White Water Rafting @ Sungai Selangor

27 03 2010

White Water rafting down Sungai Selangor was the plan for today! Radzi, my cycling buddy had called a few days ago inviting me for this trip. After some discussion I managed to get 3 of my friends in on the trip too. So early this Saturday morning saw Hector arriving at my house in Subang Jaya. Arnaiz and his wife were to pick us up here at 7 a.m and rendezvous with Radzi and his friends in his house in Kelana Jaya.

Drivng to Kuala Lubu Bharu

With 6 of us in 2 cars we started our journey to the head waters of Sungai Selangor at the town Kuala Kubu Bharu. We reached KKB at about 8.30 and had some breakfast in town. Then we were on our way to the launch site. On the way there Radzi took us to see a part of the river that we will be going down.

Sungai Selangor

Just look at the rapids! The white foam is what gives the sport it’s name. We would be shooting through those white waters soon. It couldn’t be soon enough for Hector who was very anxious get his first go at shooting the rapids. We arrived at the launch site a few minutes later but found we were the first ones there. After a rather long wait the rest of the group arrived, followed by Piee and his merry men, with the rafts and the safety gear.

The rafts arrive

life vests and helmets

Piee is the owner of the adventure company that we have employed to take us safely down this river. Don’t let his small stature fool you. A former investment banker, Piee chose to quit his job to do white water rafting full time. He set up this company as a way to enjoy this sport and earn some income. He recently joined the international white water rafting competition in which he was placed 12th in the world rankings!

Piee and his men

After determining that mst of his customers this morning had none or very little experience, he set out giving a thorough briefing. he and his men gave a very good demonstration of how to handle the raft and our paddles. he even managed to inject some humour into his lecture, saying “if you suddenly feel cold, you’re in the water”, “if you suddenly feel cold and you open your eyes and see yellow. . . you’re in the  water AND under the raft” hahahaha! very funny though I did not think so later.

We all listened quite intently to his lecture knowing we all had to work as a team to get as much fun from this outing. I could see Arnaiz and Mila off to my side. Arnaiz had this familiar smile on his face which said “I have a bad feeling about this!”

From the launch site, river water was quite fast but still relatively calm. Within a few minutes we came around a bend in the river and saw the bridge above us. Ahead was the first set of rapids, the saem one we saw form the bridge earlier this morning.

The bridge

And then it was shooting one rapid after another almost none stop. We had to paddle according to the instructions of our guide or risk capsizing our raft. “Forward paddle”, “Left Aft”, “Over left” and many more which Piee taught us this morning. It was hard work but absolutely fun. The following pictures are courtesy of Radzi and his new Olympus waterproof camera.

Notice how we all had our oars upright inside the raft? Well this is so that we do not accidenty bump one of our mates off with the ends of the oar! I fell off the raft a total of 4 times! Twice I found myself submerged under the raft. I even fell off  while  we were navigating one of the smaller rapids, after getting back in the raft , the bewildered guide said, “nobody falls off at this rapid!” How embarrassing.

Along the route we stopped at several places along the river to either take a rest or to allow each raft to take turns navigating the bigger rapids. One of the longer stops was at this waterfall. Even after getting acclimatised to the cold waters of Sungai Selangor, the water from this waterfall still felt super cold!

Sitting under the waterfall was quite an experience. The cold water gave your nerves a jolt while the the force of the falling water gave your body a good massage!Can you see the expression on Arnaiz’s face?  I did not realise why he was looking so miserable until much later when he told me he fell. . . just as Mila told him to be “careful of the slippery rocks”. And fall on the right side of his face he did! I guess he was right to look so worried during Piee’s briefing earlier that morning.

Group Photo

At this particular rest stop, the organizers provided us with snacks of apples, chocolate and energy bars. I wonder how they kept the containers from falling off the rafts? After a group photo we got back into our respective rafts and continued on down the river.

This video was taken by Radzi with his waterproof camera. My raft was already downriver waiting for his raft to clear the rapid. You can see my raft in the video hwne he pointed his camera downriver.  It was obvious to everyone that he was NOT taking part in the pedaling! hahahaha! But he did come off with a great footage of shooting the rapids! If I am not mistaken this particular one is rated 3 in a scale of 1 to 5. The Selangor River has only one rapid that is rated 4.5 and it;s called the “Chicken Drop”.

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