So you’ve decided to add a jet boat tour to your Hells Canyon vacation fun this year! We at River Adventures are known for exciting tours down the Snake River in our state-of-the-art jet boat. Visitors of all ages have fun learning about the natural history of the area, punctuated by the occasional splash of river water. In fact, many people enjoy our tours so much that they come back year after year.

However, we also know that some adventures can induce anxiety at first. Plenty of young ones are hesitant to try new experiences because the unknown is scary. Before you and your family board our jet boat for your Hells Canyon boat tour, get your kids ready for a new adventure by warming them up to it slowly. Ensure that all the young ones on your trip feel safe and comfortable before setting off.

Gauge Their Comfort Levels

Every child is different, with a set of skills, dreams, interests, and fears that makes them unique. Of your three kids, one could be bouncing off the walls with excitement, one could be interested but hesitant, and one could be completely terrified. Be mindful of each child’s feelings, and resist the temptation to treat all your kids in the exact same way.

Before you and your family approach our jet boat for your tour, spend some time walking around Hells Canyon, near the waters of the Snake River. How comfortable are your kids by the river? If any of them are petrified to even go near it, it may be some time before they feel secure on a boat.

Abject terror isn’t the only reaction to watch out for, either. Is one of your kids too curious or comfortable heading into the water? Safety should always be your number-one concern.

Review Water Safety

If your kids have been on a boat before, they’re probably familiar with buckling into their life jackets—that’s a good thing! Our jet boat is equipped with U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, and all children under the age of 12 are required to wear them.

Try rehearsing for your boat tour by stepping onto a slower vessel, if possible. Go fishing or spend some time with a friend who owns a pontoon boat. Stress the importance of the right gear, like life jackets and non-slip shoes.

If you can’t get to a boat yourself, sit by the river and watch other folks on their boats. Emphasize to your kids that if they prioritize their safety and maintain a calm attitude, they’ll have a great time on the boat tour. You may even see our jet boat gliding down the Snake River!

Do your kids know how to swim? They should! If they know what to do while in the water, stepping onto a boat will seem like a piece of cake in comparison.

Learn About Jet Boats

Our talented tour guides will give you unique information about our state-of-the-art jet boat while on your tour, but why not learn more about them beforehand?

Jet boats provide a very different ride than a pontoon or fishing vessel. They utilize Newton’s Third Law of Motion: for every action (pushing a stream of water out of the back of the boat), there is an equal and opposite reaction (forward motion)!

To prevent your kids from being too surprised at how fast the jet boat goes, watch videos online of jet boats in motion to learn how the propulsion works. River Adventures’s custom-built jet boat is bigger than most at 36 feet long with three jet driving engines.

Throughout the entire preparation process, keep an eye on how your kids react to new stimuli. If one of your kids is still anxious or scared when learning about jet boats, start brainstorming alternate entertainment options for them; a terrified young passenger does no favors for the group once the tour gets started.

Plan Out the Day

Leading up to the day of your big jet boat tour, check the weather forecast and start planning your and your kids’ outfits. If it’s going to be a little chilly out, bring along light, waterproof jackets like raincoats. If the forecast calls for lots of heat and humidity, dress accordingly—and don’t forget the sunscreen!

You and your kids will get wet on the best Hells Canyon jet boat tour around! There is an undeniable splash factor when riding a jet boat, so dress for the occasion. Many passengers opt for swimwear with light layers on top for modesty and adaptability. As for shoes, slip on a pair of waterproof sandals and skip the socks.

Have other, more relaxing activities planned on the day of your big jet boat tour—make the tour the highlight of your day, and spend the rest of the time unwinding. Your kids will likely get a big adrenaline rush from riding that speedy jet boat around the river!

Don’t board the jet boat hungry, but avoid boarding directly after lunch if you’re worried about motion sickness. Have the kids eat a filling, protein-rich snack about half an hour before your tour begins.

If any of the kids are still highly anxious and scared about the trip, have somebody else in your party stay behind with them. Maybe while you and the more adventurous kids are on the jet boat tour, a partner or other adult family member can take them on a gentle hike. Avoid making them feel like they’re “missing out”—catch up with them later and exchange stories about the day’s activities!

A jet boat tour with River Adventures is a perfect way to enjoy the majesty of Hells Canyon with your family and friends. Our custom-built boat will glide up and down the Snake River as our seasoned tour guides give you an insider look at the history of the area.

New and exciting experiences are essential to every child’s development, but make sure they know what they’re getting into when they board the boat. Prepare your kids for their Hells Canyon boat tour by emphasizing safety above all else.

How To Prepare Your Kids for a Hells Canyon Boat Tour