River Rafting Sherwood AR

Local resource for river rafting in Sherwood. Includes detailed information on local businesses that provide access to whitewater rafting, river kayaking, river guides, rafting lessons, kayaking lessons, river tours and rafting tours, as well as advice and content on rafts, kayaking and water sports.

Jolly Roger's Marina
(501) 868-5558
#1 Maumelle Harbor Road
Roland, AR
 
Academy
(501) 210-6030
6100 Warden Rd
Sherwood, AR
 
Sports Authority
(501) 224-7137
11700 Chenal Parkway
Little Rock, AR
Services
Golf Trade-In Program, Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Delivery & Assembly
Hours
Monday - Saturday: 9:00am - 9:30pm
Sunday: 10:00am - 8:00pm
Holiday hours may vary.

Jolly Roger's Marina
(501) 868-5558
#1 Maumelle Harbor Road
Roland, AR
 
Sports Authority
(501) 224-7137
11700 Chenal Parkway
Little Rock, AR
Services
Golf Trade-In Program, Hunting and Fishing Licenses, Delivery & Assembly
Hours
Monday - Saturday: 9:00am - 9:30pm
Sunday: 10:00am - 8:00pm
Holiday hours may vary.

Sailing Arizona
(602) 258-7245
#1 Maumelle Harbor Road
Roland, AR
 
Academy
(501) 217-3700
11400 West Markham (between S Shackleford and S Bowman)
Little Rock, AR
 
Sailing Arizona
(602) 258-7245
#1 Maumelle Harbor Road
Roland, AR
 
Academy
(479) 494-1740
5001 Phoenix Avenue (at Airport Blvd)
Fort Smith, AR
 
Academy
(501) 210-6030
6100 Warden Rd
Sherwood, AR
 

River Safety: Where do we draw the line?

River Safety: Where do we draw the line?


Rafting in Montana Spring is full of paradoxes. After interminable gray skies and snowy hillsides, the days get longer and the nights warmer. Rivers begin to rise. Driveways and car racks fill up with dusty boats as anxious boaters prepare for the season. However, despite the cumulative human desire to have the cold days behind us, and to launch our boats on swollen rivers, spring is not summer.

As was the case last May on the Gallatin River in Montana. The river had risen after a few warm days. Overnight, once vacant put-ins were populated with eager kayakers, rafters, and canoers. However, as any veteran of western Montana knows, a warm day in May can include snow flurries and freezing temperatures.

While teaching a Swift Water Rescue course, a cold front moved in and the snow began to fly. Participants in the course would swim the river, and quickly huddle beneath a tarp to keep out of the wind as we discussed rescue techniques. Fortunately, most participants had drysuits on, and their discomfort was just that, discomfort, and did not pose a significant risk to life or limb.

As we clamored in and out of the icy river, I noticed a group preparing their raft for a float down the Gallatin. I began to assess their preparedness. I watched as they inflated their raft. It was an older bucket boat, but appeared to be in good repair, and seemed adequate for the class III-IV float they were about to embark upon. I watched inquisitively as they placed three raft paddles and one kayak paddle into the boat--I had not seen a kayak. I was amazed that during this process the group remained in their shorts and flip-flops. Perhaps I was jealous of their thick Montana skin as I shivered from the cold. The group leader then changed into a wetsuit and donned his PFD.

I lost track of them for a time as we continued our class. When next I noticed them, they were preparing to launch. The leader, a middle aged man who I assumed was the father of the three teenagers carrying the boat, was carrying the kayak paddle and wore the wetsuit. The teenagers, however, were in cotton T-shirts and shorts with horseshoe PFD's on!

It was now clear to me that these people had no idea what they were getting into. Boat flips and unexpected swims are common on the Gallatin at that level. Even if they had great lines--which seemed unlikely judging from their gear (kayak paddle, older boat, horse-shoe PFD's)--they would still be getting splashed by 35 degree water in a snow storm. No matter how warm blooded they were, hypothermia was going to be a companion on their rafting trip.

Here was my problem. The river ethic I had been taught, included freedom. Freedom for every boater to make choices on how they want to pursue their adventure, and freedom from others telling them how to do it. The river is a frontier, a wilderness, a place to escape the rules of society and immerse yourself in the laws of nature.
The othe...

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