There are some things in life that you have to really understand and practice quite a few times before you master it. For some, whitewater rafting is one of those things. Therefore, we have provided some helpful tips for using the paddles on the raft. The technique you use when paddling a raft plays a huge role is the ease, accuracy, and enjoyment of your rafting adventure.
Where you place your hands on the paddle makes a huge difference in the amount of control you are able to maintain. We recommend that you always keep one hand on the very end of the shaft of the paddle; this is called the “T-grip.” Your other hand should remain somewhere along the halfway point between the T-grip and the tip of the paddle. If your hands are in any other position, you will lose grip and control very quickly. Once you lose control of the paddle, it could be difficult to regain that control, especially if your rafting copilots are struggling, as well.
Positioning and Movement of the Paddle
In general, it is a good idea to keep the T-grip right above your shoulder. You will likely be rafting with several other people, so it is crucial to ensure everyone is paddling with the same amount of force. The movement should resemble a circular motion – setting the paddle in the water, pushing back, and pulling through. Practice a few times before hitting the water caps to ensure everyone in your raft has the hang of it. If paddling is stronger on one side of the raft versus the other, your raft could end up going off course or flipping, and we don’t want either of those to happen!
At Smoky Mountain River Rat, we supply you with the paddles you need for your whitewater rafting adventure. We will give you general instructions on how to manage the paddles before we send you off, but it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the paddling techniques if you have never been whitewater rafting before. Safety is our number one priority, so we hope you found this blog helpful. If you have any questions about safety precautions or raft paddling techniques, feel free to contact us. We hope to see you this summer. Book your rafting adventure online today!