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White-water rafting is for sissies. Or so say devotees of the latest freshwater craze, river sledging, which does away with the rubbery craft altogether. Instead you dive head first into the rapids, with only a helmet, flippers and hydroboard (a high-flotation riverboard) to protect you. In quieter stretches it's easy to feel at-one with the current; in wilder rapids, it's an exhilarating challenge to stay in control through drenching after drenching.
River sledging is most popular in New Zealand, with operators based near Queenstown, Wanaka and Rotorua; some companies in the US also offer trips.