Nervous about whitewater rafting? You’re definitely not alone! For many people whitewater is a scary new thing, and who better to show you a safe and fun time than the most experienced guides in the state?! The Adventure Company’s guides all have many years experience and have a reputation for safety and fun, both on and off the river.
Let’s explore some ways you can help calm some nerves before your rafting trip!
1. Listen to your guide's safety talk
Before you get on the river, your guides will give you a full run down of what to expect, how to work as a team, and what to do incase of an (unexpected) emergency. If you have any allergies, questions, or health concerns, now is a good time to bring them up with your guide. Please know there are no silly questions!
Getting your questions answered is a great step to help ease your mind. Our guides are easy to talk to and will do what it takes to help you feel comfortable.
2. Read some reviews from past guests
If you’re feeling unsure, a good move is to read some honest testimonials from people who were nervous before their trip, too! Most people feel a bit nervous before they take off – and all of them come back after their trip raving about how much fun they had, and how safe they felt. Even families with young children note how safe and confident they felt on the river with The Adventure Company. Here are some reviews you can read on Google and Tripadvisor.
3. Make sure your helmet and PFD are on correctly
When you arrive at the boathouse, one of your guides will ensure your helmet and life jacket are fitting properly. Your life jacket (PFD – personal flotation device) is coast guard approved and should fit snug so it doesn’t slide off! Your helmet should fit snug, and they are adjustable around your chin and your head.
4. Let your guide know if you are feeling nervous
Like we mentioned earlier, there are no silly questions – and we do not want you to feel embarrassed about feeling nervous. It is a completely natural reaction, and you’re definitely not the only one!
If you want to talk through it with your guide, just let them know how you’re feeling. Our guides are very familiar with nervous rafters, and they are even more familiar with the river you’re about to embark on. They will do everything they can to help you feel at ease. Plus, odds are you’re not the only nervous person on your raft!
5. Sit at the back of the raft!
This is the best seat in the house if you’re feeling nervous. You can use your fellow rafters as shields from the constant splashes, and you’ll be closest to your guide!
If you mention to your guide that you’re feeling nervous, they’ll likely seat you in the back. If you get on the water and start to feel more comfortable and confident, you can always switch seats with those in the front.
6. Listen to your guide!
From the moment you get to the boathouse, until you’re back at the boathouse after an epic trip – we ask you please listen to your guide! They are taking this same trip twice a day for many years, and they know what they’re talking about.
We only hire experienced guides for a reason!
Make sure you sit in a place on the boat that you can hear them clearly. They will be making commands on the river that are meant to maneuver the boat in the safest way possible. They will tell you when to paddle, and when to hang on!
7. Hang on to your paddle
Paddles are the most dangerous part of your trip!
Your guide will show you how to handle your paddle correctly, and will remind you not to let go of the T-grip (they’ll show you).
8. Choose a mellow trip and work your way up
Good news! We offer trips from beginner to expert. Start slow! Get comfortable on the water and make sure it’s something you enjoy. For a breakdown of trips, click here. We have trips for all ages, 2-100 years old!
If you have any questions – please don’t hesitate to ask! Give our friendly adventure coordinators an email or call and we will help you choose the perfect trip for your group!
9. Bring any medications you may need
Be sure to bring any medications you might potentially need with you. Your guide can stash them safely in their dry bag. Please be sure to show them how to use it, just incase. Common meds needed include epipen, insulin, inhaler, or other pills.
10. Choose a company that focuses on safety and has a good reputation
The AHRA (Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area) dictates some rules for safety, and some companies choose to go above and beyond. The Adventure Company is one of those companies. We only hire experienced guides, we host mandatory weekly safety meetings and flip training with our guides, we are always updating our boats and rental equipment, we maintain our vehicles year round and remove them from the road at the first sign of trouble, and much more.
These areas of safety and precautionary measures are top priority here. We are the only rafting outfitter to invite Colorado State Patrol in every spring to inspect our buses and comfort shuttles and make sure they are safe for transporting people.
We deeply value our guests’ and staff safety and are unwilling to take unnecessary risks.
Being nervous is nothing to be ashamed of. Be sure to follow all the steps above to help ease your nerves, and if you are still feeling uneasy – speak up! We will do what we can to help you feel comfortable. The first step is the hardest! We’re proud of you for making it this far. You’ll come off the river with lifelong memories with your crew, and a bunch of epic photos to remember it by!
Give our friendly adventure coordinators an email or call – we’re more than happy to help you choose the right trip for you! We look forward to showing you the time of your life, with the best crew on the river.
-Your friends at TAC