About White Water Rafting and History
White water rafting is an exhilarating sport which became popular in the 1970’s and became widely known as a form of adventurous recreation in the decades to follow. Canoeing became a popular recreation in the earlier years which was adopted from Native American Indians who used canoes and early types of kayaks extensively for transportation, fishing and other necessities of daily life. This form of transportation was not limited to North America, but has been utilized by natives all over the world throughout history. Although canoes, kayaks and rafts have been used in various practical ways for hundreds of years, it is likely that none would have imagined the adrenalized form of recreation that is popular today.
This form of extreme rafting is significantly different from canoeing or common river rafting, which involves gentle and relaxed excursions down peaceful streams or rivers. White water is a term derived from roaring rapids which have a characteristic white color from the air bubbles trapped under water which moves at a steady and consistent speed. Typically white water rapids are formed when the water from a river originates in a high elevation then quickly descends to a lower elevation. This causes the water to churn and agitate as it crashes into stony river beds and rock covered banks.
Where most seeking relaxation and the serene sights and sounds of a gentle flowing river when taking a canoe trip; white water rafting requires that an individual be prepared both mentally and physically for an extremely challenging physical adventure. Most who endeavor to embark on a white water journey will seek a professional guide who provides instruction before and during the trip down the river. Utilizing a professional guide and participating with a group in a white water trip does reduce the risk of danger. However, this does not eliminate the fact that white water rafting can be dangerous if one is not prepared for the raging waters.