Rating Rivers?

Are people still using the antiquated system for rating rapids, such as calling a class III rapid a PR4 (or packraft class 4), and if so why does being in a packraft mean we rename everything just because it is a different floating craft (and don`t just say because its harder). Rafts, canoes, kayaks, drift boats, paddle boarders, swimmers, ext. all seem to be able to tell what class I, II, III, IV & V refers to, why is packrafting different?. Is the special “packraft rating system” a thing of the past or do people still use it.
Just wondering.

Hey Kirkinbend,

Those ratings come from Roman Dial’s book. He can probably fill you in more but some rapids are harder for packrafts and others are easier, therefore some rocky low volume class IV might only be considered a class III with packraft. Big and technical slides would be a good example as they are much much easier in PR.

Many high volume water with big holes/ stoppers really destroy packrafts though as you cannot easily go over and or under them (such as in a kayak) hence why a class III big water river may be a PR 4. I hope that helps explain it a little.

I know Roman wrote a book, thou I do not personally agree with his rating system,( but that is just my opinion). I respect Roman and all he has done for packrafting (years before I even knew what a packraft was), and I know a lot of people have used this book as a learning tool to get into the boating world, and more power to them, just wondering if this system is still relevant. Even on Romans’ own blog he seems to not use this system for rating since he has improved over the years, and since packraft design has improved.

So all I am saying is I understand how this rating system came about… I’m just wondering how many people actually use it today??

Good question. I have never heard it being used and have personally never used it myself (only used other system).