Whitewater Rapid Classes For Kayaking

Kayaking is an exciting and fun experience and whether it is an experienced kayaker or someone new to kayaking they should be educated in the water, the current, the tides and the rapids. Rapids while they can be fun to ride a kayak over they also need to be understood and have been classified from numbers I to VI and needs to be heeded by the kayaker for its danger and the skill that is needed to handle each class of water. At least one of these classes has only in recent years been added, as it was felt to dangerous to even attempt to use a kayak in and come out safely at the end of the run.

Kayaking Lessons

Water that is rated a class I is a smooth flowing water that will have few risks of problems and is a good place to begin for most kayakers. The class I water can usually be found in rivers that are broad in size.

The class II water is water that while it has some rapids in it they are easily maneuvered even by a beginner and rocks and other debris are clear to the eye in time to miss them, making this water where the novice can have some excitement without being in over their head.


Class III water is for the kayaker that has some experience, the rapids are moderate and the waves a little rougher to avoid making the kayaker use all their experience to maneuver the water. This water may also have some very strong currents that the kayaker may risk tipping if they do not have the proper amount of experience.

The next classification is class IV water; this water is very powerful and takes a kayaker who is well skilled in maneuvering quickly in waters that can be turbulent and have rapids and waves that cannot be avoided. This type of water may in the case of tipping may mean swimming or rescue.

Kayaking Lessons

The kayaker in class V water needs to be an expert, this water is difficult maneuvering, there are the rapids and waves can be violent in nature and there are obstructions and rocks that may not be avoidable. This water in the class V has been responsible for many injuries and associated with some deaths, only the expert kayaker with abundant experience should consider this water and never alone.

The Class VI water is the highest rated and the most dangerous, this water is unpredictable, at one time the rivers that are included in this class were considered to dangerous for kayak use, and should only be attempted by the most experienced kayakers. This water is dangerous, the current, the waves, the rapids and the obstructions that are found in this class take expert maneuvering. The reason that this class of water has now been added is due to the advancements in kayaks and their paddles, along with safety gear that has also advanced with the newer materials that are used.