White-water rafting is definitely a team effort--that's why understanding the basics of paddling are so important. If everyone in the raft gives it their all, it's much easier to guide the raft down the river and through the rapids.
Once you're in the raft, sit facing downriver with your back to the bow -back of the raft-. Hold the paddle with your inside hand -the hand farthest away from the paddle- on top and your outside hand, knuckles facing out, gripping the paddle low on the stern. Lean forward from your hips, straighten your arms out in front of you, and keep your back straight. Straighten your wrists and put the paddle into the water—make sure the blade is completely under the surface of the water. Straighten your top arm while pulling back the paddle with your lower arm guiding the paddle. Reverse this motion to back paddle. If you want to turn the raft right, the right side of your rafting team needs to paddle backward while the left side paddles forward. The same goes for turning left except the members on the left side of the raft need to paddle backward and the right side forward.
Rafting is all about communicating and working as a team!