the river’s largest island between Milford and Dingmans Ferry. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which has easy, wide, and teeming wildlife, is a great place to visit. Walpack Bend is located in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country, close to Bushkill, Pa., and Flatbrookville, the closest New Jersey town. To reverse direction twice in a mile or so, a river here has high, rocky ridges that deflection its course. Many islands have designated sites where river camping is permitted by the National Park Service. The most thrilling stretch of white water in the Delaware River’s New Jersey section is Walpack Bend.

The Delaware River is home to one of the most dangerous rapids, and beginning canoeists should avoid going. The distance from Belvidere to Phillipsburg is reduced by 22 feet in one-half mile. The main stem of the Delaware River is not littered with Class 3 rapids. An eddy is typically caused by another stream entering a river via a whirlpool of water. The more tranquil method begins five miles south of the rapids near Martins Creek and concludes five miles north of the rapids. Charles Getter, who was publicly hanged on the island for the murder of his wife, is known as the island’s patron saint. You can see the confluence of the Delaware and the Lehigh River from the water.

You can be confident that your trip will be secure if you use liveries operated by experienced professionals on the banks of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Your trip will feel more personal if you leave on a weekday and have the river all to yourself. This stretch of water, which runs through Hunterdon and Bucks counties, is both comfortable and hospitable.

The lower Delaware River offers a more secluded adventure as well as more class III and IV rapids. Furthermore, there are a few scenic stretches of the river with slower moving water, as well as plenty of quiet pools. The Delaware River is a popular canoeing and kayaking river in the United States. It has a wide and flat body of water, allowing paddlers to enjoy the river’s gentle current. Swimming, fishing, and boating are all possible due to the clear and cool water. It is critical to understand the various levels of safety on the Delaware River so that you can plan a trip there. Class 1 and 2 rapids can be found on the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, which has a long, quiet pool and stretches of rapids. A number of sets of rapids can be found in this section, including Staircase rapids, Mongaup rapids and inlet, Butlers Rift rapids, and Mill Rift rapids. If you’re going to paddle the Lower Delaware, you’ll want to be aware that it has a lot of water, which can make it more dangerous. If you are in an emergency, always wear a life vest and keep calm.

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Can You Canoe In The Delaware Water Gap?

The Delaware Water Gap is a 70-mile long section of the Delaware River that runs between New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Canoeing is a popular activity in the Delaware Water Gap and there are many different companies that offer canoe rentals and guided tours. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is also a great place to go canoeing and there are many different trails that you can explore.

Class 1 and 2 rapids, multiple eddies, sets of shallow riffles, and a breathtaking view are just a few of the attractions at the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. On the river, paddlers can see a rapidly changing river valley, lush vegetation, bald eagles, osprey, and whitetail deer. The Middle Delaware River is a calm water destination that has a few small rapids and shelving. Class 1 and 2 rapids are among the highlights of the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River. This section is ideal for beginners who want to learn how to read and paddle rivers. Furthermore, it is ideal for experienced paddlers who enjoy the calm and peaceful surroundings of this area. The Middle Delaware region is dotted with lush vegetation and abundant wildlife, making it one of the most beautiful areas on the planet.

The Kittatinny Gap is one of the most beautiful water gaps in the country. This mountain is located in the Valley and Ridge Province of the Appalachian Mountains, and it is approximately 1,700 meters in diameter and 370 meters deep. The gap has been dubbed the “most beautiful” in the United States, and motorboats of all types visit it on a regular basis. Personal watercraft (jet-skis) are permitted in the area, but their use is extensive. Power boaters frequently use a section of the river that is heavily paddled, so paddlers must be aware of other boaters and exercise caution while traveling there.

Best Delaware River Rafting

The Delaware River is one of the best places to go rafting in the United States. The river is located in the northeastern part of the country and runs through Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. The Delaware River is a great place to go rafting because it is relatively calm and has a lot of interesting things to see along the way. There are also a lot of different companies that offer Delaware River rafting trips, so you can find one that is right for you.

Pennsylvania is one of the states that shares a river with Delaware. A variety of tours can be arranged by Chamberlain Canoes for groups of any size. We specialize in day trips, canoeing, kayaking, and rafting in the woods of Maine. Indian Head Canoes and Rafts operate three different sites along the river. A rafting adventure is a great way to spend time with family and friends, and you only need your cooler and a swimsuit. Our water adventures include rafting, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, tubing, and overnight camping, as well as water sports such as rafting, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, tubing, and overnight camping. The rafting tour includes paddle, life jacket, and whistle equipment.

At Twin Rivers Tubing, we offer tours that include life jackets, tube tethers, paddles, and key rings. Kittatinny Canoes offers canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and rafting to both experienced and novice paddlers. If you’re staying for a longer period of time, check out their paintball and dual racing zip lines. The Delaware River is truly a spectacle because its waters alternate between calm and roaring rapids.

Kittatinny Canoes Delaware River

Kittatinny Canoes is a canoe rental company that operates on the Delaware River. The company has been in business since 1963 and offers a variety of canoeing and kayaking trips, as well as other outdoor activities.

You can order hot dogs and hamburgers from the Hot Dog Man Food Stand floating on the water. In shallow water, ordering fresh barbecue is a unique experience. Every 10-15 minutes, a shuttle bus leaves for the river. In 2010, we designed and developed it to meet the needs of safety, convenience, and efficiency. Both clips can be inserted on the tubers via our two clip straps. Because we want to keep the environment clean, we are not permitted to sell alcohol or coolers. Every meal at Adventure Island is provided, and we collect any waste to properly dispose of it. The Delaware River Tubing Special Edition Pirate Skull T-Shirt is available for purchase for $5 OFF on weekdays and $2OFF on weekends.

Delaware River Rafting

The Delaware River offers a variety of rafting experiences, from calm stretches ideal for beginners to more challenging sections for experienced rafters. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely float or an adrenaline-pumping ride, the Delaware River has something to offer.

Delaware River Trips offers canoeing, kayaking, and rafting trips along the Delaware River. On our Six Mile River trip to Smithfield Beach, we visit Kittatinny Point, which is the most popular trip for our customers. The canoe or kayak is only available for self-guided use, which takes 2.5 to 3 hours. This 10-Mile River Trail from Bushkill to Smithfield Beach is suitable for those with experience. Please see the GROUP SALES Page for more information on pricing for Youth, Scout, and Non-profit groups, as well as Large Family groups. You can paddle through the heart of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area as the Delaware carves its way through the Minisink Valley. This section is well-known for a variety of wildlife sightings and a few small sections of class 1 and 2 rapids.

Along the way, there are numerous Bald Eagle Nests to be found. Delaware Water Gap has two popular trip options: a 6-mile trip and a 4-mile trip. For experienced paddlers, canoes and kayaks are a great way to enjoy the river with your first rafter. Customers who cancel within the allotted 24 hours will be refunded a full refund. It is our policy not to refund tickets if severe thunderstorms or dangerous river conditions are a possibility.

River difficulty rating in rafting, kayaking and whitewater sports

You would like to go rafting or kayaking on a river but you don’t know what the difficulty of a whitewater trip is.

You would like to know more about River Classes.

YOURAFT is there to explain everything to you on this subject.

The Principle

As in many outdoor sports, the environment in which we are led to evolve is rated, classified by level of difficulty and commitment. This allows professionals and practitioners to give each other reliable information on a precise route, a given itinerary, while being based on an official scale known and accepted by all.

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For example, in France in Climbing, the difficulty of the routes is rated from 3 to 9 by adding to each number the letter a, b or c (e.g. 6a). In Canyoning we rate the difficulty according to the verticality, the aquatic aspect and the commitment on a scale from 1 to 7 (ex: V4A3II), in Via Ferrata we rate the difficulty from F to ED where F corresponds to “easy” and ED to “extremely difficult”.

rafting sur la basse guisane à Serre Chevalier vue de dos

Difficulty levels of the whitewater courses

In whitewater and therefore when rafting or kayaking, the rating of the courses includes a rating of technical difficulty as well as a notion of commitment related to risk in case of unforeseen events.

Each level of difficulty is calculated according to the strength and size of the water movements and the complexity of the passages.

This difficulty corresponds to a normal water flow for the river but if there is a very high flow, it can be increased. For example, a level 3 rapid may be equivalent to a level 4 rapid in the event of high water.

How the technical aspect is rated

Technical difficulty levels range from 1 to 6. These levels are called River Classes, written in Roman numerals.

For example in the valley of Serre Chevalier on the Guisane :

  • The Upper-Guisane from Monêtier-les-Bains to Chantemerle is Class II-III because the course alternates between level 2 and 3 rapids.
  • The Lower-Guisane from Chantemerle to Briançon is Class III-IV because the course alternates between level 3 and 4 rapids.

Sometimes one or more numbers can be added in brackets. This makes it possible to specify that one or more rapids are of a higher level than the general rating of the course.

For example the course of the Durance Gorges is noted:Class III-IV (5,6,X). This means that the general level of the course is an alternation of level 3 and 4 rapids with punctually one or more level 5 and 6 rapids as well as one or more impassable for the letter “X”.

The 6 river classes

  • Class 1 : Very easy level, part of a calm river with a smooth and regular current forming at most only a few waves. Obstacles easy to avoid with little practice. It is easy to swim back to the bank. Class 1 courses are often used to discover the first sensations of canoeing in a river.
  • Class 2: Beginner level, course with simple and obvious rapids to be crossed. The current becomes more irregular but the waves and other water movements remain of average size. This level of difficulty is ideal for learning river kayaking or rafting with children.
  • Class 3: Intermediate level, part of the river with irregular rapids with moderate sized waves and obstacles to overcome. Crossing the rapids requires good control of the boat and good balance. When swimming, the return to the bank remains relatively easy but is longer than in the lower classes. In Rafting, this level of difficulty is ideal for families or groups to experience the thrill of whitewater while remaining accessible to all.
  • Class 4: Sporty and advanced level, difficult river section with rapids that are not entirely visible in advance. This sometimes requires prior spotting. The water movements are powerful and the slope is important. In case of swimming, recovery is more difficult and may require little outside help. In rafting as in kayaking, this level is sensational and sporty to navigate.
  • Class 5: Expert level. Very complicated rapids requiring a great control of the trajectory with the boat. It is the length of the rapids, the power of the water movements and the important slope that make the rapids very demanding both technically and physically. In Rafting these rapids can be navigated by a sports team, with good paddling technique and a perfect knowledge of river safety rules.
  • Class 6 : Navigability limit. The crossing of these rapids is extreme and can be perilous. Reconnaissance is essential and when it is possible it is imperative to set up a collective safety system allowing to recover a swimmer. Class 6 corresponds, for example, to a series of major falls in gorges or extremely steep rapids.
  • impassable X : It is a passage or a portion of the river that is not crossable until proven otherwise. The impassable may be classified as a 6 if a person can successfully navigate through it under normal navigation conditions.

photo d

How is the commitment rated

The notion of commitment in the rating of a river run corresponds to the difficulty to leave the run in case of unforeseen circumstances. This goes from 1 to 3 and is noted E followed by the number.

For example, in the case of the Haute Guisane, the rating of the commitment is “E1” because it is very easy to reach the road from the river.

The different levels of whitewater commitment

  • Commitment 1 (E1): easy access to the river and quick escape close to the road.
  • Commitment 2 (E2): Difficult escape route and long time to reach a road.
  • Commitment 3 (E3): Exit very difficult or almost impossible without outside help.

Examples of rivers rating around Briançon

  • The Guisane in the valley of Serre Chevalier Briançon, Class II-III E1 for the upper course and Class III-IV E1 for the lower course.
  • The Durance between Saint-clément-sur-Durance and Embrun, Class II-III E1 with the passage of the famous Rabioux wave.
  • The Guil on the classic course, renowned for its beauty and technicality, Class III-IV(5) E2-E3.
  • The Ubaye on the classic course, Class III-IV E1.
  • The Gyr, glacier river, Class IV(5) E2.
  • The Gyronde, magnificent alpine river, Class III-IV E1.

rafting sur la basse guisane à Briançon vue de dessus avec un guide YOURAFT

How do I choose the difficulty of a river trip if I want to go rafting with my family or with a group?

If you want to go rafting in Serre Chevalier, in the Alps or elsewhere, you may be wondering what difficulty to choose in relation to the level of the group and your desires. Here are some elements of answer.

Up to Class 2 with a few passages of Class 3, in rafting the course will be accessible to everyone provided they know how to swim, this corresponds most of the time to a minimum age of 6 or 7 years. This type of course is rather easy, with little risk of falling into the water unintentionally. It is therefore ideal for a discovery of whitewater or with children. The Family Rafting Trip on the Upper-Guisane in Serre Chevalier, Class II-III, falls into this category.

From class 3 and 4, in rafting the course becomes sporty and technical but also more sensational, perfect for thrill seekers. However, rafting companies may set an age limit for children. For example for the rafting course Rafting Sensation Trip on the Lower-Guisane in Serre Chevalier of Class III-IV, the age limit is 16 years old minimum.

Classes 4 – 5 and above are technical, physical and sensational rafting courses. These courses are designed for sporty, adventurous people who already have experience in canoeing or rafting. The age limit is often set at 18 years old minimum. The integral Guil or the Royal Ubaye Gorge are magnificent courses in this category.

During a company seminar, an EVJF or EVG, to combine challenge, sensations, team spirit and accessibility the category class 3 – 4 is ideal. The Rafting Sensation Trip will suit you perfectly if you take a trip to Serre Chevalier.

To learn more about rafting and to prepare a whitewater trip in Serre Chevalier, this article will answer your questions.

Source https://www.youraft-serrechevalier.com/en/blog/whitewater-sports/river-difficulty-rating-in-rafting-kayaking-and-whitewater-sports

Source https://www.rapidsriders.net/is-it-better-to-raft-or-canoe-down-delaware-river-2/

Source https://www.youraft-serrechevalier.com/en/blog/whitewater-sports/river-difficulty-rating-in-rafting-kayaking-and-whitewater-sports

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