Where Is the Safest Place to Sit in a Raft?

Written by Ben Sack, 03.19.2024

Find the top family rafting trips in Colorado, perfect for all ages and skill levels.

Never been whitewater rafting before? Understandably, you may be a little trepidatious, imagining what it’s like to ride a surging, tumbling, bucking, plunging river through its roaring rapids. High up there among your concerns might be this: Where is the safest place to sit in a raft?

Here at Echo Canyon River Expeditions, we’ve introduced countless guests to the thrills of whitewater rafting for over more than 40 years in the business, with the world-class flow of Colorado’s Arkansas River serving as our playground. Our expert guides and top-of-the-line equipment ensure that all of our rafters—complete beginners very much included—get to enjoy a thoroughly safe and pleasurable, not to mention exhilarating, experience.

If it is indeed your first time doing this sort of thing—in which case one of our beginner-friendly and family rafting trips is ideal—read on to learn more about the best place to sit whitewater rafting!

Where is the Safest Place to Sit in a Raft?

You’ll find that the very best place to sit whitewater rafting if you’re a newbie is the subject of debate. Some folks suggest it’s in the very front of the raft; some suggest it’s the drier seats way in the back.

If you ask us, we’d assert that a perch in the front bay of the boat, set between the two bow (or lead) paddlers, is the safest spot in a whitewater raft. After all, it puts a person to either side of you, quite literally sandwiching you in the raft to reduce the odds you’ll take a dip. Furthermore, there’s a bowline to grab hold of for greater security, and the front bay boasts a large floor area that offers a place to retreat if need be.

How Do You Stay in the Raft While Whitewater Rafting?

Wherever you end up sitting, just how do you stay inside your raft while it’s shooting through those reared-up waves, whirlpooling holes, and boulder filled obstacle courses? Well, the main thing to remember is this: Listen to your rafting guide! They’ll instruct you as to how best to stabilize yourself for the journey.

Here’s how to sit in a whitewater raft: You want to firmly place your feet into either the foot cups at the bow of the raft or underneath the thwart if you’re in one of the seats behind the front pair of paddlers. Your seated position will lock your legs and feet into place within the raft, and you’ll use your core strength to keep yourself upright and prepared to paddle while boating.

Raft Safety

When you join a whitewater adventure with Echo Canyon River Expeditions, you can rest assured you’ve got the very best river guides around to curate the experience for you. There’s no more important tip when rafting than this: LISTEN TO YOUR RAFTING GUIDE. Simple and straightforward, right?

Our guides, and those of other highly reputable rafting outfitters, lay claim to extensive on-the-water experience and rigorous training. You can trust the instructions they give you, and following them (to a tee) is most definitely in your best interest.

Your guide’s goal, after all, is to keep everyone in the raft, navigate the whitewater safely, and give the whole party a heck of a great time. Class V-qualified river guides likely have years of rafting under their belt, and have seen it all (or close to it). Pay heed to what they tell you to do—before your rafting trip and during it—and you’ll get the most enjoyment out of what’s one of the most thrilling outdoor activities available.

Get a Taste for Whitewater Rafting With Echo Canyon River Expeditions

The grand Southern Rocky Mountain stream called the Arkansas River serves up some of the best whitewater in the country, and there’s a rafting trip for everybody: from hardcore veteran wild water aficionados to stone-cold first-timers. With Echo Canyon River Expeditions, you don’t need to fret about the safest place to sit whitewater rafting: Our guides will give you all the information you need before shoving off.

Ready to see all of the beauty the Arkansas River has to offer? Book your rafting trip with Echo Canyon and safely explore the beautiful nature of Colorado with an experienced rafting guide.

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About the Author

Ben Sack is the General Manager of Echo Canyon River Expeditions, Colorado's largest white water rafting outfitter. He's also a raft guide, a photographer, and he loves exploring Colorado and beyond with his wife and two boys.
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