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News and views - May 2020

It's heartening to see some rafters and even operators getting back on the water in some places around the world!

As parts of the world emerge from COVID-19 restrictions, we share with you advice about what operators, teams and social paddlers can do to get back onto the water safely and within restrictions still standing. (PDF versions in English and Spanish.) If you are a GTE Instructor, look out for our advice on how to run workshops while staying safe and within those restrictions.

We bring you Rafting Magazines' guide to carabiners for boaters; ATTA’s 10 Recovery, Health and Safety Recommendations for Adventure Travel; and ideas for saving tourism in these unprecedented times.

We are also pleased to announce there will be an Instructors update in Costa Rica in September; bring your attention to the revised and increased number of support documentation available for GTE Instructors and look at the 8 things you should ask a rafting company before you book a trip.

News is also coming very soon about the updated 2020 Euro Cup schedule! At least 6 events to choose from, hopefully more added soon. 

Look after yourselves and each other.
See you on a river soon.

International Rafting Federation
#RaftersAreAwesome #RiverFamily #StaySafe

Guidelines for a safe re-entry into rafting

As parts of the world start easing COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and other restrictions the big question in rafting operators’ minds is – how to start getting back onto the river and running trips safely? Properly managed outdoor activities are among the safest activities to engage in as the outdoor environment presents fewer opportunities for the virus to spread when compared to indoor activities. Rafting trips can be one of the more challenging adventure activities to manage during this pandemic.

The IRF has solicited ideas and advice from our Guide Training and Education (GTE) Committee and various rafting tour companies around the world to help raft tour operators, and even recreational rafters and racers, to negotiate this first descent towards the ‘new normal’ of running river trips. . . . → continue reading . . . Guidelines for a safe re-entry into rafting

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A Boater’s Guide to Carabiners
A Boater's Guide to Carabiners Carabiners

Carabiners are not only an essential rescue tool on the water, but one of a boater’s most versatile pieces of equipment. From unwrapping boats to attaching equipment to hanging a hammock boaters keep several of these at had at all times. In this article, we are going to break down why carabiners are important as well as some tips on how and what to select. If you are trying to understand what is out on the market we have a helpful buyer’s guide at the bottom of the page otherwise you can find more info about carabiners below.

Carabiners are such an ubiquitous and important fundamental of boating life, unfortunately in the boating world we spend far too little time discussing their use and implementation. Many boaters climb as . . . → continue reading . . . A Boater’s Guide to Carabiners

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ATTA’s 10 Recovery, Health and Safety Recommendations for Adventure Travel

Gustavo Timo of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) feels that “Covid-19 brings unprecedented challenges to the tourism industry and that means the Adventure Travel sector as well. However, Adventure Travel might be better equipped to recover and reboot faster simply because of the DNA of the experiences we offer – small groups, nature-based, and set in rural environments and communities. Our industry is resilient and serves a more intrepid traveler that might be willing to come back to travel before others. But no matter what, we need to adjust and adapt to the new normal.”

So what is it that the adventure travel sector can do to turn this lemon into a lemonade? The ATTA pulled a team . . . → continue reading . . . ATTA’s 10 Recovery, Health and Safety Recommendations for Adventure Travel

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Advice on IRF guide training workshops as COVID-19 restrictions are eased

Over the past week several countries have started lifting COVID-19 stay at home orders and other restrictions in a phased way even though the pandemic is far from being over. Re-openings are taking place due to various reasons, while health experts warn that the virus will likely continue to be a health risk for many months or years.

IRF Guide Training and Education (GTE) Instructors are looking at resuming GTE guide workshops in some of these areas, and so the GTE Committee is developing an action plan for minimising the spread of COVID-19 as part of the overall GTE policy (this can now be found under Instructor Resources). As a general policy, the IRF always puts the health and safety of . . . → continue reading . . . Advice on IRF guide training workshops as COVID-19 restrictions are eased

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Saving tourism in unprecedented and challenging times

In these testing times we find ourselves and our loved ones in situations we would likely never have considered. Many of us in the rafting industry are under increasing pressure with not just personal situations but tourist operations and employees affected by lockdowns and vast swathes of people cancelling their holidays and travel plans. It’s times like these that we need to come together as the #RaftingFamily and continue to support the rafting and tourism communities.

Many adventure tourism businesses are looking at bleak seasons ahead, if you have or had plans to travel and take part in tourist activities, or own a tourism business here’s a list of some ideas to consider:

Instead of cancelling your trips, can you change your dates? . . . → continue reading . . . Saving tourism in unprecedented and challenging times
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IRF GTE Instructor update in Costa Rica this September

You might be good at setting up mechanical advantages, but how do you teach someone else to do it?

The IRF GTE will be holding an Instructor update 30th September – 2nd October 2020 for all existing IRF instructors who are able to travel to attend the update on the Sarapiqui river in Costa Rica.

The aim of the update is for IRF instructors to share current global best practice within the rafting industry. The update will also give the instructors the opportunity to update their knowledge of the IRF GTE system & standards.

The update is free to join for all existing IRF instructors. Any donations to cover the expenses of the workshop will be highly . . . → continue reading . . . IRF GTE Instructor update in Costa Rica this September

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Rafting Magazines Gear Shed – Arch Rival Drysuit

Article by Nick Prete

Shell Fabric: 3-layer waterproof/breathable shell with 100% nylon taslan face fabric treated with C6 DWR (durable water repellent) finish

Fabric Weight: 181g/m²

Waterproofness (mm h₂o): 30,000

Breathability (g/m²/24h): 4000

Front YKK® AquaSeal® entry and releif zipper

Seat and Knees reinforced with abrasion resistant Devil’s Club nylon taslan 3-layer 240g/m² fabric

Latex neck and wrist gaskets with neoprene over cuffs to aid in dryness and gasket preservation

Adjustable webbing belt to keep your suit snuggly on your hips

Low maintenance latex socks

Weight: 3.9lbs (62.4oz)

Arch Rival Drysuit Review

As I unrolled the Immersion Research Arch Rival Drysuit at the put-in for Slab-Creek I wasn’t sad about putting away my old drysuit. For the last few years it had been more of a damp suit with replaced gaskets, microholes . . . → continue reading . . . Rafting Magazines Gear Shed – Arch Rival Drysuit

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Reviewed, refreshed and renewed – IRF GTE Instructor resources

Reviewed, refreshed and renewed – IRF Instructor documentation and resources (in English and now also in Spanish)

There is now a wealth of resources that the IRF provides to our certified Instructors and Assessors which are all aimed at assisting them to simplify the processes, administration and implementation of assessing Guides, Trip Leaders and Instructors.

The updated and new documentation includes:

IRF GTE Award System – the overarching document the system is based on Assessment Guidelines for Workshops – setting out what and how Instructors / Assessors are to assess for each certification A detailed letter for all Instructors and Assessors explaining the administration processes of the IRF GTE System so that it is clear how it works and can be referred to at any time . . . → continue reading . . . Reviewed, refreshed and renewed – IRF GTE Instructor resources
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