Top 5 White Water Rafting Guide Commands

With Gauley Season 2011 just around the corner, it’s probably a good idea to brush up on your rafting lingo to get you primed for Upper or Lower Gauley rafting success. We’ve assembled the top 5 guide commands to review and store in your noggin:

1. All Forward:

  • meaning: paddle forward.
  • commonly used when: guide needs power to hit a wave or avoid an obstacle.
  • sentence: “Let’s hit this! All forward!”

Paddling all forward on the Gauley means controlling your rafting destiny

2. All Back

  • meaning: paddle backward
  • commonly used when: guide wishes to decrease momentum drastically; raft is approaching feature(s) that guide does not wish to encounter
  • sentence: “And straight ahead is Butcher’s Block…All back!”

3. Stop

  • meaning: cease paddling
  • commonly used when: guide desires to decrease speed; guide sees fit to give you a break from paddling
  • sentence: “Stop, you guys can take a break.”

4. High Side Right/Left

  • meaning: all persons hasten to one side of the raft
  • commonly used when: raft encounters a large rock or wave at a poor angle and risks flipping; ACE surf master Steve Reid is getting his surf on
  • sentence: “If ya’ll don’t want this raft to flip, you better high side right!”

5. Get Down

  • meaning: well, get down (commonly confused with the dancing term “get down”)
  • commonly used when: approaching a feature that’s going to literally rock the boat, e.g., the pourover in Insignificant or the left side of Iron Ring
  • sentence: “All ahead. Dig it in. Get it together… Get Down!”

Now, who’s ready to go white water rafting?

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