5 things to keep in mind when white water kayaking

Kayaking has established itself as one of the most popular activities on the coast. However, what many people don’t know is that it is also practised in river descents, which means a unique experience for the most fearless.


The rivers become year after year one of the favorite places for those who love outdoor adventure sports. If you are also one of them, you are interested in reading on. River sports offer a wide range of possibilities, be it rafting, hydrospeed, paddle surfing and canoeing, but if there is one discipline that can be practiced in the sea as well as in lakes and rivers, that is kayaking.

With the river we have stumbled. If you are on vacation in the mountains or you have escaped to the Pyrenees, you can live an outdoor sporting experience on a kayak descending in whitewater. And for this there are no better destinations than Pallars Sobirà, with the Noguera Pallaresa as the setting in the Catalan Pyrenees, and Murillo de Gállego, in the Aragonese Pyrenees. But let’s not go too fast: if you are a beginner or if you want to get into this discipline, there are several details you should know

This is the kayak for whitewater rafting Unlike the sea kayak, these boats stand out for being more stable and more technical. It is a closed kayak, with capacity for one or two people, and it has a handle at the bow and one at the stern. It is inflatable, unlike those used on the coast.

Before getting into the boat, you should know that this discipline is similar to whitewater canoeing in that you have to go down a river at high speed and avoid all kinds of obstacles and barriers. In addition, it requires a greater mastery of the boat and more experience than sea kayaking.

So, is everybody ready to practice whitewater kayaking? From RocRoi we encourage you to try it if that’s what you want, but we also recommend you to introduce yourself to this discipline by practicing first in calm waters. This possibility is offered at La Torrasa Lake located in the surroundings of the High Pyrenees Natural Park, at the base of RocRoi.

5 things to keep in mind when white water kayaking

After this first contact, it’s time to take the leap into the river to experience a whitewater descent. It is essential that you move quickly to avoid obstacles, rocks, waterfalls or waterfalls that may hinder your progress. It is also important to interpret the rapids in order to anticipate the river currents. On a technical level, it must be taken into account that in rough waters the boat must be inclined at all times to maintain stability during the trip.

In addition, it is necessary to know how to swim because the chances of capsizing and falling out of the kayak are very high in each expedition. When that happens, you must carry out a roll or a skimming maneuver, in order to straighten up and regain your balance. This movement consists of recovering your position after a complete capsize by using the paddle or oar. This is one of the most important aspects of kayaking, but one of the most difficult to learn to perform.

Too much information? Come and try it at the RocRoi center in Llavorsí. The expedition has a specialized instructor who will guide the route with total safety so you can enjoy an experience suitable for the most intrepid.

Update: 15/03/2024