Rafting is a group riding downhill sport with an inflatable boat. The crew consists of a professional river guide and 6-12 rowers, depending on the size of the boat, which is determined by the degree of difficulty of the river and the amount of its water. The experienced driver on the boat guides the crew and gives them the appropriate commands to ride accordingly, so as to avoid the natural obstacles encountered during the downhill. Like all adventure sports, rafting has some degree of risk and therefore some safety rules. It has been named after the English word raft.
The degrees of difficulty of the rivers with the driver’s commands are from I w.w. to VI w.w. This scale is shaped according to the volume of water, the slope of the ground and the obstacles (rocks) found in the river.
Grade 1: Very small wild areas may require some maneuvers. (Level: Very Basic)
Grade 2: Some wild water, perhaps some rocks, may require some maneuvers (Level: basic rowing skill)
Grade 3: Small waves in the flow with foam, there may be a slight sharp drop but no significant risk. It may require significant maneuvers. (Level: experience in rowing)
Grade 4: Medium waves in the flow with foam, maybe there are also rocks, perhaps a significant sharp fall. Some abrupt maneuvers may be required (Level: Advanced experience in foam waves)
Grade 5: Large waves in flow with foam, large volume, with large rocks and hazards. There may be major falls where precise maneuvers are required. (Level: advanced experience in foam waves)
Grade 6: Category 6 is considered to be dangerous and in no case safe. Rafters have to expect to experience major turbulence, enormous waves, huge rocks and many dangers. Falls can be serious enough and the boat and the equipment can not stand it. Category 6 river crossing has a dramatically increased likelihood of resulting in serious injury or death compared to the smallest classes. (Level: Successful completion of Category 6 river downhill without serious injury or death is widely considered to be a matter of great luck or exceptional ability)