Pub. Date:
McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
The Complete Whitewater Rafter / Edition 1

The Complete Whitewater Rafter / Edition 1

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780070055056
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date: 01/01/1996
Edition description: Net
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 687,161
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Jeff Bennett has been running rivers in rafts, hardshell and inflatable kayaks, and canoes since the 1970s. A columnist and contributing photographer to Paddler and Snow Country magazines, his work has also appeared in Canoe & Kayak, Adventure West, and other publications. He is author or co-author of three classic river guides--Class Five Chronicles, A Guide to the Whitewater Rivers of Washington, and Soggy Sneakers Guide to Oregon Rivers--and has contributed tales of hairball whitewater descents to the wildly entertaining book, No Shit! There I Was. He is also author of The Complete Inflatable Kayaker and with Scott Downey, The Complete Snowboarder, both published by Ragged Mountain Press.

Table of Contents


The First Splash; About the Author; A Little Help from My Friends; What Are You Getting Yourself Into?; How to Use This Book

1. The Evolution of Rafting: From Powell to Paddle Cats

The Fremont Expeditions

John Wesley Powell

Nathaniel Galloway

The Post-World War II Era

The Self-Bailing Generation

The Russian Influence

Looking Toward Tomorrow

2. Get Wet: Your First Rafting Adventure


Other Ways to Get Wet

Clubs and Organizations; Raft Rentals

3. Equipment: From Oars to Floors, Helmets to Hi-Floats

Basic Raft Anatomy

Tubes; Panels and Seams; Valves; Thwarts; Floors; Accessories; Footcups


Base Fabrics; Coatings

Design Characteristics

Length and Width; Tube Size; Symmetry; Rise; Waterline; Floors


Types of Catarafts; Cataraft Design; Characteristics; Rotocats and Plastic Cats

Other Types of Rafts

North American Rafts; Plohts

Purchasing a Raft

Traditional Rafts; Catarafts; Used Rafts


Traditional Raft Frames; Selecting a Frame; Other Considerations; Cataraft Frames; Cooler Frames


Oar Construction; Selecting Oars; Oar Length; Setting Up Oars; Pins and Clips; Oarlocks; Fine Tuning


Essential Riverwear

Clothing; Lifejackets; Helmets

Saddle Up: Assembling Your Gear and Crew

Inflating Your Raft

Pumps; Inflating the Raft

Rigging the Frame

Loading Accessories

Spare Oars; Spare Paddles; Bowlines; Handlines; Bail Buckets; Additional Gear

Passengers in Oar Rafts

Nonpaddlers; Paddle Assists/

Paddle Teams

A Solid Foundation; Seating Arrangements; Varying the Size of the Paddle Team

5. River Morphology: The Dynamics of Running Water

A Look Beneath the Surface

Water Mechanics; Laminar Flows; Turbulent Flows; Chaos; Helical Currents; Meanders

River Characteristics

Volume; Gradient

Surface Features

Tongues; Upstream Vs; Standing Waves; Diagonal Waves; Haystacks; Breaking Waves and Stoppers; Pillows; Undercuts; Rooster Tails; Boils; Holes; Lowhead Dams and Weirs; Waterfalls; Eddies

The Big Picture

The Rating Game

The AWA River-Rating Scale; Fine-Tuning the Scale

6. Propulsion Basics: Different Strokes for Different Boats

Oar Strokes

Backrowing; Portegee; Turning; Shipping; Rowing Sweep Boats and Plohts

Paddle Strokes

Get a Grip; Three Types of Paddle Strokes; Basic Power Strokes; Advanced Power Strokes; Turning Strokes; Bracing

7. Paddle Captaining: The Art of Whitewater Choreography

The Pretrip Lecture

Seating the Captain and Crew

The Captain's Chair; Seating the Crew

Guiding Strokes

The Strokes; Experience Is the Key

Paddle Commands

Basic Commands; Advanced Commands; Fine-Tuning; Handling Lag Time; Handling Overstroking; Your Voice; The Seasoned Team

8. Whitewater: Running the Rapids

Five Types of Maneuvers

River Directions

Staying Parallel with the Current


History; Oar Rafts; Paddle Rafts; Apparent Versus Real Course; Ferrying Around Bends

Turns and Pivots


Eddy Maneuvers

Putting on the Brakes; Entering Eddies; Staying in Eddies; Exiting Eddies; Capsizing Forces

Heading Downriver

Reading Rivers; The Two Cs

The SAFE System

Scout; Analyze; Formulate; Execute

The Added Edge

Bailing; Highsiding; Digging; Lowering Your Center of Gravity; Beaching

Honing Your Skills

9. Safety and Rescue: Keeping Your Head and Gear Above Water

Having What It Takes

Pretrip Preparation; Time on the River; Pretrip Discussion


Group Travel

Lead and Sweep Rafts; Group Scouting and Rescue

Portaging and Lining


Swimming; Rerighting Rafts; Active Swimming; Holes and Dams; Strainers and Sweepers; Pulling Swimmers into Rafts

Rope Rescues

Throw Bags; Getting Ropes to Swimmers; Belays

River Crossings

Solo Crossings; Group Crossings

Other Rope Rescues

Strong-Swimmer Rescue; Loose Horizontal Line; The Telfer Lower


First Things First; Basic Rope Systems; Z-Drags

First Aid

10. Advanced Rafting: Rafting on the Cutting Edge


Skills and Conditioning; Choice of Raft; Accessories; Stowing Gear; The Class V Attitude

Rafting in the Third Dimension

Helpful Hydraulics; Waves; Holes; V-Holes; Eddies

Boulders and Slots

Boulders; Lowsiding

Waterfalls and Steep Drops

Irregular Ledges; Waterfalls

Low- and High-Water Techniques

Low-Water Trips; High-Water Trips

A Quick Course in Steep Creeking

Reading the Horizon; Slowing Your Descent


11. Single-Day to Multiday Trips: Carrying Your Toys

Planning Ahead

Waterproof Containers

Dry Bags; Ammo Cans and Dry Boxes

Stowing Gear Safely

12. River Camping and Cookery: Life at the Riverside Inn

Clothing and Camping Equipment

Campsite Selection

Wind and Water; The Riparian Environment


Firepans; Campfire Cleanup; River Saunas

Human Waste

River Cookery

Menu Planning; Packing Food; Coolers; Sorting Food; The Kitchen; Dutch Ovens; Dishwashing; Drinking Water; Garbage

One Step Further: Rafting Alternatives

River Exploration

The Research Phase; Selecting the Crew; Equipment and Supplies; Safety; Getting to the River; Running the River


Types of Races; Prerace Tips; During the Race; Wildwater Tips


Equipment; Skills; Playing on Waves; Playing in Holes

14. Stay in Shape: Gear Maintenance and Repair

Raft Care

Takedown, Rolling, and Storage

Raft Repair

Materials; The Workplace; Applying the Patch; Patching Tips; Major Repairs; Welding; D-Rings; Valves

Oar Maintenance and Repair


Neoprene Clothing; Drysuits

Other Equipment

Lifejackets; Pumps

15. The Rest of the Story

Becoming a Professional Guide

Opening Doors; Getting Your Ticket to Ride; Guide-Training Schools; The Inside Track; Landing the Premier Jobs

Whitewater Photography

Equipment; Protecting Your Gear; Film Lighting and Exposure; Shooting Angles; The Learning Curve

Rafting for the Physically Challenged

Rafting with Children

Start on the Right Foot; Raft Safely; Keep Them Entertained

Other Whitewater Craft

Inflatable Kayaks; Inflatable Canoes; Sit-on-Tops; Kayaks; Canoes; Riverboards

Conservation--Preserving the River Resource


Safety Code of the American Whitewater Affiliation

Water-Level Information

United States Maps

Canadian Maps

Regional Guidebooks (U.S.)

Local Guidebooks (U.S.)

Local Guidebooks (Canada)

International Guidebooks

Books for Physically Challenged Rafters

Additional Canada Information


Rafting Equipment Catalogs

Rafting Manufacturers

Portable Toilets

Outfitters Organizations (U.S.)

Outfitters Organizations (Canada)

Private Boaters Organizations

Rafting Schools

Safety Instruction Organizations

Conservation Groups





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The Complete Whitewater Rafter 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great book filled with information on Whitewater Rafting and requirements for safe adventures.