Rafting Equipment

Equipment needed for rafting – Beginner rafting guide

The rafting guide for dummies! we explain the necessary equipment to you.

Rafting for dummies

Are you planning to embark on your first rafting trip and have no idea of the equipment needed? No worries ! We will explain everything to you on this page.

Often, most of the equipment needed for rafting will be provided by the company you are rafting with. But we know you, you are the curious type 😉

It is true that if you want to understand the rafting in depth, you need to know some equipment. Some are there for comfort, others for safety, and still others for emergencies. Hang in there, here’s everything you need to know about rafting equipment 🙌

Rafting equipment

Essential equipment for rafting

So, you are ready to embark on a rafting adventure ? Great ! Now is the time to tell you about the essential equipment you will need for this activity. Of course, most rafting companies provide some of the equipment, but it's important to know what you absolutely must have to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Life jacket

The life jacket is one of the most important pieces of equipment and must be worn at all times during the entire descent. It will allow you to float if you fall into water and stay on the surface. Make sure the lifejacket fits well and does not slip on your body and that it respects the CE standard .


The helmet is another essential piece of safety equipment for rafting.

It protects your head from rocks, tree branches and other obstacles you may encounter on your rafting journey. Even if you don't plan to fall in the water, a helmet is essential equipment for your safety.

Okay, okay. But how to put it properly?

It's simple.

Make sure the helmet fits properly and covers your head well.

If the helmet is too loose, it could move in the event of a fall and not protect your head effectively. If the helmet is too tight, it may cause discomfort or headaches. Remember that a properly fitted helmet is the key to effective protection of your head.

Speed is another consideration when it comes to wearing a helmet while rafting. The faster you go, the more dangerous impacts with rocks and other obstacles can be. Even small falls can cause serious head injuries if you are not protected by a quality helmet.

Imagine that you are rafting down a river and you approach a waterfall. Suddenly, the current carries you away faster than expected and you find yourself propelled against a rock at the bottom of the waterfall. Without a quality helmet, you could suffer a serious head injury that could be life-threatening.

The paddle

The paddle is a crucial piece of equipment for rafting because it allows you to steer your boat through the rapids and navigate the water. There are different types of paddles for rafting, each offering unique benefits and features.

  • Aluminum paddles are often lighter and stiffer, making them ideal for professional paddlers. They are often made with a double tube, aluminum on the inside and fiber on the outside, to give them more rigidity and save weight.
  • Fiberglass paddles are ideal for beginners. They are often made in one piece with an enlarged blade for a powerful attack. Some also feature a curved shaft for more aggressive paddling and more precise control of the craft.
  • Carbon fiber paddles are the most expensive. They are suitable for experienced paddlers looking to improve their paddling technique and performance.

If you are a beginner, a paddle that is light and easy to maneuver will probably be best for you. If you are a professional paddler, you may want to consider a stiffer, lighter paddle to improve your performance.

Size-wise, it’s simple.

Most paddlers choose a paddle that hits below the chin, but this can vary depending on your paddling technique and comfort. Also make sure the paddle fits your hand properly and you can hold it comfortably throughout the descent.

The neoprene suit

Finally, the neoprene suit is essential equipment to keep you warm and dry during your descent. It protects your skin against the sun's rays and friction with water. Most wetsuits are made from 3 to 5 mm thick neoprene. Make sure you choose a wetsuit of the right size and thickness based on the water conditions.

Now that you know the essential equipment for rafting, you can focus on the essentials: having fun safely on the water!

Comfort equipment for rafting

In addition to essential safety equipment, there is optional equipment to ensure you have a more comfortable rafting experience. Here are some of the optional equipment you might consider bringing with you:

River shoes

River shoes are useful comfort equipment for rafting. They help protect your feet from rocks and other obstacles in the water, while providing better grip on slippery surfaces.

River shoes are often made with water and abrasion resistant materials for maximum durability. They are also designed to be lightweight and comfortable, so they don't hinder your movement on the water.

River shoes can come in different designs, with features like non-slip soles, breathable materials, and adjustable lacing systems.

If you don't have river shoes, you might consider wearing lightweight athletic shoes with a grippy sole.

However, keep in mind that athletic shoes are not specifically designed for rafting and may not offer the same protection and comfort as dedicated river shoes.

The neoprene top

The neoprene top is useful equipment to keep you warm in cool temperatures. It is also designed to protect your skin from the sun's rays and friction with water. There are different models, but make sure you choose the one that fits your body well and does not restrict your movements.

Neoprene gloves

Neoprene gloves can be useful if your hands are sensitive to the cold. They also protect your hands from friction with water and rocks. If you plan to bring gloves, make sure they are good quality and fit your hands well.

Sun cream

Finally, sunscreen is an important sun protection equipment to prevent sunburn and protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Opt for a water-resistant sunscreen with a high sun protection factor for maximum protection.

Caroline Aalbers
Caroline Aalbers
Wat een geweldige ervaring, raften over de Ubaye! Prachtige natuur, mooie afwisselende tocht (inclusief zwemmen en in het water springen!) en geschikt voor elk niveau. Onze kinderen (6 en 9 jaar) hebben een super eerste raft ervaring gehad, mede dankzij onze leuke en goede gids. Ze willen zeker nog een keer :-)
Ziga Budja
Ziga Budja
Wonderfull family rafting experience. Just a little bit too much for my sensitive eight year old, but great overall. The river is beautiful with nice surroundings. The guide was excellent (forgot his name 🙄) and the whole team was very nice. The trip down the river took about one and a half hour with some stops. If you visit this place, your're not gonna be sorry! 👍🏻
Un lieu calme et agréable, accueillit par une équipe sympathique. Mise à disposition du barbecue pour le repas du midi avant le rafting. Tout est là pour votre bonheur.
Jerome Henry
Jerome Henry
Merci @CrazyWaterRafting pour les moments géniaux en famille. Nous avons fait rafting, rando aquatique et kayak avec 2 adultes et 2 ados : génial !! Guides super sympa, très pro, Contrairement à ce que l'on entend a la télé, le niveau d'eau dans cette rivière et plus que suffisant pour s'éclater ! Nb: la rando aquatique n'est pas très connue mais super aussi, descente de la rivière en nageant, dans un secteur plus calme que celui pour le rafting. Explication sur la nature, superbe paysages, surprise à la fin... Encore merci. Jérôme, Caroline, Charlotte et Manon.
Shameer Habibi
Shameer Habibi
Really fun, and a really good guide! Overall amazing
Melanie Macias
Melanie Macias
Top top top
Lorenzo Van Loon
Lorenzo Van Loon
We did two descents, one by raft and one by kayak, both with Julien as a guide. He seems totally crazy when you first meet him, but he was a great guide and made our day. Really spectacular river, with a lot of rapids and great views. We got out of the boats to swim a bit in one of the rapids and they took us to a rock where we could jump in to the water. Julien and the crew of Crazy Water are real professionals, but in for a laugh and a joke. A pity we could'n do the 'sport' descent, because of bad weather. But we sure come back. One remark; their 'bar' is quite empty, so make sure to bring your own drinks and food if you're planning to stay for a day.
verriez virginie
verriez virginie