Waivers for Whitewater Rafting
Copies of the waiver forms are available at, and can be completed at the Rafting Center the morning of your trip. However, you’ll want to print, photocopy and complete in advance a form for any minor for whom no parent or legal guardian will be present to co-sign where indicated.
We’ve provided below some information that might be helpful in addressing questions that may arise in relation to the waiver form. If there are other questions, please feel free to call; we’re always happy to help.
Questions and Answers
Q: Must a parent or legal guardian co-sign for each minor (under 18) child?
Q: How dangerous is whitewater rafting?
A: Whitewater rapids are defined from Class I (very mild) to Class VI (extremely difficult). Selecting the appropriate level of whitewater, relying on professionally guided raft trip services, and following the rules and instructions offered by your outfitter all contribute to greater success in managing the risks associated with river rafting. Clearly there are risks associated with all active outdoor sports, including rafting. A recent national study of customary (indoor and outdoor) activities, completed by the Business Research Division of the University of Colorado, found that statistically, commercially guided whitewater rafting is 70 times safer than automobile travel.
Q: How long has Whitewater Challengers offered these activities and what has been their safety record?
A: Whitewater Challengers first introduced whitewater rafting trips on the Lehigh River in 1975, and has provided guided tour services continuously for more than four decades, serving more than 1.6 million guests on more than 16 million miles of guided trips on whitewater rivers in Pennsylvania and New York, compiling a safety record that is the envy of the industry. Whitewater Challengers meets or exceeds the rigorous safety and training requirements established by state regulations for commercial rafting trips.
Q: What kinds of injuries are most often associated with rafting trips?
A: Bumps and bruises are the most common injury, and these can usually be avoided by adhering to the safety instructions offered prior to your trip. Most important among these instructions are:
- Remain seated, with both legs inside the raft, even in calm sections of the river.
- Do not dive into the river, either from the raft, or from shore.
- If you must splash, use your hands; never the paddle.
These and other easy-to-follow guidelines can help enhance the safety and enjoyment of your trip.
Q: What other safety measure are taken on and off the river?
A: Raft trips are accompanied by qualified, professional guides who are trained in First Aid and river safety techniques. Instruction and supervision are provided before and during your trip. First aid supplies and safety equipment accompany every trip.
Q: Are more challenging trips available for more experienced rafters?
A: Yes. While the Lehigh is usually rated Class I, Class II or Class III whitewater, with some trips well suited to beginners and children as young as 5 years old, guided rafting trips on the Hudson and Black Rivers in upstate New York offer more challenging rapids up to Class IV and Class V.