Rafting Information

Rafting or white water rafting is a challenging recreational activity using an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other bodies of water. This is usually done on white water or different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. The development of this activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the mid-1970s.

The modern raft is an inflatable boat, consisting of very durable, multi-layered rubberized or vinyl fabrics with several independent air chambers. The length varies between 3.5 m and 6 m , the width between 1.8 m and 2.5 m . The exception to this size rule is usually the packraft, which is designed as a portable single-person raft and may be as small as 1.5 metres long and weigh as little as 4 pounds .

Rafts come in a few different forms. In Europe, the most common is the symmetrical raft steered with a paddle at the stern. Other types are the asymmetrical, rudder-controlled raft and the symmetrical raft with central helm . Rafts are usually propelled with ordinary paddles and typically hold 4 to 12 persons. In Russia, rafts are often hand made and are often a catamaran style with two inflatable tubes attached to a frame. Pairs of paddlers navigate on these rafts. Catamaran style rafts have become popular in the western United States as well, but are typically rowed instead of paddled.

Wikipedia, Rafting, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rafting (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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