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Difficulty Levels on a Whitewater Rafting Trip

Difficulty Levels and Ratings on Whitewater Rafting Trips

How Do I Find The Right Trip?

Have you recently just started looking into booking a whitewater rafting trip? Are you now wondering what the different classifications mean?

Class is actually an abbreviation for classification and it means what size the rapids on the trip are according to an objective white water standard. At AVA we want to make sure that when booking a trip you are fully informed about the type of whitewater that will be on your trip. Not only do we consider your safety at every moment, but we also want you to have the most fun on your trip.

Please also be aware the while this classification scale is a widely-used and objective one, rivers are a natural element and can change constantly. We do always reserve the right to change minimum age, fitness and weight requirements depending on water flows. Also, a section of river can be Class III when the water is low and when it is high. Sometimes high water bumps a Class III section up to Class IV, but sometimes it does not.

Whitewater river rafting is not like a fully controlled Disneyworld ride. We work with natural elements that change every day. But this is also why we stress safety, training and experience every day with our guides. Our guides average 8 years of experience, which is very, very high in this industry.

Meanings of River Classification:

Class 1: No waves or obstacles. Like sitting in your bathtub.
Class 2: Easy. Rapids with regular waves and wide channels.
Class 3: (AVA minimum age 6-7 years) Moderately difficult. Irregular waves and narrow channels. This is what we consider to be family-level whitewater rafting.
Class 4: (Minimum ages may vary) Difficult. Complex channels with obstacles to be avoided. Precise maneuvering.
Class 5: (Minimum ages may vary) Extremely difficult. Long rapids following each other consecutively.
Class 6: Considered unrunnable

Here is another way to look at our trips:

*Beginner: All Ages and abilities
*Intermediate: All abilities & ages 6 and up
*Advanced: Active lifestyles
*Advanced +: Active and Adventurous

If at any time you are confused when booking a trip please call one of our knowledgeable staff at 800-370-0581 and they will be sure to put you on the right track to be sure that you are going to go on your dream adventure.