Whitewater rafting is a thrilling experience, but without a qualified guide and safety protocols, it can be a dangerous one. When you choose Jackson Hole Whitewater for your whitewater rafting trip, you can feel confident knowing that we’ve been in business since 1963 and that we’re one of Jackson Hole’s favorite rafting companies because we always put guest safety first. Our business is licensed and all of our guides are extensively trained.
Follow these whitewater rafting safety tips and you’re sure to have a fun day out on the river.
Wear Your Life Jacket Correctly
You’ll be given a life jacket or personal flotation device to wear during your whitewater rafting excursion, but it’s important to follow our instructions and wear it correctly. Do not loosen or unbuckle it once you’re on the water. Our guides will help you adjust your life jacket to ensure you have a fit that’s comfortable but also effective.
Dress for the Occasion
Even on a warm spring day, the water can be cold on one of our Jackson Hole whitewater rafting trips! Wear a wetsuit and splash jacket for warmth, and rent a pair of river shoes if you don’t own any. In the summer, make sure you wear clothing made with a fabric that dries quickly. No matter the weather, wear sunscreen and bring a pair of inexpensive sunglasses that you wouldn’t be upset about losing in the river.
Let Your Guide Show You How to Hold the Paddle
Before going out on the water, your guide will demonstrate how to hold the paddle properly. If you forget, ask them to show you again—they’re happy to help. Holding the paddle the right way is important for your safety, as losing control of it can cause injury to you or someone else on the boat.
Know What to Do if You Fall Out of the Boat
No one thinks it will happen to them, until it does. Listen carefully when your guide gives instruction on what to do should you fall out of the boat. It’s important to think clearly and keep yourself from panicking if you fall out and the best way to stay calm is knowing exactly what you need to do. Find the boat and grab it. If you’re not close to the boat, you’ll have to do a quick mental calculation to determine which is closer to you—the boat or the riverbank. If you’re closer to the riverbank, by all means swim to the land rather than the boat. Just remember, as you get closer to the shore, don’t make the mistake of trying to stand up in the water—even if it’s fairly shallow, your foot can get stuck which is a dangerous situation in a swiftly moving current. Don’t stand until the depth of the water is lower than your shins.
Swimming in the river is different from swimming in a pool or the calm waters of a lake. Lay on your back with your nose and toes pointing up, arms out to your side, feet downstream, and your head up so you can see where you’re going. This position is best because if you float into a rock, your feet will absorb the shock rather than your head.
Reserve Your Whitewater Rafting Trip Today
Now that you’ve read over these rafting tips, it’s time to get out on the water! To book a float trip with JHWW, call us today at 800-700-RAFT or learn more about our Snake River whitewater rafting trips here.
Jackson Hole Whitewater
945 West Broadway, Jackson, WY
Permittee of the Bridger-Teton National Forest