After dangerous river conditions spurred by above-normal snowfall this past winter threatened to defer, and even cancel float season, Boise is still abuzz over the June 29 debut!

College Air Mattress or River-Worthy Water Vessel?

Boiseans are thrilled. We're back on the Boise River traversing the one-of-a-kind six-mile journey from Barber Park to Ann Morrison Park on four-man river rafts, flamingo floaties, and our college air mattresses.

That's right, air mattresses. Despite the plethora of flotation devices available to recreators today, some locals prefer floating on a blow-up bed made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), textile-reinforced urethane plastic, or rubber. Cool. But why?

Cheap Thrills

In short, air mattresses offer cheap thrills! Compared to base model river rafts, kayaks, and paddle boards that can range from $90 to $1,200 at Big Five Sporting Goods, floaters can spend as little as $35 on a queen-size air mattress on Amazon.

Is It Safe to Float the River on an Air Mattress?

We've established they're cheap, but are they safe? According to The Outdoor Goal, inflatable beds are dangerous alternatives to legitimate water vessels if you don't know what you're doing. For starters, air mattresses pose a major tip hazard. Yikes! Flipping a mattress is hard enough on two feet in your own bedroom. Imagine how difficult it would be to try and flip one in rushing water that ranges from 12" to 8' deep!

The Outdoor Goal also notes the use of an air mattress in a controlled setting like a large swimming pool or a water park is a far cry from facing the elements on open or moving bodies of water. Currents, wind flow, river obstacles like trees, rocks, and boulders, as well as the angle of the air mattress ultimately determine the success of your voyage. To that end, it seems safety is in the eye of the floater.

12 Tips For Floating The Boise River

Float season is officially open. Here are some tips listeners gave us to ensure you have a fun and safe float season!

4 Things You CAN'T Do While Floating The Boise River

There are good times to be had during float long as you avoid these pitfalls.
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