Tackling your first whitewater adventure? Whether you’re taking on the Class V rapids of the Upper Gauley River or a more leisurely trip down the Upper New River, these insider tips will help you learn the lingo and get answers to commonly asked rafting questions.

  • Let your raft guide know if it’s your first trip. They’ll provide all the gear and training you need to stay safe while on the river.
  • Wear something lightweight that will be comfortable under your personal floatation device, like a one-piece bathing suit or a water-wicking shirt. You’ll need secure shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. 
  • Sunscreen, a hat, and/or inexpensive, polarized sunglasses aren’t a bad idea — they’ll help to protect you from the West Virginia sun reflecting off the water.
  • Anything else you want to bring? Ask yourself: Would I be sad if I lost this in the rushing rapids? If yes, it may be better to leave it behind.