Whitewater is formed when a river’s gradient increases enough to disturb its smooth flow and create turbulence, i.e. form a bubbly or aerated, and rolling current so the frothy water appears white. The term “whitewater” also has a broader meaning, applying to any river or creek itself that has a significant number of rapids.
Whitewater Classification Scale:
This whitewater classification scale is subjective. It is meant only as a guideline to describe a rapid or river. Remember that there is always a skilled raft guide in every raft on the class III-IV sections of the French Broad River when you choose French Broad River Expeditions as your rafting outfitter.
If you have questions, it is best to speak with one of our knowledgeable reservationists to assist you in choosing your trip.
Class I: Gentle moving water with some riffles and a few small waves.
Class II: Faster moving water with clear channels and avoidable rocks and waves.
Class III: Fast moving water containing various rocks, currents, waves, and drops that require skillful maneuvering to avoid.
Class IV: Strong rapids, fast currents, large waves, and bigger drops requiring multiple maneuvers to get through or around. This is the highest rapid you will experience at French Broad Rafting.
Class V: All of the characteristics of Class IV with the added excitement of being longer and more challenging, with many continuous features that may not be avoidable.
Class VI: Only a team of experts who carefully plan every aspect of this expedition would have any hope of successfully running and surviving these rivers and rapids.