Waves (AKA: Haystacks, Wave Trains) - A wave is caused by a constriction in the river and a drop over a ledge. Waves are for the most part quite safe. Reactionary waves are caused by the river ricocheting off the side of the river. A great technique in large waves is to maintain a steady paddling cadence and boat scout at the top of the wave. For the most part, the easiest ride is perpendicular to the wave front. Here is an example of a wave from the New River Gorge.
Waves are generally a great deal of fun. When running wave trains, maintain your speed downriver and scout at the wave tops. It is really easy to make turns at wave tops since the ends of your boat are out of the water. Look for major obstructions like rooster tails and holes so you can easily avoid them. Here is a video of a canoe running Hermit Rapids on the Grand Canyon, a really famous wave train rapid: Hermit Rapid in a Canoe.