Selecting a Run
The first step before heading to any river is to find out if it is suitable for you. Use the river grading section to help you to get a better idea of the types of river descriptions you might find and the class grading system. Then use local guide books and river guide forums to find out more about whats in your area.
It is a great idea if your heading to a new river or run to chat to and where possible paddle with local paddlers to find out about any hazards or dangers on the section of river you are looking at running. They can also show you the best waves and local gems on the run.
1st hand experience is the best way to gather information. If you know the individuals ability and trust their judgment you can obtain the details that are not provided by any other resource.
Guidebooks and the Internet should be your second source of information. Guidebooks are usually a sterile way to obtain information, but they are consistent. Make sure you look at when they were published for relevance. Another good idea is to find a run that you are familiar with in that book and use it as a comparison test for the quality and level of information being given
The Internet is a vast source of information, but be careful and take what you find with grain of salt. While wikis and blogs can provide regularly updated information. Individuals who are write them can often add their personality, interpretation and style. That can skew things quite a bit depending on their personality and skill level.
Hearsay and rumour should be the last place to collate credible information. Be cautious on how much you trust this information, and to what extent you implement it into your planning.