771 River Rafting

Mark talks about a wild water ride he took during his stay in New Zealand.

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Todd: So, Mark you said that you do crazy things when you travel. Can you give an example?

Mark: Yeah, one of the best things that I did was white water rafting in New Zealand. We actually rafted down the highest commercially rafted water fall in the world, I was told at that time.

Todd: What does that mean, the highest commercial waterfall?

Mark: Well, I think it's the one that's can only be taken by tour groups because it's safe. If it's any higher then that one, then it's deemed unsafe and they wouldn't be able to take tour groups rafting. You'd have to be a professional rafter.

Todd: So you go over the top?

Mark: We went straight over the top, yeah. It was crazy. And I was sat right at the back of the raft and they called this the ejector seat.

Todd: Right.

Mark: But actually, everybody was thrown out of the raft, but they give you some instructions before you can go and you are thrown down into the waterfall and the instructor's basically tell you curl up into a ball and if you curl up into a ball the waterfall actually spits you out, shoots you back out the top.

Todd: Oh, cool.

Mark: Yeah. So I did, and it worked. I was happy.

Todd: So did you camp over night or was it just a one day event?

Mark: No, this was just a one day, just to do that one waterfall. We wanted to do the highest one.

Todd: Right.

Mark: But I would like to go on - I think in Europe, especially, if you go to a place like Turkiye, Spain, you can do like four and five day raft trips, where you camp as well at the side. I'd like to do that.

Todd: Oh, that sounds nice.

Mark: Yeah.

Todd: Yeah, in the States it's quite popular along the Colorado River.

Mark: Right.

Todd: Don't you need like special training, or do you just hop in the boat and go?

Mark: I think it depends on how difficult the river is, so I'm sure there's beginner rivers, where you don't need so much training. Maybe a few hours. For that one that I did, with the waterfall, the lecture they gave us was about 25 minutes before we started.

Todd: What about your country? What about England?

Mark: Not so many places to go white water rafting, because I don't think the rivers are big enough, or wide enough. There's some good places for canoeing, or kayaking. I know we have the national kayak center in Nottingham, England, which is pretty good. Yeah, but not so much for rafting.

Todd: OK, thanks Mark.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson


We actually rafted down the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world.

'Commercially' refers to the fact that people pay to raft down this waterfall. It is used as a way to make money.

Notice the following:

  1. The hotel is very nice, and commercially, it is a big success.
  2. I think the way that they have made everything so commercially centered these days is such a shame.

it's deemed unsafe

If it's any higher than that one, then it's deemed unsafe and they wouldn't be able to take tour groups rafting.

When something is 'deemed unsafe' it means that it is decided to be dangerous.

Notice the following:

  1. The house was deemed unsafe, so we had to move out.
  2. Food that has not been cooked properly is deemed unsafe for human consumption.

the ejector seat

I was sat right at the back of the raft and they called this the ejector seat.

The 'ejector seat,' in this instance, refers to the seat at the back of a boat that makes people rise and fall in their seat due to the bumpy ride.

Notice the following:

  1. I always try and avoid the ejector seats in boats, as I like to have a smooth journey.
  2. The instructor laughed when he told me that I was going to be sitting in the ejector seat of the raft.

curl up

The instructors basically tell you to curl up into a ball.

When you 'curl up,' it means that you bring your knees into your body, put your arms around them, and try to make yourself as small as you can.

Notice the following:

  1. When it's I cold, I like to curl up in bed.
  2. I curled up into a ball, and I fell asleep.

spits you out

The waterfall actually spits you out, shoots you back out the top.

When something 'spits you out,' it means that it propels you away from where you were. Example, when you are chewing gum and you don't want it anymore, you spit it out.

Notice the following:

  1. The water chute spits you out at the end into a deep swimming pool, and it is really good fun.
  2. I like water rides that spit you out into a large amount of water at the end.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
commercially • deemed • ejector
curl up • spits you out
  1. The ride is more exciting if you sit in the seat.
  2. I don't sell these hats . I just make them for my friends.
  3. You float down the river for about an hour, and then it into a lake.
  4. My cat likes to at the bottom of my bed.
  5. That beauty product was actually unsafe after it burned some people's skin.