White Water Rfating equipment is a huge term to cover, so I will talk about the basics for a guide and basic customer.
The first and most important piece if kit is a bouyancy aid. Fot a guide they vary greatly, the basics needed are the correct amount of bouyancy for you weight, for this you must check the lable, or contact the supplier for top advice. Don't rush into buying a BA for the price, we are all after bargains, but a bargain on your life? Most price between £60 and £120. I wear a Yak Descent, not the most practical rafting BA, but it is versitile and allows for free movement, especially when kayaking. Shop around, buy what suits you, not what looks good and is cheap!!
Customers need not worry about BA's, all good rafting companies supply BA's, all of which have better Bouyancy than the professianl vests, simply, if a customer falls in, what better thing to do than float? Yes they do restrict your movement, look stupid and clash with your skin coulour, but, a day or two day trip, you will need one. Remember everyone on the raft will wear one, the guide will look better, but he/she is paid to look good!!
A guide will need more than basic clothing, a season in just a wet suit will be a bad experience. Invest in a good dry op and dry pants. Available form many specialist shops and online, they are not expensive and will last several seasons of daily use!! Palm make very good hard wearing kit, if you kayak, palm a perfect. For colder climate, invest in good thermals, sevarl pairs for comfort, change each day, allow otehrs to dry out. If you can get hold of a dry suit on your budget, great. Palm Equipment to very good dry suits, I wear a stikine, its orange but its warm!! They have sevaral other options, but remember, each day you use it, you give it a hard work out, hard wearing comes at a price!!
Shorts and T shirts, bargain, go to a warm rafting area, who needs all that expensive gear, get a helmet and BA!! Helmets are a must have. Flat water?? No, deep water?? yes!! Rough shallow white water?? No question!!
Helmets are a must have, wear them or not, I always do!! Your head is the most important tool for everything, don't think that its just water, there is alot more to it. If you ask me, don't even think about it, just buy one!! Pro-tec offer best value for money, if you can affort it get a sweet protection helmet.
Customer, all equipment will be there for you, if you have your own wet suit, take it!! check out company policy first, chack what they do and the grade of river, and temperature. If they offer little advice, leave them alone!! If they are helpful, look professional and offer a great day out, take it, you will live every minute!!