River rafting ride

Rapid River ( German about the rapids river ) is the common name for a type of water rides, similar to rafting. On artificial and fed with large pumps closed watercourses round boats made ​​of plastic are used mostly with surrounding air-filled rubber tires.

The boats can float freely in the more or less wide fairway. The random movement and rotation in the water flow, the lift run never compensates completely and also the degree of wet becoming the passengers varies from trip to trip.

In addition to the eponymous rapids come at the facilities wave pools, waterfalls, waterfall streets, swirls and tunnel driving elements as before. Off the track water cannons are often placed with which viewers can "shoot" to the passengers or that are automatically triggered by the passing boat.


The first of its kind was created in 1980 with Thunder River in the now-closed amusement park Astroworld (Texas ). Built by Intamin plant had boats for twelve people.

The first European-built Rapid River and also the world's first with boats for six people was in 1983 with Piranhas in the Dutch Efteling. Opened in 1984 Thunder River, the first Rapid River in Germany, at the Holiday Park Hassloch also with six-person boats.

Meanwhile, Rapid River usual rides in many amusement parks around the world. Sole leader Intamin has built 80 plants by 2006. In addition to the whitewater course they are the most commonly encountered water attractions.


The flow of water in the artificial river is caused by a difference in height. This difference can be very different depending on the plant. Mostly, however, it is only a few meters. In systems with a shot rides but it may be up to 22 m ( River Quest at Phantasialand ). Here, then, vertical lifts are often used as conveyor belts are used for the lower heights. It also lifts with friction wheels were built, this has not proven successful in practice, so that the plants have been retrofitted with conveyor belts. Only for very small differences in height and horizontal transport of boats wheels or rollers are used today.

The water is pumped by electrically driven pump large, usually next to the transport path, to the higher level. A few plants use a so-called screw pumps that can transport large amounts of water by means of rotating metal screw (example: Rio Grande at Fort Fun Adventure Land ).

Without the use of the pumps, the river bed of Rapid River is dry, so an artificial lake is created at the lowest point in the can run a correspondingly large amount of water when the pumps are turned off. Also round boats are stored on it usually are not temporarily in use. In seasonally operated plants the boats are lifted during the winter season from the water to avoid damage from ice.

For the boarding of passengers into the boats there are different systems. Either the boats are laterally clamped in a circular charging station from two conveyor belts and in parallel to a rotating disc, on which the passengers can board. Relative to the disk, the boats are there still ( example: Fjord Rafting Europa-Park ). Alternatively, the boats are lifted by a conveyor belt from the water and the passengers can about it in the boats enter (example: washtub rafting in Tripsdrill ). For very simple systems also manually operated brakes are used, which hold the boats for the time of boarding in the fairway come (example: Riviere Sauvage in the Mer de Sable, France). The stations for the entry and exit of Fährgäste are mostly located on the highest point of the system. There are also systems in which the station is located on the lowest point. This includes, for example, the web Mystery River at Movie Park Germany.

In addition to boats with one-piece plastic body were from different companies (eg Hafema, Vekoma ) and those developed with several circularly arranged flexibly connected elements.

Three Segment boat for 9 persons on the conveyor belt at the washtub rafting in Tripsdrill, Manufacturer: Hafema

Radja River in Walibi Belgium, 12 person boat on the conveyor, pump outlet, Manufacturer: Intamin

Archimedean screws at Rio Grande in Fort Fun Adventure Land

Around charging station at Mountain Rafting at Heide - Park

Similar rides

Very similar to the so-called Spinning Rapids Rides (German Rotating rapids rides) in which a transport tray is highly elevated. The amount of water flowing here is much lower, so that the boats do not float most of the time, but slip on a water film. The fairways have many curves, resulting in strong rotations of the vehicles. Even with these rides come round boats to use, often pure inflatable boats without a reinforcing plastic body. (Example: Rio Dorado in the Hansa-Park )

Since 2004, portable versions are to be found on fair places in Europe. In Germany, for example, traveled 2005-2010 Wild'n'Wet of showman Daniel Lowenthal. The plant has an innovative vertical lift, since 2011 it is in the Allgäu Skyline Park.


  • ABC Engineering
  • Bear Rides
  • FAB
  • Fabbri group
  • Hafema
  • Intamin
  • Interlink
  • Reverchon
  • Soquet
  • Vekoma