5 Tips to Effective Communication Learned River Rafting

Like any team activity, river rafting requires highly effective communication. In the case of rafting, we want to get everyone down the river to the takeout point successfully and without injury.

Right now, I can hear your thinking…I work in an office alone. How does team activity help me?

As a freelancer, small business owner or non-profit, even if you work in your office alone, you are still part of a team collaborating with your client, donor or audience and effective communication is important.

And while you’re not likely to be injured or injury others physically from a poorly designed website that doesn’t communicate clearly, you are likely to lose sales or miss out on donations.

5 tips learned white water rafting to help you create a sustainable website design to engage your audience

  1. Sit in all the seats
  2. The power of pause
  3. Scout the rapids
  4. Speak clearly and loudly
  5. Wear the right gear

#1 Sit in all your audience’s seat because perspective is important

When river rafting in a paddleboat, you’re often six people moving down river at the same speed and moment. You are having a simultaneous experience, or not?

Because each paddler sits in the boat in a slightly different spot, even moving together, her experience is unique. She is also focused in a slightly different direction. It’s a sublet, though important, nuance to the shared experience.

The slightly different viewing angle and position gives each person an unique experience. It is the same with your website visitor. Though everyone is having the same experience—visiting your website—each has a different viewing angle. Her experience is influenced by various factors.

When you sit in all the seats, you are better able to see and empathize from each person’s perspective.

Some factors that create her unique experience are:

  • Which browser is she using
  • Her comfort or discomfort level with technology
  • What is her native language
  • Her cultural background—what messages do the images and symbols you use in your design convey
  • What device is she using to visit your site—mobile, desktop, laptop and operating system…Mac or Windows
  • How does she see color—is there enough contrast so the links are easy to distinguish from the main content
  • How does she navigate your site—is she using assistive technology such as high contrast, a large font size or a screen reader. To accommodate all users, include alt tags on images and create hierarchy by using headline and subhead tags correctly.

Have you viewed your site from her perspective?

There are a number of options. One easy and informative tool you can use to test for things like high contrast or correct hierarchy is WAVE. I’ve definitely made some updates to my site after running it through WAVE (web accessibility evaluation tool).

You do not need to know code to implement correct hierarchy in your website. There are tools built into WordPress that allowing you to, similar to Microsoft Word or Google docs, select various heading or subhead options, create a blockquote or tell the browser this bit of content is a paragraph of text, all from a drop down menu. This will help you create the correct hierarchy.

#2 The power of pausing allows us to engage

You’ve sat in your audiences seat, grabbed the paddle, aimed the boat, and swiftly headed down river.

Rafting paddles in air for a high-five

photo credit Juliano Marini You and the team have successfully navigated the first small rapid. Paddles in the air for a high-five.

You look up and suddenly the river splits into multiple channels—which way to go?

This is when you need to catch an eddy

As a river rafting guide—I learned how to use eddies to utilize the power of pausing. An eddy is a pocket at the side of a river where the water reverses itself and flows up river for a moment. This provides an opportunity to pause and look around.

Yet to get into the eddy, you have to plan ahead and move quickly or you miss the moment. And paddling back up river is—hella hard. The same applies to your website design. You need to have a plan to quickly capture your audience’s attention because otherwise, getting him to come back is—hella hard.

On the river—if you miss an eddy, you hope to catch the next one.

Today, like never before, your audience has multiple options. Your website design needs to quickly capture his attention—entice him to pause long enough to get to know, like and trust you.

Whether he is aware of it or not, he is looking to you to guide him. Your sustainable website design needs to help him understand his options so he can easily navigate the rapids of his current challenge to a successful solution.

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One quality great river raft guides have and use to build trust is, they tell stories. Stories are a way to help often total strangers bond as a team and get to know their guide. Trust and collaboration are two important aspects of team-building that make it possible to successfully navigate the rapids of a river or your client’s business challenge.

#3 It is important to scout the rapids ahead before proceeding

You’ve effectively paused your audience—caught her attention. You’re paused in the eddy. The next step is to scout the rapids to determine the best route to successfully navigate to the other side of the current obstacle.

  • What are your potential buyers fears that keep her from saying yes?
  • What routes has she tried previously without success?
  • What are her financial or time limitations?
  • Does she have or lack the skills she needs to navigate to where she wants to go?
  • Does she have an inner critic she needs to negotiate with to proceed?

You, as the guide, need to have travelled the path so you can anticipate her needs and objects, even before she does. Your website design and content must help her see herself on the path ahead and alleviate enough of the fear to allow her to get in your boat. To click the yes button to sign up for your free offer or purchase your service and allow you to be her guide.

#4 Speak clearly and louder than the surrounding noise

On the river, the most important time you need to hear and follow your guide is going through the rapids. It is also the hardest time to hear him as his voice is competing with the sounds of the surrounding rapids.

Boomm noise in head illustration

image credit Gerd Altmann In today’s online world, it’s no different. Not only are you one of many offering similar services or products, you are also needing to be heard over the noise—including the objections and fears in your audiences head. And those in-the-head noises are usually the loudest.

Your sustainable website design needs to break through the noise with clear heirarchy, compelling visuals, colors that resonate and connect with your target audience (because they won’t resonate with everyone), content that persuades and a powerful call to action that visibly stands out on the page saying, “This way.”

#5 Wear the right gear to stay afloat

While river rafting, it is important to wear the correctly rated and fitting floatation device. They are all rated, based in the class of rapid. And, of course, like insurance, you hope you never need it. Yet having it offers a sense of safety and comfort—it allows you to take a risk.

Similarly, you need a safety net that is visible and easy for your audience to understand so he is comfortable taking a risk.

Some safety nets you can offer your potential buyer

Offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee? Or a money back guarantee within a certain time period. That is not always possible, though if you do offer one, state it prominently, with a clear description of the terms of the guarantee, especially near the “buy now” button.

Offer a free mini course so he can test the waters before diving deeper. Or offer a free trial of your full product or course for a limited period of time.

Consider offering live customer support with a promise to get the user through any obstacles they might encounter.

Clearly state, both in writing and visually, any return policies, money back guarantee, free trials, benefits your product or service offers that are unique. Help your audience trust that, not only are you the best guide for them, you’re willing to pull back the curtain so overcome fears of hype. That you are confident in your service or product.

On your journey to build a great client relationship remember to:

What’s the biggest noise inside your head that keeps you on shore waiting to enter the rapids?

Share in the comments below. We are all each other’s guides. In the (paraphrased) words of Seth Godin, there will always be someone who knows more than we do that we can learn from and someone who knows less than we do that we can guide.

Let’s do this together. And remember to share your successful guiding, or being guided, tips below.

Rafting techniques and moves you’ll be using on rafting

Rafting techniques and rules useful for rafting beginners

White water rafting isn’t hard. Ok, it’s not a piece of cake, but you should know that a few basic rafting techniques and moves are almost enough to deal with any possible obstacles you can encounter during rafting tour. These, and following your guides instructions. But let’s begin with our quick tour about rafting moves and techniques you should (maybe) know.

Rafting techniques and moves useful for rafting

Is it important to know rafting moves before rafting happens?

When it comes to Tara river rafting arrangements in Montenegro you don’t need to know almost anything about rafting before you come here. That doesn’t mean that rafting on Tara river is easy, but it means that a quick introduction and instructions by our IRF licensed rafting guides are enough for you to easily catch on and remain safe while you’re conquering all of those white water rapids.

Tara river can be demanding since it hits 4 to 5 level of water volume and rafting difficulty. But few instructions which are easy to follow when experienced guides explain them to you are enough! You’ll be rafting that white water like a pro in no time.

So here are some usual rafting moves that you could read about for a little bit just to understand why is teamwork on that raft important and to understand that there’s not much point of reading about these moves without being able to try them out.

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Common rafting techniques and moves

Paddling (very hard sometimes)

Let’s begin with paddling. Ok, you’d say that there’s not much point in saying what a paddle and paddling are. And we agree. But you should understand that there are different kinds of paddling. There’s a vast difference between paddling on a small wooden boat and paddling on the raft. White water rafting is called “white water” for a reason.

You won’t be doing it on a steady predictable river but on the high speed, curvy and rough bottom river which can put you on the rocks very easily or even turn a boat in a second. But don’t worry since there are a lot of rafting safety rules that we already talked about, which can prevent that from happening or even if it happens these will keep you safe.

Paddling forward or paddling backward is a must. Sometimes you’ll need to paddle harder and faster so that you could stay on a track, but more importantly, you’ll need to do it simultaneously with your rafting companions. This is one of the reasons why is rafting such a great team building adventure.

When your guide shouts to the people on the one side of the raft to paddle backward and on the other side to paddle normally his intentions are obvious. He is trying to turn your boat around. There are various reasons to do that.

rafting techniques paddling and ferry moves like front ferry and back ferry

Farry moves – Back ferry and front ferry

One of the main techniques and rafting moves you’ll be using to dodge the obstacle is back and front ferry. Of course, farry technique is used to place the raft in the right position regarding the current angle and regardless of obstacles. But it is the most efficient way to describe this rafting technique.

It means that your skipper (rafting guide) will guide you to the whole process, but you don’t need to worry if you’re rafting at Tarasport, since, for example, back ferry is mostly used to evade obstacles that couldn’t be foreseen and are very close to your raft. That doesn’t happen often on Tara river since guides now their route perfectly. This happens on rivers that are being conquered for the first time, and back ferry is very useful because it takes less time for preparation than front ferry does.

Rafts direction depends on the current and velocity, so in general back and front ferry means that one or the other side of the raft needs to paddle harder or easier and in opposite or in current direction for back or front ferry could be done.

Digging – “Dig, dig, dig…”

Digging speaks for itself. This rafting technique is used to catch a strong downstream current so that you could use its force to escape deeper holes and gorges deep below the surface. How does this work? It works easily. Ok, maybe not easily for the rafters themselves since they need to plunge their paddles deeper in the water and then to pull even harder and faster than they already do, but doing this allows you to easily bridge the holes and rapids in them.

Weight shifting

Not really a technique as much it is sanity. Am I right? If your raft ever breach an obstacle like a big rcok sideways, you should shift all of your weight of the raft (meaning people on it) on the side of the obstacle to prevent flipping the raft over. Turning over is very possible in this situation so good timing is a necessity. While you’re mounted on the rock or on the trunk you should use your paddles to push your raft off that obstacle and watchfully go back on your side of the raft.


Since many white water rafting tours mean that you’ll be rafting on the fast, narrow and steep mountain rivers, you should know that some of the vegetation on the river bank and land in general could be way to close to your raft. Some of those would be very painful if you hit your head, so if your rafting guide shouts: “Dodge or duck”, that means that you should use your body and legs strength to pivot yourself to the rafts bottom and to stretch out as much as you can, practically laying on the rafts side. This way you’ll slide below the upcoming obstacles such as fallen trees and tree brunches.

These are all the basic rafting techniques you might need if you decide to try rafting anywhere around the world, and some of them may be needed if you come to us at Rafting Club Tarasport. But once again, everything will be thoroughly explained by our rafting professionals.

The most important rafting safety rules

Rules of rafting safety preparation - safety rafting rules

Rafting is fun. But rafting is also an extreme sport. With its extreme nature comes the responsibility and few rules that should be followed. Among default needs and obligatory rafting equipment which have to be provided by your licensed rafting professional and rafting club, there are some universal rules of rafting which you should definitely follow and obey at any time.

Rafting preparations whitewater rafting tips and safety

Ok, rules, rules, and more rules. Isn’t rafting about fun and just going crazy in the raft? It really is, but to make that extreme fun possible, you need to follow some instructions and rafting safety tips, so check out some important rafting rules which will ensure you the most amazing and unforgettable rafting experience you could’ve ever imagined. Like Tarasport rafting on Tara and Drina rivers are.

Listen what your guide has to say before rafting!

Ok, the first rule is pretty simple. Since you’re probably not a professional you should listen what your licensed rafting guide has to say. Here at Tarasport many of them are going on a few rafting tours daily, so their experience is not questionable. If it happens that you actually are a professional, you should still listen what your guide has to say, since you probably didn’t have the chance to experience whitewater rafting on that exact river that you’ve visited.

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He knows exactly what can happen on which part of the river and according to the river strength, difficulty, and complexity measured by the known 1 to 6 scale. Since Tara river complexity is between 4th and 5 th level that is one of the reasons why rafting on Tara river is the best.

Obey instructions given by your guide during rafting itself

Every part of the river has its own characteristics and experienced skippers and guides know them all. You’ll get the instructions before rafting happens as we mentioned above, but you should try to understand them and try to implement them in the exact moment when you rafting guide shouts: backward left, backward right, front right, front left or any other command.

It is sometimes tough to synchronize your moves with other people on the raft, but that’s what rafting is all about. Overcoming every obstacle, enjoying the adrenaline rush and taming the rivers temper. This is why rafting is considered one hell of a team building activity. Actually, many of our first timers are coming with their business teams trying to experience something exciting and trying to do that as a functional team as well.

Rafting safety Tara river falling in the water

What if I fell into the water?

Falling into the water during rafting is probably the most feared outcome that people are asking and worried about. To be honest, it’s not the favorite thing that can happen when it comes to rafting, since water is often very chilly, at least here in Montenegro at Tara river, but there is no reason to be afraid of falling into the water. Like said before, just follow the given instructions and you’ll be fine and quickly back on the raft among other rafting fellows.

You should know that lifejacket you’re provided is there for a reason. It will help you float and to keep your strength since the current of mountain rivers can be very strong. Main thing that you should do is to try grabbing the rope on side of the river raft, so that you could be easily pulled back on the boat, but if you don’t manage to do that, you should float on your back with your legs up on the water surface and your arms crossed on your chest. This way, you can easily be “fished” by your guide and other rafting pals. Als,o the leg part is very important so that you wouldn’t hit the rocks below the water surface.

Als,o this floating position is very important so that guide can easily throw the rope at you, and so that you could grab those ropes in the correct way. You should grab ropes in the same floating position on your back, holding the rope exactly the same as you were floating (lying) before. This way your head will remain above the water without fast water smashing your face and not letting you breathe properly.

What happens if the whole raft turns over?

Ok, we covered what happens if you and only you fall into the water, but what happens if the whole raft turns over and every member of your rafting team andthe skipper himself fall into the water? It’s pretty much the same thing. It’s not yours to try to fix the problem since you’re probably not professional and don’t know what to do exactly. Your role in this messed up, but still not dangerous, situation is to do exactly the same thing you would do if you fell into the river by yourself.

All of the guides that are going on your rafting tour will pivot the raft by themselves and carefully fish for other rafters which fell into the water. Just like mentioned before, yours is to float on your back with your legs up high and arms crossed on your chest and life jacket.

Rafting preparations safety training rafting

Consult with your rafting club before coming here and be open about your concerns with your guide

It is very important for you to be honest when it comes to rafting. If you have any concerns about your physical abilities or even physical health it is your duty and moral obligation to let everybody else know them if it could make an impact on them in any way possible. Of cour,se you should consult with rafting club before even coming here to check if it is ok to come and try out rafting, and of course after that with your personal rafting guide. Consult with your guide and rafting club before you come here if it’s okay to try rafting with your fears or maybe even physical disadvantages.

Don’t try to be a hero

Like said before, even if you think you know everything there is to know about rafting, that doesn’t have to be reality of the things. Trying too hard and making yourself interesting will not help your rafting team and could eventually have completely opposite effect. Be confident enough to give your 100% but at the same time smart enough to listen your guides and given instructions. You are a hero as long as everybody else think that way. Don’t you agree?

That should be it, so if you have any questions feel free to call Tarasport and ask whatever you have in mind. See you here!

Source https://visionshiftdesign.com/learn-effective-communication/

Source https://www.tarasportrafting.com/blog/rafting-techniques-and-moves-youll-be-using-rafting

Source https://www.tarasportrafting.com/blog/most-important-rafting-safety-rules

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