Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Rubber Raft

Apparently it's a big thing during the summer in Boise to float down the Boise River in an inner tube, or rubber raft.  Justin and I live very close to the river, and every time we're down there we inevitably see a several groups of people bobbing past us, who look like they're having the time of their lives.  So naturally I would also like to float this river.  We talked it over and decided that it would be most fun if we purchased a two person raft and went down the river in that fashion. 

While Justin was at work, I made it my job to secure us a raft.  Unfortunately this activity is so popular that every store in town jacks their prices up on all their flotation devices to the point that after trekking all over town to a variety of stores I still just couldn't bring myself to make the purchase.  So of course I turned to my next best option, Amazon.  Amazon never fails me.  I was not disappointed.  I found a 2-man raft for a mere $20, which included oars and a pump.  This is a deal that could not be equaled in the stores.  I just made one little error.  I was so excited by this find that I failed to read the reviews.  I usually ALWAYS read the reviews, but this time I went brain dead and just started clicking away until my purchase was finalized and I was confident that our raft would be enroute shortly. 

Our raft arrived on time, as scheduled and we immediately tore open the Amazon box, to reveal our raft enclosed in a box that left one with the distinct impression that this is a child's pool toy.  However, it did clearly state on the box that it was a two-man raft, and the picture did depict two people in the raft.  One a grown adult man (who we now believe to be a midget) and the other a teenage boy (also a midget).  So we determined that we should pump up our raft in order to fully assess the situation.  As we were preparing to begin the pumping we noticed the weight limit printed across the back of the raft in huge block letters 210 lbs.  I kept looking at it hoping that I was somehow reading it wrong, or that the math in my head was wrong and that Justin and I together were about...oh, 100 lbs lighter than I suspected.  He reassured me that my eyesight wasn't failing me, and my math was unfortunately not wrong.

On the bright side the raft did look large enough that we thought that we might both be able to cram ourselves in there anyway, so we continued pumping it up.  I won't say that it was comfortable, but fully inflated we were both able to squash ourselves into the raft, and sitting inside this tiny boat in our living room we were actually quite pleased with it's sturdy appearance.  However, Justin insisted that before we launch off into the river that we should test it out in his parent's pool, just to make sure our total disregard for the weight limit wasn't going to leave us dragging along the river's bottom surrounded in the shredded bits of our kiddie raft.

So we did.  Here are some pictures of Justin paddling around in his parent's backyard pool:

After snapping these pictures I also boarded our watercraft, and we were quite pleased with how well it handled the extra weight, but as Justin had feared, we had quite a bit of drag on the bottom and finally determined that if we want to float the Boise river in this raft one of us will have to be towed along behind in an inner tube, or we'll have to invest in a second raft.  I think we're leaning towards purchasing a second identical raft.  Hopefully I've learned my lesson about reading reviews.  When I finally did go back and read the reviews I discovered that I was far from the first person to make this error, which did make me feel slightly less idiotic about buying our new pool toy.  On the upside the raft still got rave reviews.


Annette said...

Devon and I learned the hard way, that for steering purposes, it is definitely better to go down a river in two separate rafts! Oh, and I would not be a responsible commenter if I didn't complement Justin on his awesome farmer tan!!

Shaine Athey said...

This is the funniest thing I've read in a long time. Love the determined look on Justin's face as he makes sure the raft is river-worthy.