Understanding

Rivers & Grades

Here you’ll find links to resources on our site plus details on weather in the different counties along with the gauges for all rivers. 

River Grades – River Classes

  • Class I – Easy
    • fast water with ripples or waves
    • all dangers are obvious, negligible risk to swimmers, easy self-rescue
  • Class II – Novice
    • straightforward rapids with regular waves
    • easy to medium drop-offs(chutes, ledges, falls)
    • eddies and shear zones are easily negotiated
    • best passage evident without scouting
  • Class III – Intermediate
    • rapids with moderate, irregular waves, breakers, rollers and back eddies
    • scouting in advance is advised for inexperienced parties
  • Class IV – Advanced
    • high, irregular waves, breakers, powerful back eddies, whirlpools and sharp bends
    • powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise handling in difficult water, for experienced paddlers only
    • “Must make moves”, rapids that require skill
    • moderate to high risk to swimmers, group rescue is often required
    • advance scouting is required
  • Class V – Expert
    • extremely long and/or violent rapids, often containing large, unavoidable obstacles, holes, steep banks, and turbulent water
    • very fast currents with powerful whirlpools and boiling back eddies
    • rescue is often difficult for experts
    • advance scouting may be difficult
  • Class VI – Extreme
    • upper limit of present-day skills and equipment and only for teams of experts, taking all safety precautions
    • Unexplored or uncharted rapids where navigation may be very difficult to impossible.
    • Luck often considered an important part of a successful negotiation.

Cork

  1. Bandon Upper & Lower
    • Grade II – III
  2. Laney, The
    • Grade II
  3. Lee, The
    • Grade I – III
  4. Blackwater
    • Grade I
  5. Bride
  6. Funchion

Kerry

  1. Sullane Upper & Lower
    • Grade II
  2. Caragh Upper & Lower
  3. Flesk Middle
  4. Flesk Lower
    • Grade II
  5. Clydagh, The
    • Grade III
  6. Roughty & Lower Roughty
  7. Gearhameen
  8. Owenroe

Limerick

  1. Maigue
  2. Castleconnell

Waterford

  1. Nire
  2. Colligan

Carlow

  1. The Barrow
    1. Grade II – III
  2. Clashganny Lock

 

 

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