Oh How We've Grown | A Look Back at Past Rafting Tours

After every changing of the season, there's always a time for nostalgia. To take a look back and reminisce about the good times and the places we've been, and all that we have accomplished throughout the years. It's been an awesome journey to have grown with our guests and our community. Here's some of the brightest moments.

Hidden LA Rafting on the Kern River

April 10, 2013

Lynn and Sylvia from Hidden LA joined SoCal Rafting for a fun day on the Kern River. First off, the ladies were very stoked about their short drive from Los Angeles. It took them under 3 hours to arrive at our River Toyz store in Kernville, CA. They couldn't believe the Kern River Valley is so close to Los Angeles with so much adventure to offer.

We went whitewater rafting first. John was our guide. I scampered around the boat getting the GoPro footage. The weather was nice and sunny. Warm enough to wear board shorts and a tank top, but not too miserably hot. Our Class I-III rapids were just perfect for our Hidden LA guests. We sailed through Little Mama, chilled in Beaver Pond and then hit Big Daddy! We all stayed in the boat through Big Daddy…this time around. We paddled on through Straight Shot, splashed through Freight Train and then popped a wheelie on the Pop A Wheelie Rock. Last up was Ewings rapid. We went over the big rock a little sideways and backwards for some extra added fun. Next trip down the Mighty Kern River was in our two person inflatable kayaks (IK). When I asked the ladies if they wanted to raft or IK next, Sylvia was all about river kayaking. Lynn agreed to be Sylvia’s paddling partner in our two person IK. John and I lead the Hidden LA ladies down as the safety boat. We were in a two person IK also. Lynn sat in front of the Hidden LA kayak. She was the power paddler. Sylvia sat in the back with a steering paddle. The Hidden LA ladies did a great job following John and I. They navigated through Little Mama rapids perfectly with great big smiles on their faces. We relaxed and talked for a bit in Beaver Pond. Up next, Big Daddy.

At the top of Big Daddy there is a formidable rock. It can be a lot of fun. A lot of people swim the rapids because of this rock. I’ve swam Big Daddy a few times because of this big hump of fun. John and I kayaked up and over the rock and continued down the rapids. We turned around to watch the Hidden LA boat. Lynn and Sylvia did a great job entering Big Daddy and up and over the rock they went. They went over just a bit sideways. As I watched I thought they’d made it over. Just then Lynn popped out of the front of the kayak and into the rapids. She swam Big Daddy rapids for about 22 seconds. I was able to grab her as she approached our boat. I held onto Lynn as we finished going through the last bit of the rapids. John pulled her into our IK. She got a little banged up on the rocks and was a little stunned from the swim through the rapids. Other than that Lynn was just fine. I hopped into Sylvia’s IK and the four of us continued on down the river.

After all the fun on the Kern River, Lynn and Sylvia joined us for our company BBQ. They relaxed in the peaceful surroundings of Kernville. We had some good food and good conversations. Before dark they were off and headed home back to Los Angeles. It was a great day. Thanks for the good times Hidden LA! Watch video on our YouTube channel of our rafting trip down the Kern River with Lynn and Sylvia.

SoCal Rafting Volunteers with Kern County Firefighters Burn Survivors Trust

April 27, 2015

On Saturday, April 25th, SoCal Rafting was proud to host the guided river tour for the Kern County Firefighters Burn Survivors Trust. This was the third year, after a sixteen year gap, that the organization was able to hold the camp in Kernville. Josh Dodson, the President of the organization, noted that last year they were unable to send the survivors and their families down the river due to the water levels.

SoCal Rafting was more that happy to accommodate this year, and we offered up our services as a donation for the organization. We sent two groups of rafters down on Saturday, starting at 11 A.M. with a group of twenty-two.

Although the day started out rainy, the moment we got out on the water things started clearing up. Everyone was excited to take “Big Blue,” our rafting bus, from Frandy Park up to the start of the Hollywood Hustle, our one hour, three mile trip. We started with some safety tips and quickly unloaded our mini-rafts and began launching! Some of our guides were obliged to take the small children along in their rafts, and everyone was super excited to be testing their skills out on the water.

We got some great shots of the groups down at their final rapid at Ewings. Adam and Kiersten, two volunteers for the organization that went down with the first group, told us that it was “still worth it” even though the water levels are at a historical low. They had tons of fun and enjoyed rafting in our two person mini-rafts, commenting that they allowed a more hands-on experience, and really let the rafter use their own “power” to control the boat.

kayaking kern river

The day was a success and SoCal Rafting was glad to have had the opportunity to host this event. All of the burn survivors, their family, and volunteers had a blast out on the river, and we're all looking forward to next year! No matter the day or the conditions, it is always a way to bring laughter and memorable times to spend a day out on the Kern River.

The Zorb and Drone Beginnings

April 2016

One of our popular low-water activities that you don't see anywhere else on the Kern is the Zorb Ball. At the end of a inner tubing tour, guests can take a ride on the "Human Hamster Wheel" and challenge their balance capabilities.

zorb ball

At the end of March 2016, we had the opportunity to have a drone take footage of a family river trip. Thanks to one of our awesome guests, who took the video for us! Here began our inspiration for having our own drone. We've posted loads of footage on our YouTube page and you can look forward to even more soon.

Big Water Year 2017

We hit the ground running this year. With higher water flows than we've seen on the Kern in many years, it was a very exciting season for white water rafting. And we are happy to say that we safely sent over 8,000 people down the river. That's a lot of happy faces and memories made!

This year we also had a fun time taking drone videos for our guests! You can look forward to seeing more videos in for the 2019 season.

Get ready for an awesome 2019 season y'all!

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