RVA Paddlesports
River Rafting & Tubing • Gear Rentals • Kayaking & Canoeing
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8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
About
Based on the James River, we offer river experience for all ages! Tackle the Class III/IV rapids of the James River right in the heart of down town. Experience the calm of the tidal James on a flat water kayaking tour at Deep Bottom. Learn to whitewater kayak and progress from beginner to advanced on the Falls of the James. Whether you are a seasoned river goer or first timer we are there to provide the challenge and share the stoke! Founded in 2014 by local whitewater paddlers RVA Paddlesports brings professionalism and decades of expertise to every trip. We provide accommodation for all interested so please call if you have any specific needs. See you on the river!
Richmond, Virginia

Awards
Travelers' Choice
2022

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RVA Paddlesports
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Travelers talk about
(13 reviews)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
355 reviews
Excellent
337
Very good
15
Average
0
Poor
2
Terrible
1

DB
1 contribution
Sep 2022
This was our 2nd White Water Rafting trip down the James RIver with RVA Paddlesports and it was just as much fun as our 1st trip! We were surprised that the experience was a little different - each guide has their own unique way of showing/explaining the river and the rapids were different as well depending on the time of year you go, which was awesome! We'll probably go again because we loved it so much!

Both guides made us feel safe and expertly guided us down the rapids... we were even able to "surf" the waves, which was another great experience. I must say the pineapple they serve on the mid-way break is very tasty as well! High recommend this company and adventure!
Written September 5, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jessica R
1 contribution
May 2021
I signed up for the two-day Intro to Whitewater Kayaking Class with Jeff as my instructor. Initially, I had flatwater kayaking experience (from years ago), and getting out in the water felt great! The view of RVA, the cute baby geese, the weather, and the water was all great. I apparently do not have great balance, so I did flip over several times, but I never doubted Jeff's ability to keep me safe if I flipped, got stuck, hit a rock, etc. He makes a casual and comfortable environment to be able to learn and constantly encouraged me to keep going and keep paddling (almost like a life coach on water). Jeff continuously made sure I was okay and checked my equipment was working for me. He answered any question I had about kayaking with expertise!
I recommend anyone interested in whitewater kayaking, to give it a shot because it is quite amazing! (even the falls!)
Written May 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tammy
5 contributions
Aug 2022
I only gave 4 stars because we really only had one good rapid. It was a good beginning for white water rafting. All good review goes to Josh whom was very good on explaining everything and shared history and information about the area, and very good at white water rafting and steering the boat. The river just is what it is, they cannot change that. It might be better with higher water. Was really looking for similar rapids of the gorge in West Virginia. We still had a great time though.
Written August 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

GalaxySalt
Henrico, VA15 contributions
Aug 2022
We had a great couple hours with our guide Rachel who steered us through the rapids and brought us to some swimming holes and a rope swing. It's unique, or at least unusual, to have white water rafting through the middle of a city. It's a mixture of city and nature- skyscrapers in the background, Richmonders enjoying the river here and there, and then herons and cormorants. We really appreciated the stops too- there aren't a huge number of rapids, so being able to swim and play in the river in other ways really made for a wonderful afternoon. Rachel and the other guides were fun, making sure we had a good time.
Written August 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WobblOn
Chester, VA11 contributions
Sep 2022
I and - at my urging - 4 friends signed up for the Atlantic Sturgeon Flatwater Kayak tour. My friends and I were unanimous that: (1) it was a gorgeous day; (2) we got to see "flying" sturgeon as advertised; and (3) we thoroughly enjoyed this UNIQUE trip.
Shout out to our guide, Julia T, who treated us as welcome guests in her home. She answered all of our questions and checked in appropriately on our needs throughout the trip. Though the window is small for this excursion as it is in sync with spawning season, I recommend this trip for future Septembers or other James River flatwater trips overall.
Written September 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

628carolineh
Harima-cho, Japan27 contributions
Oct 2022
Our entire family went ! We had a beautiful day. the guide was extremely skilled and made us all feel comfortable. We were in a raft with two people we didn't know, but we worked together really well . the entire adventure was fantastic! I highly recommend this experience with Paddlesport RVA!
Written October 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

James Randall
Wilmington, NC1 contribution
Sep 2021 • Couples
The staff is amazing all around! Mike was our guide and he made sure the trip was the best adventure it could be. Our group was mostly beginners and he had us feeling like experts cascading through the class IV rapids of the lower James! The photos taken of our group came out fantastic, they caught us perfectly in the middle of the action. I’d recommend RVA Paddlesports whole heartedly! We will definitely be back and we are for sure requesting Mike!
Written September 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michaele B
1 contribution
Jun 2022
White water rafting with RVA Paddlesports exceeded our expectations. Our guide was super knowledgeable and full of fun facts about the Richmond area. They took lots of great pictures of our trip as well. We were very happy that they captured so many great moments on the water.
Written June 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lauren B
2 contributions
Jul 2021 • Family
We did the sunset whitewater rafting tour. Overall the tour would have been fun, but the guide we were paired with was a very serious and grumpy gentleman. We all were very nervous and had a younger kid with us; we felt like we got very unclear instructions most of the time. We asked him to speak up because we couldn’t hear. The river was low so we got stuck a lot, which was obviously fine but he kept complaining about how he had to drag us off the rocks. Then we got in several tricky spots and after he would just yell at us that we didn’t do it right.

We had several members get dumped on the first drop and while we are trying to pull people in and collect people he yelled at us about how we weren’t doing it right and let go of a paddle. Sorry but when your family members are under a boat or wedged against a rock, the paddle is the least of my concerns! They even said that in the safety briefing!

We also got lectured on the break that those that fell out should have swam instead of waiting to get picked up and then he looked at our kid and said oh I hope you don’t give me COVID because I haven’t had my shots. First off, if you’re 70 and unvaccinated that’s on you - a 9 year old isn’t even eligible.

Overall it was not a fun experience, but the river was cool and the jumping off the rock was cool. I think if we had a different guide who gave clearer instructions it might have been different.

Our group was mid 20s, 30s and a kid.
Written July 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Lauren I appreciate you taking the time to share your experiences on our rafting trip last week. We have a large team of guides and appreciate the opportunity to take feedback so that we can continually improve for future experiences. Rafting can be a difficult activity and it is important for clients to have trust and confidence in their guides. Like wise when unexpected events happen it is important for guides to handle the situations professionally and make sure everyone comes through on the other side with smiles. If this was not the experience you had please reach out and we would be happy to show you down again with another team member.
Written July 27, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jennifer M
1 contribution
Aug 2022 • Family
We rated the lower and upper hand river and had an amazing time. The staff was very professional and friendly. They were on time and very easy to work with. Our guide was Kellen and he was amazing! He was great with the kids... they are now hooked on white water rafting!
Written August 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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RVA Paddlesports (Richmond) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go