Padas White Water Rafting
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What you should know
The closest main transport hub to Padas River is Kota Kinabalu Airport (which can be reached overland within Borneo and from many major city airports in Asia). The Padas river is approx 3 hours' drive from Kota Kinabalu town. The providers will provide transport from your hotel in Kota Kinabalu to the river.
Grade III and IV rapids are no joke. You want someone there with a wealth of experience to monitor the fun.
You should be in pretty good physical shape for Padas - being able to take strenuous exercise for a couple of hours. You should also feel comfortable in quick moving waters with a life jacket on.
The best months to visit are April, May, June, July, August, September, October
We recommend the above period because you would have good weather.
5:30am to 5pm on the same day (including transport time).
You may notice that some of the options include an IRF button. This means that the provider has been certified by the International Rafting Federation, which maintains and promotes development of rafting at all competition, commercial and recreational levels. IRF certification means that an instructor has high quality, internationally recognised qualifications to guide people safely down rapid water rivers. This training requires instructors to maintain CPR and first aid certification.
You may also be wondering what rapid Grades (I-V) mean in practice. We hope that this is a helpful summary:
Grade I (Easy): Flat water with generally unobstructed passage.
Grade II (Novice): Small to medium sized waves and a few obstacles.
Grade III (Intermediate): Fairly high waves, and the passage may be difficult to recognize from on the river.
Grade IV (Advanced): High, powerful, irregular waves, with the passage often difficult to recognize and negotiate.
Grade V (Expert): Very difficult rapids, High-powerful-irregular waves, difficult to negotiate, the extreme for commercial operations.