International Scale of River Difficulty

Knowing hand signals is crucial for communicating on the river. Six signals are widely understood in the paddling community and endorsed by the International Rafting Federation.

  • Stop: Paddle held horizontally above the head
  • Go: Paddle held up vertically
  • Eddy out: Circling a single raised finger and pointing to the eddy
  • I’m Okay: Thumb and index finger joined in an O and tapped on the top of helmet
  • Any kind of X formed with arms or paddles means first aid required.
  • Always point in the direction you want a paddler to go, never point toward danger.