Class III, IV and V!?

What does it all mean?

WHAT does Class III, Class IV and Class V really mean?


The classification of rapids is based on the difficulty to safely maneuver through them and the risk of injury due to swimming. Heres a breakdown:



Class II:

Ages: 4 and up


Easy Physical Activity

Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily avoided by trained paddlers. Swimmers are seldom injured and group assistance, while helpful, is seldom needed.


Class III:

Ages: 7 and up

Novice to Intermediate

Moderate Physical Activity

Medium whitewater. Exciting and challenging, but suitable for first-timers. Great for large groups and families.



Class IV

Ages: 12 and up


Moderate Physical Activity

Medium to difficult whitewater containing more action and more intricate maneuvers. Great choice for adventurous kids and adults. Rapids have swift currents and bigger drops. Active paddling required.



Class V

Ages: 14 and up


Vigorous Physical Activity

Medium to very difficult whitewater requiring constant maneuvering, lots of action. Best for enthusiastic rafters seeking maximum excitement. Rapids contain steep, technical drops and long, fast wave trains.