How to Class White Water Rapids

White water rapids can be lot of fun for rafting with your family and friends. However, in order to know what you are getting in to, most white water rapids have been given a classification. These classifications are based on the rafting skill level that is required to manage these white water rapids. There are six levels of classifications that give you a good idea of the strength and skill required for various white water rapids. Keep in mind these white water rapids classifications in order to be safe and have a fun time rafting.


  • 1

    Class I:

    This white water rapids classification is for the basic skill level as the water level and rapids are not that big. This classification is for the beginner level rafters that want to spend a nice time on the water without having to worry too much about the conditions.

  • 2

    Class II:

    Three feet tall waves and calm waters are the best way to describe Class II white water rapids classifications. This classification is for beginner level with some basic experience in rafting. These white water rapids are slightly more challenging than the Class I type.

  • 3

    Class III:

    This classification consists of four feet waves with some degree of difficulty. Some experience is required to handle this type or class of white water rapids. Class III white water rapids can be a lot of fun as they provide just enough of a challenge and provide some decent excitement for anyone trying to raft these rapids.

  • 4

    Class IV:

    Rocks with high waves and somewhat narrow waterways are the best way to describe Class IV white water rapids. You will need an advanced skill level to handle these white water rapids as these are definitely not for beginners.

  • 5

    Class V:

    Big rocks, high waves and intense currents give some white water rapids a Class V rating. These are also for advanced skill levels and not for beginners. The powerful waves and narrow passages can be very challenging for even the most experienced rafter.

  • 6

    Class VI:

    Class VI white water rapids are considered extremely dangerous and should not be attempted. This class of white water rapids can be very hazardous and you can end up getting seriously injured while trying to attempt these.

  • 7

    Ask others:

    Before tackling any white water rapids it is a good idea to talk to others that have gone on a particular part of the river. They can guide you as to classification and whether or not the white water rapids are safe for you and your family depending on your skill level.

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