Summer Rafting


Pachitsha Vang, Journalist/Editor

Did you know there are rafting places near Foster City? There are multiple places where you can go rafting in California! I recently went to Sacremeto to go rafting on the American River and it was super fun! In this article I will talk about safety precautions, the different levels of rapids, and the tips for rafting. 

Safety Precautions

When you go rafting you need to keep yourself and your teammates safe. In order to do that, you need to listen to your guide. Your guide will tell you different commands that you will learn and need to follow. Rafting is a team sport so you need to work and paddle together. When you use the paddle, you need to keep one hand on the top of the paddle, or the grip, and the other hand on the long part of the paddle, or the shaft. If you do not, then you can hit your teammates or worse.

Another thing you need to know is how you can swim. Since there are many rocks, boulders, trees, and other things in the water, you need to try and keep your toes up. This will help keep your feet safe. It is also important that you only swim where the guide tells you, and you stay near or in a 5-food radius of the boat. If you do not, it will be hard for your team to pull you back into the boat. Finally, look at the guides when you do not know what to do. They will point somewhere that is safe for you to swim to.

Levels of Rapids

There are mainly 6 levels of rapids. They are grouped based on how calm the rapids are, how safe it is to swim, and how easy it is to rescue someone. 

The first level is easy. It is recommended for beginner rafters and young kids because the waters are calm, and the rapids are about 2 feet high. It is also safe to swim and easy to rescue someone. 

The second level is novice. This level has more “disturbances” than level 1, and has more straight-forward rapids. Safety is also the same as level 1, so it is also recommended for beginners and young kids.

The third level is intermediate. It has more intense medium sized waves that are two to three feet high. Safety risk is slightly higher because of the waves, so you might need group assistance to rescue teammates. This level is recommended for people with some experience and adventurous people. 

The fourth level is advanced. This level is more difficult, intense, and has powerful waves. The routes can also have many narrow passageways, whirlpools, and drops about 4 feet depending on where you are. Because it is more difficult, this level is recommended for people with lots of experience and who have advanced paddling skills. Swimming is also highly not recommended because it will be hard for your teammates to rescue you. 

The fifth level is expert. These level rapids have very high risks for swimmers and paddlers because of its violent, tricky, and unpredictable waves. You should be an experienced rafter and have proper rescue skills because these rapids have very obscure and demanding routes.

The sixth level is extreme. This level is extremely not recommended for people rafting for fun. Swimming and rescuing someone is severely risky and almost impossible. The rapids in this level are the most violent and unpredictable rapids with “difficulty, danger, unpredictability, and intensity of whitewater”.

Tips for Rafting

First of all, if you want to go in the water, wear a wetsuit. The water is 60 degrees so do not stay in the water too long! Secondly, stay near the boat because the current is really strong. Thirdly, do not duck down when waves come unless you want to be super soaked. Finally, stay safe, have fun, and watch out for fish!!! (They “splash” you.)


  • My Experience