The Scale & Classes For Rating Of Whitewater Rapids Is Important For Safety When It Comes To Kayaking In Rivers

What's The Purpose Of Whitewater Rating?

This guide is used for rivers and kayaking companies to describe to potential users the severity of the rapids and speed of the river. Many people will only attempt to go up to a class 3 in the scale and people of a high level of experience will challeng a 5 class. The scale can also vary on time of year with the height of the river and the spring run off from melting snow or excessive rain.

Whitewater Classes & Rating Guide


For people who find their fun and excitement on whitewater know that there are different ratings for this type of water and each classification is a rating of how dangerous this water is to use a kayak or other watercraft.

Class one is the safest whitewater with few places that s person will find that have rapids or any rough currents. This is the type of water that can be found in open waters such as rivers.

Class two is water that will include rapids, however these rapids will be of a fun nature rather than dangerous for people who are just beginning to ride through whitewater, thereby giving the novice confidence while enjoying their newly learned skill. It is also water that the more experienced will find enjoyable when they do not want to be in waters where they will need all their skill.

Class three water has more rapids that are a little more challenging, the are rougher, the current is faster and is a water that the experienced while they may not need all their skills they will be required to use many of them. This water while the hardest to travel through the novice may want to make certain they have a lot of experience in the class two waters before moving up to this class.

Class four water is a type of water a person will want to be well skilled before attempting, they will also need to use this skill as class four water is filled with a powerful current, turbulent rapids and many obstacles. This water is one that can turn dangerous quickly meaning the craft could tip easily, swimming or rescue is also a possibility in this class of water.

Class five water is for only the very skilled person, it is for the expert who can maneuver quickly as rapids in this water will be extremely rough, the current can be violent and it is most difficult to maneuver a craft in this water making the person use every bit of their skill. Class five water will be turbulent and have waves that can not be avoided.

Class six this water has the highest rating and for good reason, it is the most dangerous, some of these waters no matter how skilled and experienced a person this water can be deadly and is often left as an unobtainable feat. This water moves very quickly with many obstacles that would not be avoidable and at one time was not the type of water that a kayak could be used in, however today with some of the advances in the construction it is attempted by some of the most experienced. Even with the most experienced and best skilled person this water can often be deadly.