I had dinner with Jazz just now and recalled our white water rafting experience in Gopeng, Perak. The stretch of Kampar River that we went on is rated as Grade 2, which is very basic compared to the Class 4 in Pelagus Rapids, Kapit (about an hour from my hometown) and sea kayaking in Australia that I experienced last year.
However, it’s always fun to go white water rafting regardless of the skill level. I’ve even gone tandem white water rafting with no raft, Jackass style. Heh. I’m amazed at how skinny I was back then.
The white water rafting experience in Gopeng started with a safety briefing which goes through all the basics for beginners…
…an introduction to the feeling of being swept away by the rapids – all of us went off the first churning stretch feet first without a raft.
You basically let the current take you down for about 100 meters while a guy at the end throws you a line with a flotation device to rope you back in. I thought that was a great idea to introduce new people to how being in the rapids feel like.
I was sitting in front and it’s a rush to go over the rapids by not holding on to the side raft rope (not recommended for beginners – look ma, no hands) while swinging the paddle ala Darth Maul in Star Wars – learned this trick from one of the instructors. ;)
I fell out of the raft once but managed to get back in without any help. It’s a fun experience for all ages – you don’t even need to know how to swim (although that would be a plus) and if you go during the evening, I hear the rapids gets more intense.
Anyway, halfway through the course, me and the instructor got out heads together to throw Jazz into the water coz she was holding on to the rope the entire time. This effort was the reason I fell out of the raft myself as mentioned above – the plan called for him to signal me and we’ll both lean right to shift the center of gravity and flip the boat.
Unfortunately, I confused right with left. I leaned left while the weight was to the right and promptly fell into the water. Haha!
We did save someone who fell in and got swept away, but we did not get Jazz into the water except during two planned capsizes in totally calm waters so we can learn to set the raft upright and get back in.
Lina of Kosmo interviewed me about the experience so if you can read BM, here’s the link – it translates to Challenging the Rapids at Kampar River. I think. My BM is quite rusty.
I love white water rafting in Kampar River, Gopeng. It was fun for me since I didn’t hunker down or hold on to the rope when we went over the rapids. Instead, I swung the paddle overhead while making appropriate whooping noises.