Water sports enthusiasts—and even first-timers—can find great joy in whitewater rafting and kayaking. While the two sports are different, they both offer action-packed paddling through the river. Explore the differences between these sports and see which is more suitable for you and your family.
What Are the Fundamental Differences?
A kayak is a canoe-shaped boat and is usually fit for one paddler. Kayaking is best suited for someone looking for solo activity. You’ll use a double-bladed oar to make your way through the water while sitting in the kayak facing forward with your legs in front. Whitewater rafts, on the other hand, are flat, inflatable boats ideal for group outings. They’re a fun team activity where everyone can help with paddling. Nine people row together, with one sitting at the back and four rowers stationed on each side.
Which Is Safer?
While you get to enjoy more control of a kayak and move quickly, kayaking becomes dangerous if you run into rough water or landscapes. Whitewater rafting offers fun challenges on various degrees of rough water, often with a guide to help ensure everything goes smoothly. In case you encounter any challenges while rafting, you and your group can collectively take control of the boat and guide it to shore. If you’re thinking about safe water sports for kids, rafting on calmer tides is an excellent option.
What Are the Skill Levels?
Kayaking generally requires more skill compared to whitewater rafting, given that you’ll be steering it on your own and at a faster speed. From holding the paddle to stroking and dealing with wind, Kayakers need to know the correct way to hold the paddle and steer to correctly navigate the water. In whitewater rafting, less skilled rafters can depend on the experienced ones to calm the boat and steer when they experience rough tides.
What Gear Is Required?
Both activities require similar, simple gear. With a life jacket, clothes and shoes you don’t mind getting wet, and paddles, you’re set. Depending on the weather, you may choose to dress in layers or go for lighter clothing. Ready to get on the water? River Recreation offers guided whitewater rafting through the beautiful rivers in the Monitor, WA area. Our state-certified guides will help ensure you and your group have a safe and memorable experience. Book your adventure today!
“It’s been snowing hard in the Mountains, again,” is a phrase many of us in the Pacific Northwest have been hearing a lot this winter, but what does this mean for the 2020 whitewater river rafting season In Washington State?
Generally and historically speaking, the more snow we receive in the Washinton State Cascade mountains, the bigger the rapids are on Washington state rivers and the longer the season lasts that summer. So a correlation can be made fairly easily; the more snow in the winter equals the better the white water river rafting in the following spring and summer. The following spring after a large snowpack in the Washington State Cade mountains, the whitewater and water levels on the river are large in Mid-May thru Mid June with the river continuing to be larger than normal thru late July. In addition, the rivers tend to run longer into August on “Big-Water” years. Each year we hope to see at least 100% snowpack in the mountains as 100% means we have reached the average snowfall of a whole winter; anything else past this point is extra snow and more water in the river the following spring.
With the increased amount of snowpack in the mountains, this also means our rivers that are dammed tend to have water quantities that last longer and are able to better supply Central and Eastern Washington farms with a more steady supply of water to irrigate with. In addition, more snow in the mountains also means the forests are wetter for a longer duration into the spring and summer and the risk of a devastating wildfire is diminished.
We are closely watching the snow at several snow-reporting sites in the Washington State Cascades Mountains now, with the anticipation of seeing the 100% mark hit any day. Seeing as we are barely 1/3 of the way through the Winter, we are expecting an above-normal snowpack by the 1st of April. This all formulates to an amazing whitewater river rafting season in 2020 on rivers such as the Wenatchee, Methow, Skykomish, Green, Tieton, Nooksack, and the Skagit. All and all said this is looking like the season to hit the river for some amazing rapids and some memory-making adventure.
The long-awaited water-fighting season has officially begun on the Wenatchee River! This coveted time of the year is the signal that the weather has warmed up substantially in the Wenatchcee River Valley. With the warmer weather, now is the time to get on the river with friends, family, and/or co-workers and completely soak them to the bone with cold, crisp, clean river water from the Wenatchee River. This is the perfect time of the season to get on the river; the combination of hot temperatures, great river levels, and the gorgeous veiw of green hillsides makes for an amazingly fun day on the river. The Wenatchee River is the perfect first-time whitewater river rafting experience for entry-level rafting, yet fun enough that even the seasoned veteran rafter will have an amazingly fun day on the river too. What other way is there to reconnect with the others in your life, but to get on the river, paddle thru the whitewater, and completely drench your loved ones with a bucket of water over their head? Remember, there are no cellphones on the river and there is no WI-Fi, so the whitewater river rafting on the Wenatchee River near Leavenworth is a great way to experience life and share memories with the ones in your life you care about.
Don’t forget there is so much more than just a day of whitewater rafting on the Wenatchee River to be done in Central Washington. The area hosts a wide range of activities such as hiking, kayaking, boating, wine tasting, beer fests, jet skiing, horseback riding, fishing, or just soaking up the hot, Central Washington sunshine. The Wenatchee / Leavenworth / Lake Chelan / Ellensburg area is a playground for outdoor activities. Need a suggestion on the fun to be had in the area? Call us anytime or email us and our local experts can help you plan an adventure of a lifetime, either on the river or off!
In a word….YES!
We have several great trips for kids, including our family friendly Lower Wenatchee River Float trip. There is a minimum age of five for our kid-appropriate trips, so give us a call to inquire about available trips for your entire family today!
A whitewater rafting trip is a great way for your family to spend time together outdoors.
We also have more challenging runs that have a minimum age of 12 or 16.