Outdoors

Whitewater and white knuckles: Jet boaters take on big Idaho rapids, high water

Watch jet boaters take on serious rapids on this Idaho river

Outdoor Idaho host and executive producer Bruce Reichert captured this video of jet boaters taking on the Payette River's Staircase Rapid run in high water.
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Outdoor Idaho host and executive producer Bruce Reichert captured this video of jet boaters taking on the Payette River's Staircase Rapid run in high water.

The rapids on the South Fork of the Payette River were huge on Friday — and the video that Outdoor Idaho posted to its Facebook page was just as big.

Thanks to wet weather, the river is flowing high and fast. (Sound familiar?) That spells fun for adventurous jet boaters, like the ones that Outdoor Idaho host and executive producer Bruce Reichert caught on camera.

The boaters were taking on the Payette’s Staircase run, a class IV set of rapids that goes from Deer Creek Ramp to Banks. Their boats slam through big waves, dipping down into the water and rocking from side to side as they head down the river. By Saturday afternoon, the video had been shared more than 2,500 times and watched more than 215,000 times.

“I happened to catch these boats yesterday as they came through. At this flow, none of the big rocks that make Staircase so tricky for rafters are showing,” Reichert wrote on Facebook.

That entire stretch of the river is popular with rafters, and the American Whitewater Organization on its website said Staircase is increasingly becoming a favorite of jet boaters and jet skiers, particularly when flows are as high as they currently are.

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