What to Look For When Choosing a Whitewater Rafting Company

Whitewater rafting is one of the most exhilarating experiences in the world. From the cool water splashing your face to the intense, heart-pumping plunge down the river, nothing compares to whitewater rafting. But before you head out on your excursion, you should always make sure that you’re working with a qualified and experienced rafting company. It is extremely important that the rafting company you choose is taking proper safety measures to ensure a fun trip while minimizing risks. But that’s not all; there are other qualities to look for when choosing your next rafting company.

In this post, we’ll discuss what to look for when choosing a rafting business. Before you head out on your next whitewater rafting adventure, be sure to run through this list to make sure the company you’re choosing is well-equipped to do the job safely and effectively.


How long has the company been in business is an important and common first question, but it misses a very important aspect of the question. In addition to how long they’ve been in business it is important to know “how long under the current management?”.  And “what is the current owners’ experience?”. A long-standing company with inexperienced operators may raise red flags.

Reputable Guide Training

One great quality of a rafting company involves their level of training. If the company makes it very clear that their raft guides go through a rigorous training program, then that is a very good sign. Does the company train its own guides or does it hire guides from outside? Before you begin your experience, be sure to ask the company what kind of certification the guides have to obtain, and you might even ask about the kind of training the guides have to go through. That way, you have no surprises when it comes to their expertise in the field.

Safety Practices

Another sign of a good whitewater rafting company is their safety procedures. You want to be well informed before beginning your adventure. Be sure a “Safety Talk” is given before all trips discussing the dos and don’ts of whitewater rafting. Unexpected things can happen while rafting – part of the thrill – and you want to know how to respond in the event of the unexpected. A good safety talk will cover the equipment you are wearing, how to rescue if you fall out of the raft, non-verbal communications used while rafting, and safe ways to swim if you find yourself in the water, either voluntarily or by surprise. A good company should carry radios or other communication devices on all trips.

Updated Equipment

You want to know that the rafting company is using modern state-of-the-art equipment. As technology and gear become more advanced, rafting companies should be periodically upgrading their equipment to stay updated with industry standards. Not only is this safer for guests, but it demonstrates that the company is professional and reputable. However, simply having updated equipment isn’t enough; it must also be used correctly.

whitewater rafting Personal Floatation Device or PFD

Proper Safety Checks

While having up-to-date equipment is necessary, the whitewater rafting company should also perform proper safety checks to ensure the gear is being used correctly. All rafting participants must wear a:

  • Personal Floatation Device (PFD)
  • Shoes or sandals the secure over the heel and will not come off like flip flops or Crocs
  • Helmet

Before a rafting excursion, the company should always equip guests with this gear, and guides must also always ensure that the participants are wearing the equipment properly. PFDs need to be adjusted snugly and helmets should be worn at all times while on the river. Additionally, all PFDs must be approved by the United States Coast Guard and this gear will be marked to show that they passed a standardized testing process.

What Is Included

Cold water is often a part of rafting and you may want to get additional optional equipment to ensure your comfort while rafting. Most companies offer wetsuits, river boots, and splash jackets on their trips. You should find out if these items are provided free of charge or if there is a rental fee.  These can cost $15 or more per person to rent. 

If you are going on an all-day adventure lunch should be provided. If you have special dietary requirements be sure to find out if they can be accommodated on your trip.

Experience the Excitement with Raft Masters

Here at Raft Masters, we’ve been putting smiles on faces since 1989. Our exhilarating, heart-pounding whitewater rafting experiences are like no other. We are proud to have two locations in the beautiful state of Colorado: one in Canon City near Colorado Springs and one in Idaho Springs just west of Denver.

Raft Masters offers exclusive rafting trips down Clear Creek and the Arkansas River, and our adventures are geared towards any experience level. And when it comes to safety, we’re the best in the industry. We always ensure our guides are trained and certified to lead these excursions, and we always make sure that we provide you with the most advanced gear that is built with all the safety features you deserve.

If you want to give another exciting adventure a try, we also offer Jeep Tours, ATV Adventures, and Zipline tours. If you’re looking for the experience of a lifetime in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, then give Raft Masters a call today!