"All Back"-- Any experienced river runner knows this phrase. The river equivalent of slamming on your brakes and skidding to a stop, these words are uttered whenever the guide has made a bad call. The oldest raft in Adventures in Whitewater's fleet has this name boldly written on its side- "ALL BACK".
The Riken- a 1991 13 foot self bailing raft, is AW's most seasoned raft. The legend is that it has been down the Colorado river from Byers Canyon all the way through the Grand Canyon. With bomber construction of double layer hypalon, over 11 foot cups, and a patented flip-proof construction, the Riken is the raft of choice for any AW guide. Sure it might weigh fifty pounds more than any of our other rafts, but that's a small price to pay for the ability to take a legend down the river.
I once took out a commercial trip with the ALL BACK- on the shuttle drive down to the river, I was explaining to our guests how lucky they were to be able to raft in such a piece of history. I'm sure they were thinking that it was just another river guide tall tale. At the put-in, though, a single kayaker paddled out of Gore Canyon and eddied out. He got out of his kayak and approached us- he asked "Where did you get the ALL BACK?", mentioning that it was taken on a Grand Canyon trip with him in 2003. Needless to say, I'm sure the guests realized just how venerable of a raft they were about to get to go down the river on.
To this day, AW still uses the ALL BACK from time to time- usually when we are very busy, or when one of our guides wants to take out a working piece of AW history. Also, it is a favorite for use during play trips- I took the ALL BACK down Westwater canyon this year- continuing the 23 year streak of being unflippable!