The most common forms of recreational watersport in Ukraine are catamaraning and rafting. These two kinds of boating are suitable also for bigger groups, even business groups and families. This a big advantage in comparison to canoeing and kayaking.
Steering down rivers on a so called “catamaran” is by now quite popular in Ukraine and has been practiced for many years already. On those 2 – 12 seated boats you are able to steer down both mountain and flatland rivers alike. They are built of two parallel hulls equal in size and material, which are connected by an aluminum or wooden frame. Besides the unusual structure, they differentiate from other boat types through their high load capacity and their position well above the water surface.
Rafting has not been as popular as catamaraning in Ukraine until several years ago passionate rafters began to develop the sport here as well.
The raft is usually an inflated boat without any frame, made from a durable synthetic material. It gives room from 4 up to 20 rowers. Characteristic for the raft is its high stability on the water and its versatility. Rafts most commonly used give room to 6 – 8 people.
All you need for catamaraning and rafting is the right equipment (paddles, helmets, life jackets), a great desire, enough time and a good mood. Under those preconditions you will be sure to have a wonderful vacation.
Due to the pleasant climate in Ukraine rafting and catamaraning season starts in early spring and ends in late autumn.
Both types of boating have their advantages and disadvantages. Catamaraning is better suited for calmer and more relaxing trips, throughout the year. They are suitable for all kinds of rivers, also those with a high water level.
Rafting is more impressive on the so called "white water" - the wild mountain rivers of the Carpathians, were you might have to passage rapids and other obstacles. Also rafts require less water levels, are better suited for traveling with children and for longer boat trips.
Keep in mind, that unlike in canoes or kayaks, where you are a maximum of two people and responsible only for yourselves, catamaraning and rafting are group activities. This means that the efficiency and accuracy of the passage, especially of difficult stretches on the mountain rivers, depend on all members of the group and on how good they implement the instructions from their guide.