Whether you’re new to whitewater rafting or not, there are some terms that are good to keep handy.

Whitewater Rafting Lingo to Remember

Whitewater rafting vocabulary to rememberThere’s this whole other vocabulary related to whitewater rafting, and sometimes, it’s hard to keep up with it. There are tons of different terms that are important. Although whitewater rafting trips are usually done with a guide, if you want to understand what they’re saying, here are some of the most relevant terms that you definitely need to know.


What people mostly look for when whitewater rafting. It’s a fast and turbulent stretch of the river, usually with obstructions that cause the raft to move in a roller coaster type motion.


This is not one of your buddies. An eddy is a place in the river where the current runs into an obstruction, causing the water to head upstream or flow in the opposite direction. This point is normally used by rafters to slow down or stop fully. Depending on the size of the river, an eddy could be hazardous and could cause the raft to flip if it’s approached at high speed.Eddy: Whitewater rafting term

River Left or River Right

Either the left of right side of the river when facing downstream. You might want to remember this when the guide points out animals, plants, or other interesting things to look at during your trip.

Rock Garden

When there’s a spot in the river where rapids are caused due to rocks rising higher than the water levels, this is called a rock garden. Rock gardens can be dangerous and tough to maneuver. They’re also called “boulder gardens” by some people.

Put In and Take Out

Also called a “launching point,” the term “put in” is used to describe the place where the rafting trip begins, and “take out” refers to where the trip ends.

High Side!

Right before collisions, obstructions, or rocks. If the guide shouts this, it means to jump to the downstream side of the raft quickly. The guide could also say “high left” or “high right” to indicate which side to go to.

Now that you’re familiar with the vocabulary, put your new knowledge to the test. Mile Hi Rafting offers the most exciting whitewater trips down Clear Creek River or the famous Arkansas River. Book your whitewater rafting trip now.

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