The federation, headed by Lee Porter, was created in 1997 due to the need and the demand for an official organism which could represent and unite the communities in the world of rafting.
The first IRF competition took place in Costa Rica in 1998; from that point, the basic regulations of the competition were set.
In addition to this role, the IRF is at the forefront of river safety with courses and certifications for guides.
It also tries to find solutions for the requirements of those practising/offering the sport and who take into account ethical and environmental values.
Rafting can be considered a sports and recreational activity carried out all over the world through tourist inbound operators and clubs.