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Supported by Royal Navy

Rafting relays

It’s time to put the raft you built to the test. Which team will complete the challenge and get back first?

You will need

  • Raft-building equipment
  • Relay specific equipment (see instructions)

Before you begin

  • This activity’s designed for when you’re spending time on the water. It was created for traditional rafting, but you could adapt it for other flatwater adventures.
  • You’ll need to finish making your traditional raft first, then use this activity to have fun putting it to the test. Make sure everyone’s rafts are secure before you get stuck into the relays – it’s much less fun if they fall to pieces straight away.
  • We’ve included a few different options – if you’re using a puzzle or riddle, make sure the people leading the activity know the solution so they can offer helpful hints if teams get stuck.

Inspired relays

  • A relay is just a race between teams where people take it in turns to cover parts of the total distance. You can go back and forth across the same area: teams go from the start line to an agreed marker, then turn around and head back to the start line to tag a team mate in.
  • You don’t even have to tag team members in. If everyone in each team fits on the raft to begin with, you can play without swapping who’s on board.


This activity was all about being active. How were the races different from other relay races people may have done before? People might think about how moving on a raft is slower, or how the team had to work together every step (or paddle) of the way, rather than taking it in turns to go it alone.

Succeeding in the relays also needed people to be team players. How did people make decisions and communicate with each other? How did they decide who would sit where? People may have considered everyone’s skills to help them position themselves on the raft.


All activities must be safely managed. Use the safety checklist to help you plan and risk assess your activity. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.

Water games and activities

Be careful when doing activities with, in, or near water. Check surfaces and reduce the risk of slipping where possible. Make sure you have appropriate supervision for this activity.