Kayaking On the Rapids

by Gary Pearson

When whitewater kayaking, the kayaker must be familiar with the different types of whitewater rapids. Knowing the different classifications of whitewater rapids is critical to the kayak enthusiast; each classification requires a different level of kayaking skill. Further, along with the different rapid classifications, kayakers must be equally familiar with the different types of water features. Knowing the waters is the first step in kayaking safety!

Have a look at the classifications. The classification of water ranges from the ascending order of the water level. The lower the classification, the easier it is to kayak in. Class I water are those which have the least amount of barriers and hence are definitely the best for kayaking enthusiasts who are beginners.

Class II is the second classification which requires more knowhow of the water than Class I but is still acceptable since they are relatively easy to navigate around. Class III water requires more advanced skill since there are more obstructions and there is ledging in the water. The higher classes namely Class IV, V, and VI however require significant amount of skill as it is important for kayakers to be aware all imaginable kinds of water obstructions and features.

Waves, pourovers, stoppers, sweepers eddy, holes and playspots are some of the different kinds of water features. It is possible for a kayaker to capsize in an eddy, as this part of the water moves much slower than the other sections of the water body, if he is not able to manage well.

Holes, playspots, pourovers, stoppers and sweepers are all terms referring to the different motions in water that determine the skill a kayaker requires. Finally, waves can be considerably dangerous, especially if the kayaker takes on a body of water they are unprepared for.

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