When it comes to keeping comfortable while white water rafting at ACE, it’s all about the fabrics and proper layering! Since the Gauley River water comes from the bottom of Summersville Lake, it’s pretty brisk (about 55 degrees) all summer long, so it’s important to dress in layers, even if the temperature doesn’t feel cool outside. After all, layering is the key to staying warm while white water rafting on cooler rivers.
Take note of the following fabrics:
This fabric, commonly known as “poly-pro”, has been made into long johns, shirts, socks… you name it. This is the ideal base layer for any ensemble. Brands like Under Armour have made this fabric very popular in the sporting world. It works best if it’s close fitting. It resists absorbing water and dries very quickly. It also helps retain body heat even when wet. This makes it the perfect base layer for white water rafting. Throw on a layer of polypropylene under your wet suit and not only will you stay warmer, but this fabric is very comfortable next to your skin.
Neoprene is the most popular material for white water rafting and only begins to work its magic when it’s wet. The good news is, we know the Summer Gauley is going to get you wet! Wet suits are made of neoprene and just like polypropylene, it works best when you have a snug fit. When the river water touches the material, it’s absorbed into its tiny cells. On the inside of the suit, your body is heating the neoprene which in turn warms up the water stored in the cells of the fabric. Ingenious, right? Another plus of this fabric is that its several millimeters thick, so say you pop out of the raft… your wet suit will help protect your from obstacles in the river. Also, it can help you give you just a little extra flotation! ACE has a whole range of wetsuit options available for rental. Check out all the options here.
Known as the “modern wool”, fleece is actually made from plastic (sometimes even recycled soda bottles). Available in a variety of weights, colors, styles and price ranges, most everyone is bound to have some fleece in their closet. A fleece pullover (again snug fitting) is ideal for a day on the Gauley River. If you don’t already have some fleece in your wardrobe, it’s pretty inexpensive and can be found just about anywhere. For rafters, a fleece jacket is a great addition to wear over a wetsuit if worn under a splash jacket. This is a prime example of layering smartly to be prepared for any condition!
Get ready to take on the rapids of the Gauley River this summer at ACE Adventure Resort with some neoprene, polypropylene, and of course, fleece! Remember the key to staying warm is layering.