What is a white water rafting experience with Splash, Aberfeldy actually like?
This is a question we get asked a lot, we push out a lot of photos and videos of our activities and evidently some folk are skeptical, they see the happy faces screaming in the rapids with the water splashing everywhere or the group of rafters squeezed at the bottom of the raft as the guide forces the boat into a super raft wheelie whilst the customers collectively hold their breath and balance the boat into wheelie perfection. In this blog, I will take you through step by step what actually happens during a water ‘rafting experience’ with Splash, Aberfeldy.
The Customer Arrives at Splash White Water Rafting, Aberfeldy
The customer arrives at our base in Aberfeldy, usually a little nervous not really knowing what to expect. They park up and enter the Splash HQ. Our HQ has a large screen and plenty of photos showing off our adventures. Behind the desk, we will have one of customer service guys. When you walk in you will receive a warm welcome, from here onwards our customers give their name if they have pre-booked or inquire to get the information they need if they are in to book a trip. Next we sign in the customer getting them to read and sign our risk acknowledgement form.
The Rafting Kit
Once all the customers have arrived for the trip we take them into the back of Splash Headquarters and (give them a comprehensive brief about the kit before handing it out) start to hand out the White Water Rafting safety equipment. This consist of a wetsuit made of neoprene rubber which is designed to keep you warm and toasty when you are both in and out of the water. This is rafting you probably will get wet. We have hundreds of wetsuits and one to fit almost every body shape, size and height imaginable. We believe that Rafting is for everyone! Next, we issue a buoyancy aid, this is a floatation device which will give you extra buoyancy when in the water making it easier for you to rise to the surface, float and swim. The shoulder lapels of the buoyancy aid are also used when assisting fellow rafters back into the boat: in the event that it flips, this is under the control of the guide most of the time but I must stress that it can happen naturally, the river has a mind of its own or if the customer decides to jump in just for fun. Then we issue the helmet, this is to keep your head safe and comes in a variety of sizes that are fully adjustable to fit the largest and the smallest of heads. Finally we hand out the paddles, this is like a large spoon and will assist you in powering the raft down the river. We ask all our clients to bring a swimsuit/ bathing suit for (to wear) under their wetsuit, a towel and some old shoes that they do not mind getting wet. If you are prone to getting cold we also recommend a fleece (a base layer to wear under the wetsuit) but nothing made of cotton (very important).
The Short walk to the raft get in
Once everyone is suited and booted and checked over by the guides we (head off for our adventure) lead the team of suited and booted adventures to the ‘get in point’ for the River Tay . This is just a short walk from Splash HQ. By short I mean 250 metres, 300 metres max. When you get here the rafts will be waiting for you.
The Rafting safety brief
By the river, we do a safety brief. The safety brief covers all the key aspects of the raft from how to paddle safely, to what to do when and if you fall in the water, swift defensive white water swimming position, how to recover your fellow rafter using the lapels of the buoyancy aid, how to get a fellow rafter back into the boat, outside lines, throw bags, get down position and more. Our guides are extremely passionate about fun, excitement and adventure but (their main priority will always be your safety!) our guides at Splash are always safety first!
Some Rafting experiences caught on camera
During the walk to the put in, and the safety brief the photographer will snap some shots of the adventure as it begins. The photographer will then disappear and reappear like a ninja jump out the bushes at all the key rafting locations along the river. All these photos will be available on our site https://photos.rafting.co.uk and on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/splashrafting/
On the river
The adventure begins as the raft hits the water, paddles in and the adrenaline starts. The first part of the river is fun, games, scenery and teamwork. The team gets to know each other and practice the commands: “forwards”, “backwards”, “hold on”, “get down”, “over left”, “over right” and “HARD paddle”. During this first section of the river, there are many smaller rapids to get the customers rafting skills dialled in, plenty of games to have fun and many opportunities to get wet. You may even experience a raft wheelie!!
White Water Rapids
The rapids are what bring the real excitement to white water rafting and on the river Tay. In whitewater rafting rivers are graded from 1 to 5, one being flat and five being hardcore, check out our blog here for more info. The river Tay has grade two and three rapids, which are fun and bouncy, check the video below! When navigating the rapids, the various commands that have been used throughout the trip will now be second nature and when the guide shouts: “hard paddle”, “get down” or “hold on” for example, you will know exactly what to do. And remember our ninja photographer is always watching so keep the brave face on or better yet enjoy the rapids with a big smile.
End of the trip
After the last and biggest rapid, “fourth”, we get out from the river Tay. Customers are usually on a high from the excitement of the rapid. From here we pick our clients up and drive them 6 miles back up the river to Splash HQ in Aberfeldy. During the short drive back guides will give a short de-kiting brief and thank our customers for choosing Splash white water rafting as their choice of activity provider. It really does mean a lot for us to have our customers come to our business and share our passion and excitement.
De kit rafting gear
When we arrive at the HQ, we go back in time and do everything in reverse. Meaning the last thing you were kitted with is the first thing you put away and so on. De-kit, collecting helmets, buoyancy aids, paddles before we collect your wetsuits. Wetsuits are dunked in Milton (which is a mild bleach used on baby products so not problematic for the skin) which sanitizes them, then clean water for the next customer. Wetsuits are washed in a dunking tank so that it’s ready for the next customer to put on.
Rafting Photographer loads photos
Whilst the customers are de kitting, changing back into their warm, comfortable clothes, etc…, our Ninja photographer is hard at work selecting the best photos out of the trip and then uploading their creative genius to the cloud so that by the time you get to your next port of call be it home, a holiday cottage ( we can provide all levels of accommodation for our customers) or to the pub, the photos should be ready for your viewing pleasure. A few days later they are then posted to Facebook so you can share and tag yourself in all the amazing action shots.
Review card and thank you
At this point the customer is fully clothed, car keys returned and ready for the rest of their day. We really hope that our Splash White Water rafting river Tay customers have had a great time and we encourage our them to leave a review, sharing their experience about how awesome the trip was with us. Each of the guides has a stack of cards that they hand out at the end, these cards have the URL and web address to access your photos and the guide’s name for you to leave them a review. Receiving reviews is a vital part of our business, it allows us to monitor the exceptional quality that we aspire to deliver and allows future customers to see and read what our real customers experienced when they came rafting with Splash. Open, honest reviews. Tell us what we did awesomely and what we did not 🙂
Rafting customers leave with smiles.
After the Tay, we hope to see our customers return to try one of our other awesome activities or try a bigger more challenging river, like the river Tummel or the mighty river Orchy. We also have a variety of other activities like River Bugging where you are the captain of your very own bug or Stand Up Paddle boards which is growing in popularity daily. We also have dry activities like abseiling and paintball. So if you had a great time we would love to see you back 🙂
Hopefully, this gives you a full and unrestricted view of what actually happens on a white water rafting experience with Splash White Water Rafting. To book your spot on one of our rafts and to experience this day for yourself contact us on [email protected]uk or on 01887 829 706.