Rafting techniques and moves you'll be using on rafting

Rafting techniques and rules useful for rafting beginners

Rafting techniques and moves you'll be using on rafting

White water rafting isn't hard. Ok, it’s not a piece of cake, but you should know that a few basic rafting techniques and moves are almost enough to deal with any possible obstacles you can encounter during rafting tour. These, and following your guides instructions. But let’s begin with our quick tour about rafting moves and techniques you should (maybe) know.

Rafting techniques and moves useful for rafting

Is it important to know rafting moves before rafting happens?

When it comes to Tara river rafting arrangements in Montenegro you don’t need to know almost anything about rafting before you come here. That doesn’t mean that rafting on Tara river is easy, but it means that a quick introduction and instructions by our IRF licensed rafting guides are enough for you to easily catch on and remain safe while you’re conquering all of those white water rapids.

Tara river can be demanding since it hits 4 to 5 level of water volume and rafting difficulty. But few instructions which are easy to follow when experienced guides explain them to you are enough! You’ll be rafting that white water like a pro in no time.

So here are some usual rafting moves that you could read about for a little bit just to understand why is teamwork on that raft important and to understand that there’s not much point of reading about these moves without being able to try them out.

Common rafting techniques and moves

Paddling (very hard sometimes)

Let’s begin with paddling. Ok, you’d say that there’s not much point in saying what a paddle and paddling are. And we agree. But you should understand that there are different kinds of paddling. There’s a vast difference between paddling on a small wooden boat and paddling on the raft. White water rafting is called “white water” for a reason.

You won’t be doing it on a steady predictable river but on the high speed, curvy and rough bottom river which can put you on the rocks very easily or even turn a boat in a second. But don’t worry since there are a lot of rafting safety rules that we already talked about, which can prevent that from happening or even if it happens these will keep you safe.

Paddling forward or paddling backward is a must. Sometimes you’ll need to paddle harder and faster so that you could stay on a track, but more importantly, you’ll need to do it simultaneously with your rafting companions. This is one of the reasons why is rafting such a great team building adventure.

When your guide shouts to the people on the one side of the raft to paddle backward and on the other side to paddle normally his intentions are obvious. He is trying to turn your boat around. There are various reasons to do that.

rafting techniques paddling and ferry moves like front ferry and back ferry

Farry moves - Back ferry and front ferry

One of the main techniques and rafting moves you’ll be using to dodge the obstacle is back and front ferry. Of course, farry technique is used to place the raft in the right position regarding the current angle and regardless of obstacles. But it is the most efficient way to describe this rafting technique.

It means that your skipper (rafting guide) will guide you to the whole process, but you don’t need to worry if you’re rafting at Tarasport, since, for example, back ferry is mostly used to evade obstacles that couldn’t be foreseen and are very close to your raft. That doesn’t happen often on Tara river since guides now their route perfectly. This happens on rivers that are being conquered for the first time, and back ferry is very useful because it takes less time for preparation than front ferry does.

Rafts direction depends on the current and velocity, so in general back and front ferry means that one or the other side of the raft needs to paddle harder or easier and in opposite or in current direction for back or front ferry could be done.

Digging – “Dig, dig, dig…”

Digging speaks for itself. This rafting technique is used to catch a strong downstream current so that you could use its force to escape deeper holes and gorges deep below the surface. How does this work? It works easily. Ok, maybe not easily for the rafters themselves since they need to plunge their paddles deeper in the water and then to pull even harder and faster than they already do, but doing this allows you to easily bridge the holes and rapids in them.

Weight shifting

Not really a technique as much it is sanity. Am I right? If your raft ever breach an obstacle like a big rcok sideways, you should shift all of your weight of the raft (meaning people on it) on the side of the obstacle to prevent flipping the raft over. Turning over is very possible in this situation so good timing is a necessity. While you’re mounted on the rock or on the trunk you should use your paddles to push your raft off that obstacle and watchfully go back on your side of the raft.


Since many white water rafting tours mean that you’ll be rafting on the fast, narrow and steep mountain rivers, you should know that some of the vegetation on the river bank and land in general could be way to close to your raft. Some of those would be very painful if you hit your head, so if your rafting guide shouts: “Dodge or duck”, that means that you should use your body and legs strength to pivot yourself to the rafts bottom and to stretch out as much as you can, practically laying on the rafts side. This way you’ll slide below the upcoming obstacles such as fallen trees and tree brunches.

These are all the basic rafting techniques you might need if you decide to try rafting anywhere around the world, and some of them may be needed if you come to us at Rafting Club Tarasport. But once again, everything will be thoroughly explained by our rafting professionals.

See you soon.