How To Kayak On Whitewater Rapids
Learning how to kayak on whitewater rapids can be scary, yet exhilarating. After learning and realizing that currents consist of certain features such as waves, eddies and hydraulics, it will be easier to understand how whitewater is created, and the learning process for reading water can begin.
- Understand how to read the water. Before learning how to read whitewater, realize that it will take some time and require risk-taking. Whitewater is created by water that flows over rocks and debris in the riverbed. It also indicates obstacles in the river. This does not mean that whitewater is necessarily shallow water.
- Take precautions before getting in the water. An eddy is an area in a river where the current flows uphill. If moving into faster flowing rivers, the current of eddies seem to flow considerably faster, and can also be rather scary at times. An eddy line is a swirly line at the base of an eddy where the current flowing downhill meets the current flowing uphill. Eddy lines are probably the most unpredictable currents in the river for kayaking.
- Rocks are an important part of a river’s whitewater forming. They are all over the current, not to mention on shore, so it is important to be cautious of rocks if you kayak or are getting ready to learn how to kayak. If steering away from the rock, it is possible to hit the uphill edge of the kayak, and the current will flip the kayak over in some cases. This is important to understand when learning how to kayak on whitewater rapids.
- Rocks underneath the top of the water can make waves and hydraulics. Water will flow over the rocks, then will drop, then come up and mix with the air and create whitewater. Waves are made when there is much water going over the rocks. A hydraulic is created when steep drops come down from the water behind the rock, which creates a swift back current flowing uphill while sending the current back into the hydraulic.
- Get in and have fun! According to the American Canoe Association, the most important thing to remember is a life jacket. After learning how to read water and making sure all safety precautions are taken, it is safe to get in the kayak, have some fun and enjoy what the outdoors has to offer.