Rafting and kayaking are the kind of water sports, usually on the river, where a group of people travel down the river rapids, overfalls and gorges in rubber or plastic boat, with the aim of excitement, adventure and socializing.
Rafting and Kayaking, although belong to the group of extreme sports, especially the aspect of sports recreation.
Boats for these sports are made of extremely resistant multi-layer rubber and have a number of separate air chambers, or are made of plastic. The length of the vessel is between 3 and 6 meters. In most cases the raft (a boat for rafting) has pilot (skipper), who sits on the stern and with rudder or, more often, a paddle, manages a raft through river rapids, while passengers in a kayak do all the paddling and operate the boat on their own.
Every passenger in a vessel is equipped with a paddle, protective floating vest and helmet. Precise instructions are given to beginners, usually tourists, and to these instructions every passanger must be stick to during the descent down the river.
Water areas for overcome (in most cases rivers), are classified according to the severity of maneuvering, in six categories. From quite peaceful flow (1st category), to very demanding, with huge toppings and dangerous rocks and rapids, which require a lot of skill to maneuver and experience (Category 6). Tourists in most cases take part in the waters up to category 3, sometimes category 4, while the last two are used by professional rafters and kayakers.
In the area of Međimurje there are conditions for practicing these sports,on the rivers Mura and Drava, and particularly on the old course of the river Drava.
In recent years, a few travel agencies organized a rafting or kayaking down the river Mura, during which passes along the border region of Hungary and Croatia, and on several occasions trips started in Austria, and finished in the lower part of Međimurje.
Rafting and kayaking on river Drava is more marginalized because of hydro-accumulation lakes, but have the same great nautical potential. In recent years some clubs are established which are oriented to water sports as well as cultural heritage connected to the river Drava (gold diggers), and gravitate to mentioned lakes and the Drava river, particularly the old course of the river.
The old course of the river Drava, which now serves as a control discharge of ballast water for these hydro-reservoirs, has became a part of pristine nature, due to the unavailability of approach and hides many interesting facts from the world of flora and fauna, which are worth seeing, and occasionally visited by only a few enthusiasts .
Medjimurje so far has not been promoted as an area suitable for water sports, which definitely deserves to be, because it is composed of approx. 2,200 hectares of water surface. Rivers Mura and Drava, hydro-reservoir lakes and untouched nature of the old course of the river Drava, are huge tourism potential which waits to be exploited.