The Equipment We Use
Dont’ be suprised if you suddenly become more attractive to others in our pfd & helmet, especially holding one of our paddles! The equipment we use on a daily basis is very important. From our rafts to the booties on your feet, from our paddles to the vans used to shuttle you – these are all critical for your safety and comfort. More important is the equipment we privide you to wear for your safety on the river and we invest a small fortune into equipment each year, rotating stock. This way our oldest equipment is only 3 or 5 years old – half its normal commercial life and still in excellent condition. We also belive the equipment you wear and we use should look good. So we provide you with gear that is top of the line and looks good, helping to enhance your already beautiful interior.
Below are some highlights:
We use state of the art, custom designed, self bailing 14 foot rafts that hold a maximum of 7 paddlers plus a guide. While most of our competitors have moved to larger 16 foot rafts, we firmly believe smaller rafts equal more splashes which equals more fun. This is especially true on our lower volume rivers. We use Hyside and NRS rafts on the South Fork and mostly Incept rafts imported from New Zealand on our Class 4/5 North Fork Trips. ALL our rafts are set-up for your safety and comfort.
We have grab handles inside and an outside parameter rope for you to hold onto – just in case you have an out of boat experience.
Your lifejacket or personal flotation device is, after your guide, the most important piece of equipment that ensures your safety. These are Coast Guard Certified Type 5 Commercial PFD’s and ensure you float and will have an enjoyable swim intentional or not.
We require helmets on all trips. While some of our competitors do not supply helmets on their South Fork trips, we believe rocks are hard regardless of the flow in the river and so are your fellow paddler’s paddles. We use NRS Havoc commercial grade helmets specifically designed for whitewater use. They are fully adjustable and white – so the sun is reflected on hot summer days.
We use commercial grade Carlisle & Hyside 60 inch paddles. They are comfortable and effective, especially in class 4/5 rapids. We do have lighter paddles for younger rafters.
Only used during March, April & sometimes into May. Being cold on the water is not fun and we take our fun very seriously. So we have awesome warm wetsuits and gear available on our spring trips when the water and air temperature may be a wee bit on the chilly side. We rent or provide NRS Wet Suits to keep your core warm, NRS Booties to keep your toes happy, NRS Long Sleeve Thermals to keep your top hot and NRS Splash Jackets to keep the big splashes at bay. If you fall in you will get wet – but stay comfortable and not freeze your tush off! We wash & disinfect each piece of cold weather gear after each use.
Probably the most dangerous part of your entire raft trip is not the rapids – it’s the shuttle drive to and from the river. It’s the only part of your trips we do not have complete control of. Other vehicles on the roads and just the fact that we are riding on something mechanical. Fear not – in steps the Shuttle Driver. We do not hire just anyone to drive you to the river – we hire the best! Our 3 main shuttle drivers are super stars – they drive for the local school districts and all are voted the best of the best year after year. Just like our raft guides, our drivers are professionals! Our Vans, Busses and Shuttle vehicles are all under the umbrella of the Federal Motor Safety Commission and go through a highly detailed State of CA inspection every 45 days. We do our best to ensure you have a comfortable and safe trip to and back from the river.