Do I need previous whitewater experience?
For the Whitewater Ducky Trip, yes, at least some previous whitewater paddling experience is needed. For the rest of the trips, nope! Your experienced river guide will teach you what you need to know for the trip. Every guided trip begins with the Trip Leader presenting a thorough safety briefing before you get on the river. Your guide will help you with individual instruction on how to paddle in your craft.
Do I need to make a reservation?
For any guided outing, a reservation is required. Please book online at at least 1 day prior to your desired trip date to make your reservation. We do accept reservations the day of the trip if we have space available.
Do I need to be in good physical condition?
River trips are moderately strenuous and do require a moderate level of physical exertion. There are weight limits for our kayaks and paddleboards. If you are concerned please give us a call or see the trip description for those specific excursions.
Can I go on a trip if I am pregnant?
While pregnancy does not always have to preclude you from boating, please consult your physician before making that decision.
If I have previous physical injury, can I go on a river trip?
Try to consult your physician before making a reservation. If you are not sure, please give us a call and we will be happy to help you make a safe decision! And always tell your guide of previous injuries.
How many people fit in a boat?
Our rafts hold a maximum of 6 guests plus 1 guide, but summer water levels often reduce this capacity to 4-5 customers per boat. Kayaks and paddleboards are single capacity boats.
What happens if it’s raining before or during our trip?
We go rafting rain or shine! Expect to get wet and have a great time regardless of rain. Sometimes rain can be cooler. We have suggestions on how to dress for different weather conditions. We have wetsuits and splash jackets if needed at no extra charge.
What happens if there is a storm while on the river?
RO management and our Trip leaders are constantly monitoring daily weather conditions for safety. Most Virginia thunderstorms come and go over a span of 10-20 minutes. There are plenty of shelters next to the river where we can seek quick shelter and wait out if a storm approaches.
What is your cancellation policy?
If we have to cancel a trip for whatever reason (i.e. inclement weather, high water) then you will receive your choice to reschedule or receive a full refund. Full payment is charged 1 week prior to your trip. For groups of 12 or more, full payment is charged 2 weeks out from the date of the trip. Cancellations or reschedule requests after payment has been charged are not available.
Do I need to know how to swim?
Yes, you need to know how to swim and you must be comfortable in moving water.
What are your age/size requirements for rafting?
For then Lower or Falls trip, customers must be at least 10 years old. For the Upper trip, guests must be at least 5 years old.
Are shoes required for guided river trips?
Yes. You need to have footwear that will stay on your feet on land and in the river at all times. Flip flops are never recommended for guided trips because they fall off and float away very easily. Water shoes are available at our shop for $10
Is tipping my guide appropriate?
Yes! Your river guide works very hard behind the scenes and on the river to make sure you have a safe, exciting and memorable experience on the river. They are very knowledgable, love being outdoors and enjoy teaching others about the James River and the city it runs through. That said, like wait-staff at a restaurant, a guides’ wages are determined with gratuity in mind. It is the industry standard to leave a tip for your guide if you had an enjoyable trip. Please keep this in mind when the time comes. Gratuity is always appreciated.
Will I fall of the boat?
In whitewater, there is always a chance that you may go for an involuntary swim! The trip leader will provide you with a safety briefing before the trip so that you will know what to do if you do swim.
What should I be wearing on the river?
COLD WEATHER- Synthetic/wool/fleece/nylon material. For example; Thick wool socks, synthetic base layers/running tights with nylon rain or wind pants and a long sleeve synthetic/wool/fleece shirt with a fleece pullover with a lightweight rain/wind jacket.
WETSUITS/SPLASH JACKETS- Are provided free of charge when needed. Your Trip Leader will generally advise you if you should wear a wetsuit or splash jacket. Feel free to request one if you are cold natured!
WARM WEATHER- Swim trunks/shorts, bathing suits, t shirt (synthetic preferred for your comfort, but cotton will be okay on a hot sunny day).
What do I need to bring on my trip?
Aside for the appropriate clothing and footwear, leave EVERYTHING else in your car locked up. We can store your keys in our safe. Please do not bring keys or electronic devices on the river. A ziplock bag will not protect those items. We sell disposable, waterproof cameras at the shop. We always say, if you like it, and want to keep it, then don’t bring it on the river with you! There is always a chance that your things will get wet, ruined, or lost in the river. Riverside Outfitters is not responsible for items that you choose to take on the river.
If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at 804-560-0068 or email us at RiversideOutfitters@gmail.com. Cheers!