Safety and Risk

At Wild Water Adventures, your safety is of the utmost importance to us.

We approach risk in a systematic manner. Our operation incorporates an overall risk philosophy, which shapes our policies, defines our procedures, and drives our practices.

Risk is an inherent part of whitewater rafting, and we can never totally eliminate it, but we can reduce it and make wise informed decisions that will enhance our safety practices.

The three stages of risk assessment we use are Operational, Daily, and Dynamic.


Our operational structure has been set and refined to deliver River Trips that are within our organizations acceptable level of risk. In other words, under normal circumstances our trips are reasonable.


Daily assessments in the form of morning briefings consider weather, conditions, water levels, guest numbers and ages and transportation needs.


Dynamic assessment is the moment to moment with the guide and guiding team making and implementing decisions to enhance safety and optimize the level of risk on the river.

River safety is, in our world, blended with the thrill of whitewater rafting. The two must exist together to mitigate the risk to our guests and guides. 

We operate under a comprehensive safety plan with defined training and safety standards. We have strict emergency procedures and incident protocols which have been developed with 30 years of operating experience.

Wild Water Adventures complies and exceeds industry standards. We comply with Transport Canada’s Canada Shipping Act “Special Purpose Vessel Regulations”. We comply with the recommendations laid out by the British Columbia River Outfitters Association (BCROA) and the special provisions established by the BC Registrar of Commercial Rafting currently managed by BCROA.

Critical to dealing with risk is having renowned guides and whitewater experts building on experience from more than thirty operational years on the Kicking Horse River. We require 3 to 5 years of guiding experience on Class 4 rivers before we consider hiring a new guide. All guides undergo rigorous training each year before our season starts. New guides are extended on their training before they are signed off as a BCROA guide and validation as a Wild Water guide under supervision of our Trip Leaders. All our guides hold current 1st Aid certification and current Swift Water Rescue Technician certification. Certification is not all we look for in hiring guides. They must be personable and good educators, show good judgement and have exceptional decision-making skills. We have strict hiring criteria and though many guides apply, not all are chosen.


We have the highest return rate of guides in all the companies on the river and that speaks to our diligent process of hiring and retaining skilled guides.

Wild Water Adventures is the only company on the Kicking Horse River that uses centre mount rowing frames and low profile 16’ rafts. Low profile rafts provide far greater splash factor, which is why we love to whitewater raft!! The centre frame gives the guide far more control and means that we only need 4 paddlers in the boat instead of the whole crew paddling. Too many paddles in a boat increases the chances of being hit by an enthusiastic guest’s paddle. 


All our guests are outfitted with wetsuits, booties, gloves, fleece sweaters, splash jackets, lifejackets, and helmets. All the gear is sanitized and dried at the end of each trip. 


Life jackets (Personal Flotation Device) are NRS high profile type V PFD with a flotation collar. They are Coast Guard certified and the best the industry has to offer.


Each trip carries safety gear as mandated by Transport Canada including a repair kit, spare gear, 1st Aid, oxygen and an AED. Each guide carries a rescue kit and VHF radio. 


Wild Water Adventures employs an equipment manager and safety gear is regularly inspected. 

The Kicking Horse River is a glacier fed river. This means at least two things. One is the water is COLD! (we refer to it as being refreshing). Secondly, the water levels fluctuate daily and throughout the summer. High and low water levels present different challenges through the season and we carefully monitor levels as part of our morning assessment. Flow rate and water depth change through the season and we have stringent guidelines to follow depending on water volume and speed. Our biggest water is typically in June during run off, but it can also be in May. In higher water we run a minimum of three rafts and will have a safety boat as well. 

Please pay attention to the minimum age and weight restrictions. If you are uncertain that your child meets the criteria, please call and ask us. This is critical for your child’s safety. Life jackets are made for certain weights and though it seems counter intuitive, a high volume (float) life jacket can hold a child in a rapid if the flotation is too high. As safety is our primary concern, children who look younger than the minimum age or under the minimum weight will be asked for proof of age and will be weighed at the River Base. If they don’t meet the minimums, they will not be allowed to raft. 


  • Gentle Introduction to Whitewater: Minimum 8 years of age and 50 pounds (23 kilograms)
  • Whitewater Exciter: Minimum 12 years of age and 90 pounds (41 kilograms)
  • Tradition: Minimum 12 years of age and 90 pounds (41 kilograms)
  • Maximum Horsepower: Minimum 16 years of age and 100 pounds (45 kilograms)

Communicating safety is a very important part of rafting. Please listen carefully in all the safety briefings and ask questions if things are not entirely clear for you. You will receive the first briefing during our introduction at the River Base. The guide on deck will introduce the crew and describe how to dress for the river. Once on the bus, you will receive a briefing on fitting and wearing the safety equipment. After getting off the bus, the guides will check your PFD and helmet for proper fit, followed by an overall river safety briefing from the Trip Leader. It doesn’t end there however! Once you are assigned to a boat, your guide will give you another briefing on what happens in the boat. On the river you will receive further training before the fun and excitement starts. Throughout the journey, your guide will be giving instructions on how to deal with the rapids and how to best stay in the boat. 

Please review the waiver of liability prior to booking with Wild Water and send the link to other members of your party if you are the one booking. Upon arrival at our River Base, our Guest Services Crew will give you a waiver briefing and assist you with the process of signing the waiver. All adults are required by our insurance company to read and agree to sign the waiver. Children under the age of 18 will need to have a parent or legal guardian sign the waiver acknowledging that they understand the risks of whitewater rafting. See the waiver here

Safety is our priority on the river and we all depend on each other to be alert and tuned in to everyone’s safety and well being. We have a strict, zero-tolerance policy regarding drugs and alcohol. Any guest suspected of intoxication or impairment upon arrival will not be allowed to raft and their fare will NOT be refunded.

Cancellation Insurance

Wild Water Adventures has partnered with TuGo, one of Canada’s top travel insurance providers.


There’s nothing more thrilling than an adventure, but travel also comes with some twists and turns. Be prepared for the unexpected with TuGo’s comprehensive travel insurance coverage for Canadians and international visitors!


The following information has been provided by Tugo:

Consider this coverage to protect your financial investment, in the event you’ll need to cancel your trip before your departure or interrupt your trip, due to unforeseen** circumstances. Trip Cancellation & Trip Interruption Insurance reimburses for non-refundable unused prepaid travel arrangements, including tours and excursions. Learn more here.

If you can’t see cancelling your travels, but want an economical option to protect you if something unfortunate interrupts your vacation, Trip-Interruption Only is the way to go. This insurance covers non-refundable unused prepaid travel costs, including airfare and tours, after your trip has begun. Learn more here.

The last thing you want to think about is getting sick or injured, while travelling. And while your provincial healthcare plan will cover medical emergencies within Canada, including COVID-19, it won’t cover everything. To protect yourself and your finances, here’s what you’ll need to know to help you decide which Emergency Medical Insurance plan is right:


Travel Within Canada – If you’re only travelling out-of-province, purchasing this coverage (for just a few dollars a day!) will cover costly expenses that your provincial healthcare won’t cover including air or ground ambulance services, air evacuation, emergency dental services, medical appliances like crutches and wheelchairs, and more. Choose between a Single Trip or Multi Trip Annual plan.


Multi Trip Annual Worldwide – If you’re planning to travel within Canada and abroad in the year ahead, you’ll want to consider a Multi Trip Annual policy. With this economical plan option, travel within Canada is automatically covered too!


Learn more here.

Travelling to Canada to experience the adventure of a lifetime? With TuGo, you can enjoy your adventure without having to worry about the cost of a medical emergency or illness, including COVID-19***. Medical costs are expensive, and you won’t be covered. That’s why the Government of Canada recommends buying Visitors to Canada Insurance before arriving to Canada. Learn more here.

Visitors To Canada Insurance

With TuGo, you can enjoy your adventure without having to worry about the cost of a medical emergency or illness, including COVID-19. Medical costs are expensive, and you won’t be covered. That’s why the Government of Canada recommends buying Visitors to Canada Insurance before arriving to Canada.

Similar to a life insurance policy, Accidental Death & Dismemberment gives added financial protection. This insurance provides coverage for air flight/ common carrier accident and 24-hour accident coverage for situations that don’t involve a common carrier. Learn more here.

Questions?  Contact TuGo’s Customer Service team at 1-855-505-0869. 


* By clicking this button, you’ll be redirected to TuGo’s secure website, where you can get a quote and purchase travel insurance.

** As of March 4, 2020, COVID-19 is considered a known circumstance for travel, which means it’s no longer considered sudden and unexpected.

***Expenses are covered for COVID-19, unless there is an official Level 4 travel advisory issued by a Canadian government stating to “avoid all travel”.


The language on this website may not be the same as the actual policy wording which will prevail in all instances and is available upon request. Certain exclusions, limitations, and conditions may apply. Insurance is administered by North American Air Travel Insurance Agents Ltd. doing business as TuGo®, a licensed insurance broker in all provinces and territories. The issuer of the contract is Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. and Industrial Alliance Pacific General Insurance Corporation. TuGo® is a registered trademark owned by North American Air Travel Insurance Agents Ltd. doing business as TuGo®.

Risk Management for positive outcomes

The word ‘risk’ derives from the Italian word risicare which means to dare. Wild Water’s risk management program optimizes levels of risk to allow for positive outcomes and we strive to eliminate the negative. We are proud of our culture and are continuously striving to maintain the balance of risk and reward. Our intent is to work in an environment with control, not to control the environment. Let’s go rafting!!!