The water travels at different speeds along the length of the Niagara River. South of the Falls where the river is wide and slow, the maximum speed is about 40km/h. Near the brink of the Falls, a speed of 109 km/h has been recorded. As the water travels through the Whirlpool Rapids at White Water Walk, it is traveling at about 48km/hr or 30mph, creating the Whirlpool Rapids - "Class 6 white-water rapids". Rivers are rated on a scale of 1 to 6 in eastern North America, and 1 to 10 in western North America. The Colorado River is the benchmark for white-water, where some sections are Class 5 and 6 and the flow is 60,000cfs. White Water Rapids - Class Definitions Class 1: Little to no current. Small waves with no obstacles. Class 2: More current than Class 1 with bigger waves, but no major obstacles. Class 3: Rapids are longer and more turbulent. Bigger waves, holes and stronger currents than Class 2. Generally considered intermediate. Proper guide training is a prerequisite for safe navigation of Class 3 and above. Class 4: Steeper, longer and containing more obstructions than Class 3. Multiple obstacles to maneuver around. Trained guide is necessary. Class 5: Strong currents and big waves. Several boulders and holes. Has a greater potential to hold and flip boats. Class 6: Extremely difficult to successfully maneuver due to significantly steeper vertical drops and boulders. Usually considered unrunnable.
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