When we said ‘outdoor activity’, what types of activities always bumps in our mind? Adventure racing, backpacking, bicycling, camping, canoeing, caving, fishing, and hiking is the most of the ideas. As we know that outdoor activities is one of the unique way to enjoy and appreciate the nature. So why don’t we try it in a new way with a new activity called White Water Rafting.
Seems that white water rafting (WWR) is not so familiar in Malaysia because most of extreme enthusiasts likely to choose hiking and backpacking as a hobby. So guys put aside your hiking equipment and grab a paddle! Let’s see how exciting this activity could be.
First of all, what is white water rafting and how adventure it is? As information, white water rafting is a challenging recreational outdoor 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.
There are no acceptable reasons why water rafting cannot be one of our hobbies. As we can see there are few of the rivers in Malaysia can be a spots for this adventure activity. For examples, Sungai Sungkai in Perak, Sungai Selangor in Kuala Kubu Bharu, Jeram Besu, Sungai Lipis, Sungai Telom and Sungai Tembeling, four of them are in Pahang. There are also two famous spots in Borneo which are Sungai Padas and Sungai Kiulu, both of it is in Sabah.
Some of the best spots in Malaysia
All of the suitable rivers for this activity have their own levels and grades of difficulty. The difficulties in this context involve the level of the water for casual to rough, the amounts of drop along the river and also the rapids. In WWR, there are six grades of difficulty. They range from simple to very dangerous and potential death or serious injuries.
In Grade 1, Very small rough areas might require slight maneuvering and the skill level is very basic.
Grade 2, some rough water, maybe some rocks, might require some maneuvering. Skill level required is basic paddling skill.
Comes to the Grade 3, involves with whitewater, small waves, maybe a small drop, but no considerable danger. May needs significant maneuvering. Skill level required is the experienced paddling skills.
In Grade 4 and 5, will be some of the medium to large waves, possibility of some rocks and hazards, also amount of large drop. At these levels, sharp and precise maneuvers may be needed and advanced whitewater experience skills.
Final grade which in class 6 involved rapids that considered to be so dangerous as to be effectively unnavigable on a reliably safe basis. Rafters can expect to encounter substantial whitewater, huge waves, huge rocks and hazards, and substantial drops that will impart severe impacts beyond the structural capacities and impact ratings of almost all rafting equipment.
Traversing a Class 6 rapid has a dramatically increased likelihood of ending in serious injury or death compared to lesser classes. After finishing this level your skill level will be upgraded to a successful completion of a Class 6 rapid without serious injury or death is widely considered to be a matter of great luck or extreme skill and is considered by some as a suicidal venture.
In Malaysia, rivers been discovered range from grade 1 to 3 under a normal weather conditions are relatively constant in depth and speed. However, heavy rains can cause some of them to swell into Grade 4.
Even though, the maximum grades in Malaysia is only 3 or 4, but it can cause some injury or unexpected incidents. White water rafting can be a dangerous sport, especially if basic safety precautions are not observed. Most of the rafters have seen or experienced of injuries and fatalities.
The safety equipment required in WWR are inflatable boats, paddles, life jackets, safety helmets, waterproof bags, life- lines, first aid kits and rescue bags. These are the major kit required before we get started.
Depending on the area, as in Malaysia, safety regulations covering raft operators may be very important. These range from certification of outfitters, rafts, and raft leaders, to more strict regulations about equipment and procedures.
It is generally advisable to discuss safety measures with a rafting operator before joining the trip. The equipment used and the qualifications of the company and raft guides are essential information to be considered.
According to sources, like most outdoor sports, rafting in general has become safer over the years. Expertise in the sport has increased, and equipment has become more specialized and increased in quality.
Let’s put on our helmets and encounter some rapids!
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