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Boat Types and Configurations

Boat Types and Configurations


At New Mexico River Adventures we use many different types of boats to explore the waterways we operate on. We only use modern state of the art equipment that is in excellent shape and outfitted with your comfort and safety in mind. Our fleet of larger rafts from 12′ to 18″ are exclusively self-bailing models equipped with foot cups and multiple cross thwarts for paddler stability and confidence. We use these boats during high water and for gear loads on multi-day trips. Our fleet of smaller boats is also mostly self-bailer models all though there are still some “bucket boats” out on the river. These smaller boats are for low water levels and designed to maneuver between the rock with greater agility. 90% of or fleet is made out of urethane fabrics which are lighter, stronger and more abrasion resistant than traditional rubber fabrics.

Oar Boat, Multi-Day Rafting Trip, New Mexico

Oar Boats

In this setup, the guide sits in the middle of the boat and the guests ride both fore and aft of the guide. The guide maneuvers the boat with two oars and the guests hang on.

Paddle Boat, Rafting New Santa FePaddle Boats

This configuration has the paddlers sitting in front of the guide in rows down each side of the boat the guide then maneuvers the boat from one of the rear corners. This style of rafting is all about participation and teamwork. Most of our trips are run as paddle boats.

Oar boat, whitewater rafting in New Mexico

Oar Paddle Combo

We like to use the oar paddle combo during high water as a tool that enables the guide to take complete control of the raft if necessary. This technique is used in the Upper Taos Box and Razorblades sections at the guides preference. The oar paddle combo is offered as an adventure package at high water on the Lower Taos Box and Racecourse sections for two paddlers who want to go as big as you can during peak water.

Inflatable Kayaks, Racecourse, New MexicoInflatable Kayaks

We offer Inflatable kayaks on a variety of our trips from half to multi-day in length. These are small individual or tandem crafts that are self-propelled and guided. The paddler uses a double-bladed paddle while sitting facing forward (hopefully) with their legs in front of them. For safety purposes, the paddler is not connected to the kayak in any way. In the event of a capsize, the paddler is able to push the kayak right side up and climb back in with a small degree of difficulty. This option is available on all of our Multi-Day Rio Chama Trips and at lower flows on the Racecourse, for our more adventurous guests.

SUP, New Mexico, ACA CertifiedStand Up Paddleboards

Stand Up Paddleboards or SUP’s are relatively new to the world of whitewater. Inspired from the traditional surfboard in the islands of Hawaii, these boards offer an entirely new dynamic to the world of river running. Each paddler stands up more or less in the middle of the board with their knees slightly bent and there feet parallel or just slightly offset. The paddle used is adjustable to each paddler’s height and style. For safety purposes, the paddler is not connected to the board in any way and often times in unstable situations, paddlers choose to drop down to their knees to minimize the risk of falling off the board and into the river.