Paddle Techniques for White Water Rafting : Moving the Raft with the Guide in Whitewater Rafting


The guide can do the majority of the work
out there in the back of the boat if your crew is tired, taking a break, or just otherwise
occupied. The guide can do a forward stroke and then a small pry, forward stroke a small
pry or a j-stroke to keep the boat moving down stream. Also the guide can use the river
dynamics to his or her advantage in order to get from one side of the river to the other.
So we’ll see how Mike does here. So you see Mike is moving the raft down stream doing
a forward stroke and then a small pry, a forward stroke and then a small pry. It becomes a
more effective stroke cause the raft picks up momentum. You can also spin the raft and
then using the momentum of the spin you can pry against that spin to help change direction
in the raft. Again it takes a pretty good understanding of river dynamics but you can
use the current on the river to help facilitate some of those moves so that you’re spinning
in the current and as the current turns the raft around you can pry against that push
and that’ll help send your raft to one side of the river or the other. Most of the time
though the raft guide is going to be in the back of the raft just doing the forward and
the pry to help keep the raft moving down stream, keep the raft heading in a straight
line. You can all set up a slight angle so that there’s more of the rock exposed to the
current on the river and then you’re prying and doing a forward stroke to work your way
from one side of the river to the other to avoid obstacles. It sort of requires a little
raising of your vision as raft guide to see where you’re going and pick that route early
on because there’s not a super effective or a quick maneuver across the river. It’s sort
of a slow and steady movement from one side of the river to the other.

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