Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-31-2011   #1
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 15
River class description

I have yet to go on whitewater and would like descriptions of the different classes of whitewater, eg: class |, class || etc.

JoeB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2011   #2
shonuffkayak's Avatar
hutchinson, Kansas
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 138
Per Ken Whiting white water kayaking
Class 1 fast-movinv current with small waves few obstructions that are easily avoided. Low risk. Self rescue.

Class2 straightforward rapids with wide-open channels that are evident without scouting. Occasional manuvering is required. Trained paddlers will easily avoid any rocks or medium sized waves. Swimmers are seldom injured.

Class 3 Rapids with moderate irregular waves,strong series and currents. Complex maneuvers and good boat control are required. Major hazards are easily avoided. Scouting is recommend for inexperienced paddlers. Self rescue is usually easy and injuries to swimmers is rare.

Class 4 Powerful, turbulent, and predictable rapids with large, unavoidable waves and holes or constricted passages. Fast and reliable eddy turns and precise boat handling are needed to navigate safely through. Scouting is necessary, and rapids may require "must make" moves above dangerous hazards. Strong eskimo roll highly recommend, as there is a moderate to high risk of injury to swimmers. Self-rescue is difficult,so skilled group assistance often needed.

Class 5 Extremely long, obstructed, or violent rapids with exposed to substantial risk. Expect large, unavoidable waves and holes,or steep,congested chutes. Eddies may be small, turbulent, difficult to reach, or non-exsistent. Reliable eskimo roll, proper equipment, extensive experience, high level of fitness and practised rescue skills essential for survival. Scouting highly recommend, but maybe difficult. Swims are very dangerous and rescues are difficult.

Class 6 These runs exemplify the boundaries of difficulty,unpredictability and danger, and have almost never been attempted, if ever. The consequences of errors are very sever and rescue may be impossible. Only expert teamswith ideal conditions and extensive safety systems should ever consider these rapids.

Class1 easy
Class2 novice
Class3 intermediate
Class4 advanced
Class5 expert
Class6 extreme

shonuffkayak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2011   #3
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,906
This is the alternate description:

Class I, Easy. Fast moving water with riffles and small waves.
Swimming is pleasant, shore easily reached. A nice break from
paddling. Almost all gear and equipment is recovered. Boat is just
slightly scratched.

Class II, Novice. Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels
which are evident without scouting. Swimming to eddies requires
moderate effort. Climbing out of river may involve slippery rocks and
shrub-induced lacerations. Paddle travels great distance downstream
requiring lengthy walk. Something unimportant is missing. Boat hits
submerged rock leaving visible dent on frame or new gash in plastic.

Class III, Intermediate. Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which
may be difficult to avoid. Water is swallowed. Legs are ground
repeatedly against sharp, pointy rocks. Several eddies are missed
while swimming. Difficult decision to stay with boat results in
moment of terror when swimmer realizes they are downstream of boat.
Paddle is recirculated in small hole way upstream. All personal
possessions are removed from boat and floated in different
directions. Paddling partners run along river bank shouting helpful
instructions. Boat is munched against large boulder hard enough to
leave series of deep gouges. Sunglasses fall off.

Class IV, Advanced. Water is generally lots colder than Class III.
Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise swimming
in turbulent water. Swimming may require `must' moves above dangerous
hazards. Must moves are downgraded to `strongly recommended' after
they are missed. Sensation of disbelief experienced while about to
swim large drops. Frantic swimming towards shore is alternated with
frantic swimming away from shore to avoid strainers. Rocks are clung
to with death grip. Paddle is completely forgotten. One shoe is
removed. Hydraulic pressure permanently removes waterproof box with
all the really important stuff. Paddle partners running along stream
look genuinely concerned while lofting throw ropes 20 feet behind
swimmer. Paddle partners stare slack-jawed and point in amazement at
boat which is finally pinned by major feature. Climbing up river bank
involves inverted tree. One of those spring loaded pins that attaches
watch to wristband is missing. Contact lenses are moved to rear of

Class V, Expert. The water in this rapid is usually under 42 degrees
F. Most gear is destroyed on rocks within minutes if not seconds. If
the boat survives, it is need of about three days of repair. There is
no swimming, only frantic movements to keep from becoming one with
the rocks and to get a breath from time to time. Terror and panic set
in as you realize your paddle partners don't have a chance in heck of
reaching you. You come to a true understanding of the terms
maytagging and pinballing. That hole that looked like nothing when
scouted, has a hydraulic that holds you under the water until your
lungs are close to bursting. You come out only to realize you still
have 75% of the rapid left to swim. Swim to the eddy? What #%^&*#*
eddy!? This rapid usually lasts a mile or more. Hydraulic pressure
within the first few seconds removes everything that can come off
your body. This includes gloves, shoes, neoprene socks, sunglasses,
hats, and clothing. The rocks take care of your fingers, toes, and
ears. That $900.00 dry suit, well it might hold up to the rocks. Your
paddle is trash. If there is a strainer, well, just hope it is old
and rotten so it breaks. Paddle partners on shore are frantically
trying to run and keep up with you. Their horror is reflected in
their faces as they stare at how you are being tossed around! They
are hoping to remember how to do CPR. They also really hope the
cooler with the beer is still intact. They are going to need a cold
one by the time you get out! Climbing out of this happens after the
rapid is over. You will probably need the help of a backboard,
cervical collar and Z-rig. Even though you have broken bones,
lacerations, puncture wounds, missing digits & ears, and a
concussion, you won't feel much pain because you will have severe
hypothermia. Enjoy your stay in the hospital: with the time you take
recovering, you won't get another vacation for 3 years.

Class VI, World Class. Not recommended for swimming.
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
Andy H. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2011   #4
Renaissance Redneck
LSB's Avatar
Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 986
In the immortal words of Bill Nealy "3s are too easy, 4s are fun, 5s kinda scary, 6 I don't run."
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
LSB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2011   #5
Hans's Avatar
Louisville, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 110
The "Alternative" Description is much more apt. Anyone up for a "fun' Class V swim?
~Get all the sleep I need when I'm dead.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2011   #6
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
Class I: Flatwater
Class II: True beginner water. Glorified flatwater
Class III: The beginning of whitewater.
Class IV: Hard but safe(r) whitewater or easy(er) with some consequence.
Class V: Hard and dangerous whitewater.
Class VI: Cutting edge whitewater.
glenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2011   #7
thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 600
Originally Posted by JoeB View Post
I have yet to go on whitewater and would like descriptions of the different classes of whitewater, eg: class |, class || etc.
Class I is like: sitting on your couch drinking beer watching re-runs of Two and a Half Men.Class II is: sitting on your couch drinking beer while holding the hand of your cute next door neighbour. Class III is : sitting on your couch drinking beer with your cute next door neighbour's underware between your teeth. Class IV is: sitting on your couch drinking beer with your cute next door neighbour holding your underware in her teeth. Class V is : sitting on your couch drinking beer holding the underware of your cute next door neighbour and her best friends underware between your teeth while they have your underware in their teeth. Class VI is : sitting on your couch drinking beer with a hooker with a chiped tooth.

raymo is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Class V river shoes flounderbuoy Whitewater Kayaking 23 04-30-2007 01:08 PM
River Rescue Class ttuff Whitewater Kayaking 0 04-07-2006 09:16 PM
Tutshi River- video of my favorite class 5 river Camiona Whitewater Kayaking 0 05-30-2005 09:41 AM
A good description of differences between linear/Crosslink thecraw Whitewater Kayaking 3 11-29-2004 05:02 PM
Royal Gorge - Actual Difficulty & Description dan_d Whitewater Kayaking 11 07-22-2004 08:36 PM

» Classified Ads
whitewater kayaks

posted by leatherneck

2012 Fluid Solo Expedition kayak. Boat is in good shape....

2016 Dagger Axiom 9.0 (LG)

posted by atom

2016 Dagger Axiom 9.0 Used a handful of times. Great...

2 Stohlquist Rocker PFDs

posted by ErikH

Stohlquist Rocker type III PFDs, both size XXL. Looking for...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:47 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.