After Jeb and I hiked Borah, the Idaho high point, we wanted to do something else fun before returning from Idaho. We decided to tryout inflatable whitewater kayaking.
The trip that we chose was supposed to be mostly class 1 and 2 rapids with a few easier class 3 ones. For a whitewater raft this would be like nothing, but on kayaks (even inflatable ones) it is much more intense!
They have people use inflatable kayaks because they are much less tippy than regular whitewater ones. They are less maneuverable, so they aren’t what you would want to use for extreme water, but for intermediate paddling they are perfect.
That being said, I was still terrified, and Jeb was nervous too. This water wasn’t exactly calm flatwater! Our guiding company was absolutely terrible. They basically just said paddle hard and lean the opposite way so that you don’t flip… and then turned us loose in the water. No real instruction. Our actual kayaking guide didn’t even show up, so it was just the guides that were with the groups in whitewater rafts, that were semi near us.
They also were stupid and had all the kayakers get into the water before loading the whitewater rafts. When the water is moving fast and you have next to no skills, it is extremely difficult to just stay parked along the edge. So what happened to me was I couldn’t get close enough to the edge (because there were already too many kayaks in the way) so I started getting swept down the river… backwards. So then Jeb decided if I was going down the river then he better come after me!
We hit the first set of rapids before our guides even showed up… Worst guides ever. They were also supposed to stay so that there was one whitewater raft in front of us, and one behind us in case we had any problems, but they didn’t follow that rule either.
The very best thing about our guides was that they had someone there taking our pictures along the way, the pictures cost extra but we thought they were worth it. These are honestly some of my favorite pictures of us.
In all of the pictures I am making the worst faces haha. In some of them my mouth is even all the way open because I am screaming lol.
When our guides and everyone in the shop saw this pictures they were all like “how did you not flip?!” They were impressed. To this day I still don’t know how I didn’t flip haha. I wasn’t skilled enough to avoid the rock (I didn’t even see it until it was too late), but somehow self preservation skills kicked in, and I stayed in my kayak! So glad! 🙂
This is Jeb looking back at me like “holy crap are you alright?” By the end of the trip we got way better at paddling and more confident and skilled in general. It really didn’t help that where our put in spot was, almost all of the worst rapids where at the very beginning before you even knew what you were doing!
Despite horrible guides and terrible organization of the trip, we had a blast! We can’t wait to do more kayaking again sometime.