i've recently had problems choosing what boat to paddle (i own several). i
have two playboats (x and 007) and two creek boats (wavesport descente, and
i paddle the x and 007 on the nolichucky, ocoee, nantahala, clear creek, big
south fork, lower gauley. the problem is that maybe three times a year i get
the chance to paddle something a little steeper (little river in the smokies or
i spend over 90% of my paddling time in playboats so i'm really starting to
feel uncomfortable in anything else.
on dec 26 i paddled the little river in my x and had no problems. i was
comfortable and confident yet in the back of my mind i knew that if i did
happen to pin vertically i would not be able to escape the x (i'm 6'1" and
yesterday i paddled the watauga and pulled out the trusty WS descente(that i
had not paddled since spring. only to find that i missed lines all day that i
know i would have nailed in my x or 007. i really missed having a flat bottom
and sharp edges. since i was not used to the boat i ended up in several bad
spots that i luckily escaped (thanks to the high volume and forgiving shape of
my creek boat). i also hit a few submerged rocks that may have pinned me had i
been in one of my play boats.i know i could not escape my x or 007 in a bad
vertical pin. towards the end of the run i finally started getting comfortable
with my creek boat which is considerably longer than any of my other boats but
i know the next time i pull it out i'll be rusty again and probably repeat the
it seems i can go with a "safe" creek boat that i haven't paddled in ages or go
with a "dangerous" short playboat that i'm confident with and paddle often. i
truly would like to pick the safest option. but i just can't decide which is
any comments or suggestions would be great,
Afyter paddling a Y and a Kix, I thought I had gotten used to smaller
boats as well. I was sure I could roll both up without a paddle, I also
was sure I couldn't get out when I would have gotten in tough situations
(It took me two-handed pulls to get my spray-deck off and I couldn't get
out of the boat by pulling my knees up, thanks to being 6'8" and having
this *&^% foam pillar in between my legs).
After getting back in my faithfull Diablo yesterday, I realised how
squeemishly claustrophobic I felt in the other boats. It did take me some
time to get used to paddling a "longer" 3 m/10ft boat, having gotten used
to the shorter boats during my stay in the U.S., but after a while I
nailed my lines again and I sure felt a lot safer!
I'd go for a longer boat because of the potential to get out in nasty
situations, but I think there is something to say for the shorter boats
being able to keep you from getting into some nasty spots as well (I still
intend to buy a new short playboat soon...). I'm not sure what I'll think
in a year, but right now, I'd rather have a boat from which I can escape
Wilko van den Bergh
quibus(at)worldonline(dot)nl AOL-users please use Wilko(at)dse(dot)nl
Sociology Student at Tilburg University, The Netherlands, Europe
Whitewater Kayaker, Addicted Paddlers Anonymous, AD&D Dungeon Master
No man is wise enough, nor good enough
to be trusted with unlimited power.
Kevin22 wrote in message <19990104214019...@ng122.aol.com>...
I would say that most of the recent deaths have been in playboats, because
that is what most people are paddling. Those people chose what river to run,
which drops to scout or carry, and what equipment to use. Did they make a
poor decision somewhere? In some cases, yes, but it all comes down to the
I have given the boat choice issue a lot of thought, myself. I'm about your
size (6'3", 200 lbs) and paddled an X almost exclusively from about April to
November last year, including quite a bit of South-East Class V. When I
first got into a Y, I could tell imediately that it would be a lot safer, but
I had a harder time hitting my lines initially due to the differences in the
way it handles. After several days of paddling, I'm a lot more comfortable
in it. Even the Y might be considered a playboat, and some would prefer
something like a Rockit or Micro 240. Although the rodeo boat is a lot more
fun when we get to a playspot, I think that if we are going to be running
more challenging (or more dangerous) water, we need to make the commitment to
spend more time in our more forgiving boats. That way we have another
option, rather than being stuck in the rodeo boat because that is all we're
For heavier guys, boat choice is even more of an issue. A padler who is 50
pounds heavier will have more water over the ends of the boat, and will go a
lot deeper over drops. Rodeo boats are getting more and more speciallized and
this adds to the challenge downriver. The extra challenge is fun on stuff you
can run safely, so I will continue to use my rodeo boat most of the time, but
I've been spending enough time in the Y now to know that I will be comfortable
in it on harder stuff.
You might prefer a shorter "creekier" boat that still has some play in it
over the Descente; I'd recommend you try the Y, Micro 240, Phat, maybe the
new Necky and others.
-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
http://www.dejanews.com/ Search, Read, Discuss, or Start Your Own
> i paddle the x and 007 on the nolichucky, ocoee, nantahala, clear creek, big
> south fork, lower gauley. the problem is that maybe three times a year i get
> the chance to paddle something a little steeper (little river in the smokies or
> the watauga).
if you want to be safe on creeks, you should spend more than three days
a year paddling them. there are plenty of creeks near the other runs
that you list - the more you creek, the safer you will be on creeks, and
the more comfortable in your creek boat you will become.
> i spend over 90% of my paddling time in playboats so i'm really starting to
> feel uncomfortable in anything else.
> on dec 26 i paddled the little river in my x and had no problems. i was
> comfortable and confident yet in the back of my mind i knew that if i did
> happen to pin vertically i would not be able to escape the x (i'm 6'1" and
> yesterday i paddled the watauga and pulled out the trusty WS descente(that i
> had not paddled since spring. only to find that i missed lines all day that i
> know i would have nailed in my x or 007. i really missed having a flat bottom
> and sharp edges. since i was not used to the boat i ended up in several bad
> spots that i luckily escaped (thanks to the high volume and forgiving shape of
> my creek boat). i also hit a few submerged rocks that may have pinned me had i
> been in one of my play boats.i know i could not escape my x or 007 in a bad
> vertical pin. towards the end of the run i finally started getting comfortable
> with my creek boat which is considerably longer than any of my other boats but
> i know the next time i pull it out i'll be rusty again and probably repeat the
read what you wrote above again. your creek boat got you out of bad
spots and was forgiving. in your play boat you might have been pinned.
i'd say this is good reason to stick with the creek boat even if it is
less comfortable for you. you could try a different one, though - the
descent is a bit of a cork. i use a 240 - flat bottom, hard edges, but
still all of the safety bonuses of a creek boat. there are several like
this on the market these days - check one out.
> I have given the boat choice issue a lot of thought, myself. I'm about your
> size (6'3", 200 lbs) and paddled an X almost exclusively from about April to
> November last year, including quite a bit of South-East Class V.
This is the biggest issue I have with paddling right now. About two years
ago after having spent eight or nine months exclusively in a whiplash, I took
my full size freefall down Giant Gap (Ca), a run I'd done a number of times
before and had felt was well within my ability. I did not expect to have any
trouble as I was familiar with the run and there were no extenuating circum-
stances (high water, injury, lay-off, etc).
Unfortunately, I spent the whole day blowing lines and being surprised and
frustrated on what I considered fairly simple water. I would set up at the
top of a drop, fully confident that I was on line, and be unhappily surprised
when the boat would not respond as I expected it to when I tried to make my
The dangerous thing is that not only was the feel of the boat different,
something I had expected, but that my time in the whiplash had fundamentally
changed my technique without my realizing it. For instance, I had started to
lock myself into microeddies by sinking the stern of the whiplash into the
eddy current as I caught them. Can't do that in my freefall. The backdeck
speed roll that is so useful in playboating had become my default roll but
was far slower and more difficult in my freefall. These sorts of things
combined for a long, disturbing day that included a swim on a river I had no
intention of swimming.
Like a lot of people, I boat my playboat (now an X) down everything short of
class V (and sometimes that too). After this incident I tried to make myself
increase the time I spent in my creek boat to alleviate the problem but it
was too damn boring. The problem is that I want to boat class 5 but I owe it
to my wife and family not to do it stupidly. I'm 6'2" 225 and there is no
way I'm getting out of a vertically pinned X (it's hard enough on dry land)
but I'm not giving up the fun of class III-IV playboating either.
The Y is a step in the right direction but is still too hard to get out of
(what's up with those thigh hooks?). It's a lot of fun still, yet handles
similarly to my X. I'd love to buy one and get back on class V, but don't
have a spare 1000 bucks right now. Until I do, my boating will be restrained
to those runs where it will take some seriously bad luck to get killed as
opposed to just moderately bad luck. While I wait, I hope some more designers
will take it into their heads to give us a boat that doesn't make the gap
between play and creek boating any bigger. I'm not speaking necessarily of
making a creek boat that's fun to paddle on play rivers but an easily
escapable boat with a reduced likelihood of pinning that uses handling
features as similar as possible to those on rodeo boats. I can get by
without being able to do flat spins and cartwheels on Fordyce as long as I
don't ever have the feeling that I'd be safer in my rodeo boat again.
> I think that if we are going to be running
> more challenging (or more dangerous) water, we need to make the commitment to
> spend more time in our more forgiving boats. That way we have another
> option, rather than being stuck in the rodeo boat because that is all we're
> comfortable in.
Thanks for some good thoughts David.
Well, I'm lucky, since I have an extended loan of a Y from EJ while he is
travelling this winter. I'm (37" inseam) comfy with the bulkhead all the way
forward, the seat all the way back, and the small thighbraces. If that's
still tight, you might want to try the larger (less aggressive) thighbraces.
I have yet to paddle a boat that I could get my legs out of, though. The 240
appears to have a longer cockpit, but I haven't tried it, yet.
-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
I'm looking at the stats on the Y which tell me that it's 8'2", 25" wide, 73
gallons (!) and designed for paddlers between 120-260 lbs.
I'm going to be buying a new boat later this spring. I'm not sure what I
want. I know I'd like to try creeking, but I'm also interested in playing; my
quesion is; how well would the Y play with me (150lbs.)? Would it play any
better than my SPARC? I have no doubts that it'd be good creek boat,
especially as light as I am. How would it handle compared to the SPARC?
Finally, if it's not out already, when will it be available? The other boat
I'm thinking of getting is a Z or an X.
Hope I didn't bombard you with too many questions.
For a lot of people that meant take your playboat.
This year at tallulah, a lot of people that I talked with at the
takeout were telling me they wished they had brought a creeker.
Seems those x-boats don't creek too well.
And now I'm reading that people don't creek but about 5 times a year
on stuff that is hard enough for them to bring the creek boat.
And when they get in the creek boat they are missing lines and
generally getting spanked.
This seems pretty simple to me. If you have not paddled a boat in forever
and are not used to it, A CLASS FIVE CREEK IS NOT THE PLACE TO RELEARN THE
Take the creek boat out a few times on the class 3-4 stuff before the creeks
start running. Get used to its quirks. The lack of edges. The fact that
hole escape will be a little different than in a play boat. Make sure
the outfitting still fits. Make sure the screws are all tight.
Just be used to the boat before you take it down something hard.
Some designers are doing just that...I don't know if the intention of the Y was to
be a creek boat, with playboat charictaristics; but I do know that the intention
of the KIX was just that. Corran has said over and over again that we need to find
a happy median between creek and play boats. I think the KIX is a definate step in
the right direction...I hope more boat designers will only follow his lead with
The more I think about the questions posed by this posting, the more I realize
that there is simply no way to give one answer for these questions.
Kevin, I know how you feel as far as getting back into a bigger, "safer" boat
after being in a playboat. This past fall, I got into a Stubby for the first
time at Tallulah Gorge (thanks again, Kat!). After getting back into my
Freefall LT for the higher-water Sunday run, I felt like a child trying to
learn how to walk all over again. The Stubby, although a hole-magnet, made
it so much easier to make quick angle adjustments, and catch even the
smallest mid-rapis eddies. I guess my mindset in the Stubby was that
avoiding bad spots altogether was a lot easier than ounching through them in
my Freefall LT.
The same goes for lower volume boats. I paddled a 3-D down the Russell Fork
and felt much more comfortable than in my Freefall. I felt more confident
when avoiding hazards, but I also knew my ass would be handed to me if I got
The point where this discussion gets tricky is where we consider that we have
all fuc*&d up on occasion. Which style of boat is best when you blow your
line, go over a pourover sideways, or god-forbid, are forced to take the
wrong channel down a class VI rapid. I lost a good friend and a great
paddler last month when this last situation occured.
The argument is analagous to all of the evening news reports I have been
seeing concerning the danger of sport utilities on the highway. It is an
interesting paradox...They are harder to control (at least mine is), take
longer to stop, frequently have impaired visibility (huge blind spots), and
roll over much more frequently than a car. The paradox lies in the fact that
9 out of 10 of us would rather be in a sport-ute if we knew ahead of time
that we were definitely going to be involved in an accident (the other 1
person is probably an open-boater). Sure, an all-wheel-drive drive Audi A-4
would be hard to beat if you were trying to avoid a potential wreck, but once
you pass that moment of no return in an accident, put me in a Suburban and
God help any tree or guard rail in my path.
The same argument can be carried over to boating. Sure, smaller volume, flat-
bottomed play boats make catching eddies, hitting certain lines, and making
corrections easier. Some even argue that certain big holes are easier to pass
through by "melting down" under the hole instead of trying to punch it. I can
accept all of this, but when the shit hits the fan and you have crossed line
between hazard avoidance and coping directly with the hazard, like the
sport-ute, I would much rather be in a high-volume bulbous monster like my
Freefall LT or an Overflow (or a large steel barrel for that matter).
My personal approach to this question is use two distinct boats, such as a
Micro 230/240 and a Mr. Clean/ Medieval/ Alien. When you are on a "primarily
play" river, such as the Ocoee or the Chatooga (minus undercuts and
strainers), use the playboat and enjoy. Remember though what the consequnces
will be if something goes wrong.
When you are on a river such as the Green Narrows, Overflow, Meadow, etc., use
your safer creek boat and accept the tradeoff between relative
manuverability/play-boat fun and eventual bottom-line disaster avoidance.
Another option if you cannot afford two boats is to get an "almost full-bore"
playboat such as the 3-D(I'll catch shit for this), stubby, RPM, Hammer,etc.
Although these boats definitely lean more toward the full-on play variety,
they are still a little safer than the latest rodeo stars.
My last though is this, over the past year, I have been bitten by the same
bug everyone else has. I love taking playboats down hard rivers. I love
doing rock splats after soaring off a 15 foot drop. I have just been told
that a friend of mine was seen doing wave wheels off of sockem dog (Chatooga
VI) in a Mr. Clean. Hell yea I think that's a cool move! But during this
past year, I have seen the results of great paddlers randomly involved in
worst-case scenarios in playboats. They died. I have had about all of the
death I can take for one year.
Make your own decisions, keep kayaking as cutting-edge as ever, keep the
radical boats designs coming, but for God's sake, let's all find an
acceptable personal level of compromise that will keep air in our lungs.
Kayaking is no fun when you're deceased.
I think that this is an underestimated factor. I, too, have taken my bigger,
safer boat down a hard run for the sake of safety after having not used it for
a while and realized that I wasn't sufficiently used to it. I'd actually have
been safer overall in my smaller boat -- more problems is something happened
but less chance of a problem developing.
>While volume and length get some attention in safety discussions, I think the
>real issue is escapability. Can you get your knees out of the boat with your
>butt in the seat
NO! Closest thing I've come to is my whiplash but I had
to paddle it too far back to have good trim. Didn't really
notice until the SF Yuba at 3000cfs and couldn't get the
tail to release. Tense day.
I completely agree about escapability. Differing lengths and
volumes do different things well and each has its advantages
and disadvantages, but if you can't get out of the boat when
you need to, they don't really matter. I'd say that the fact I haven't
found a boat that I can get out of easily and handles well (ie, the
way I'm used to) is the major reason I've stopped boating hard
stuff. For example, if I could get out of my X easily I'd probably
boat it down class V DESPITE its obvious other hazards.
>Paddle your Creek boat at least 1 day
>on comfortable water before jumping out of your playboat and into the gnar.
9-5 5 days a week job 3 hours from nearest paddling. Water
comes up, coincides with job, family, social obligations etc, maybe
you only have one shot at it. I don't want to miss it, don't want
to die, don't want to blame the boat. Maybe that adds up to not
boating the hard stuff that day/week/season (which it has for the
last year or so) and that decision is my responsiblity BUT, if I had
a boat that was a safety minded tweak of my playboat I would go for
it and that would add a dimension to my boating pleasure that has
been missing for a while.
I get to the point where I'm carving some sweet lines in my X and
have the full-on class V stoke going and I get this craving to run
something with some consequences, but I don't because the risk is
unacceptable in a boat I can't get out of or one that will cause severe
problems once off line, even though it feels so good on line. Given the
limitations exacted on my paddling life by my "real" life, the best chance
I have to regain my class V experiences is to paddle a boat that acts
like a play boat but is safe like a creek boat.
I'm willing to accept some compromises. I don't need to throw ends
all day in my creek boat. I don't need to run Golden Gate or any real
hair. Just let me bounce down Cherry Creek and Giant/Generation Gap
or the Forks of Kern/Upper Kings etc etc in a boat that doesn't make me
fundamentally change technique and is safety concious enough that it
gives me a reasonable chance at avoidance or escape of those dangers
inherent in running hard water. I just don't want my family to ask what the
hell I was doing running THAT river in THAT boat if I make a mistake,
or poor decision, or just flat get unlucky.
The 240(with me at the helm) seems to have little margin for error on ferry
angles and tended to want to backender in holes. Correction strokes had to
be really cranked to make the boat move in the desired direction. I moved
the seat forward with little change in handling outcome. Are there any
secrets to paddling a 240 that I may be missing.
I'm going to demo a kix this weekend maybe it will handle closer to the 007
but still provide a margin of safety. If this is the case I will have an
almost new 240 for sale. I let everyone know my outcome.
When I first started paddling, I was absolutely awed by the way the NOC
instructors I had (people like Jimmy Holcombe or Alison Chapman) could jump
into any canoe or kayak and make it sing. Maybe I internalized the lesson
because I *enjoy* the little nuances that make one different to paddle than
another. Truth be told, it's one of the things about kayaking that's really
fun for me as opposed to open boating!
Maybe what's needed is a more open attitude? To enjoy the challenge of being
more aware and learning to make another hull type "sing." Of course, it takes
more concentration. Doesn't exploring an unfamiliar creek demand your
attention more than running a memorized line on a local play river?
- Mothra (aka Kathy Streletzky)
"Life on the newsgroup is a strange gestalt
of folks who are brethern at heart
the long distance trippers,
and rads throwing ends,
and those who ask how to start" - CubicDog
The idea of a "happy medium" boat is a good one, but we're
still talking about a boat of limited use. Any boat that is
even remotely capable of nice rodeo moves will never suffice
as a true class 5+ river running/creek boat.
The short length required for a rodeo-capable boat is a
potential problem in my view, although EJ and Clay have both
taken issue with this idea, at least as far as they
themselves are concerned.
An 8 foot boat, I think, will simply not allow you to hold
your angle and momentum sufficiently to stay on your line
and punch through turbulence in 5+ water. It will bob and
weave down to the bottom of the rapid, yes. It does that
very well. But sometimes you need, at least the average
mortal boater needs, more than that. You need to hold a
Volume is the second issue. On this issue there is general
agreement that you do need more volume running very hard
whitewater than you will get out of your rodeo boat.
So, my point is, the "happy medium" boat will only take you
so far. In the age of rodeo, you need a second boat if you
do class 5+ water. And you need to stay tuned up in that
boat or it might be even more dangerous than taking your
What do you do in this scenario? Take your play boat because
you feel better in it? Well, nobody's forcing you to run the
creek that day. Why not put in the necessary warm up time in
the right boat and not roll the dice?
PS: I consider my Fly a "happy medium" boat, mainly because
it has decent volume, fairly sharp lines, and excellent hull
speed for such a short boat. I personally like the hard,
dynamic moves the Fly does in rodeo holes. But it is not a
cutting edge "loose" design like the X.
For my tastes, though, it's a good trade off. The Fly is
fine for our local class 5, Great Falls, and for runs like
the Upper Yough, Big Sandy, Cherry Creek, etc. But I would
never take it down runs like the Green Narrows, Upper
Blackwater or Golden Gate. For these runs, load up your
Rockit, your new Boxer, whatever. And don't even bother with
that unless your warmed up in it.
One factor that I HAVE noticed that gets little talk time here is the very
significant number of WW deaths from face shots which knock the boater
unconcious. I use a metal face guard and am amazed that I don't see more
serious boaters using them too. In addition to saving your face, they add
rigidity to the vulnerable temple area. I have not read of any negatives
from using faceguards but would be interested if anyone knows of a bad
experience from using one.
There's no such thing as a "freak accident."
The deaths in 1997-98 have been tainted by one or more of the following:
illfitting or overloaded equipment
poor choice of paddling partners
poor choice of rivers for one's experience or particular energy on that
physical condition which has been affected by substance abuse
taking a line for granted
It hurts to be this honest because I knew or knew-of most of these
people who are no longer with us. One of them who frequented this
newsgroup commented on an earlier tragedy as being "freak." Perhaps if
it was really analyzed, the next death or injury might have been
Keep up the dialogue and don't let personal pride cloud the
conversation. Thank you for letting me participate.
I can understand why you had a hard time making the transition from a
007 to a 240. See, you're used to a boat with chine, real chine, whereas
the 240 has "creek boat chine". Creek boat chine "sings" differently
than the chines of a normal boat. I suggest you rub aloe vera on your
seat and play Brahms at higher than normal listening levels. This should
tune the "chine harmonics" and thus solve your dilemna ;)
All funnin' aside, I demoed a 240 last year and found it painfully
sluggish and very difficult to maneuver in must make situations on
bigger water. I think it's designed for micro-creekin', but I never had
a chance to paddle little stuff. I had a number of different creek boats
in the past couple years, from an Overflow to a Phat, to my present
ride, a Gradient. I like the Gradient cuz it still has decent hull
speed, though it is a big boat to push around.
You sond like you know what you're doing, having been paddling the
Narrows for a while, so I won't bore you with the "how to's of
paddling". The 240 is a fun boat, maybe just not what you're looking for
at this time. I've always thought that a creek boat should paddle as
closely as possible to your play boat, that way there's less adjustment
Thinking about other paddler's comments on boat size, maybe a longer
hull will get you where you want to go. The Y or the Phat might work for
you. The Skreem is a nice boat as well, but it's a little long at 8'11".
One thing, make sure you're putting the 240 well over onto its side when
you go for eddy turns.
I added a faceguard this year after deciding that too many deaths had a
common thread: a blow to the temple. I am an advocate for facemasks, but
to most people they are nuisance. I wouldn't have a helmet with a
faceguard, just like I wouldn't frive without a seatbelt. Some people
just like to learn the hardway!!
if you're not used to switching boats on a regular basis, and you only
spend two days in a new boat, it is not going to feel easy to paddle.
> I bought the micro based on input
> for many people here in RBP and Robert Abbots posts indicating his
> willingness to service the product (other companies are you listening). As
> well as fact that it was one of the shorter creek boats in hopes that I
> could smoothly transition between it and my playboat. Smooth was not the
> operative term once I was in the 240.
> The 240(with me at the helm) seems to have little margin for error on ferry
> angles and tended to want to backender in holes. Correction strokes had to
> be really cranked to make the boat move in the desired direction. I moved
> the seat forward with little change in handling outcome. Are there any
> secrets to paddling a 240 that I may be missing.
if you spend more time switching boats on a regular basis, you will
learn that each boat has its strengths and weaknesses for each paddler.
you will also find that you are able to dial into those strengths and
weaknesses much quicker. for me, the 240 feels as though it requires an
almost frighteningly small number of paddle strokes to get me where i'm
going. i would say that for that particular boat staying in it a few
more days might help. you have to dial into what's going on with your
hips and those edges under the waterline and focus a little less on the
paddle and strokes. this boat requires a lot of finesse between hip
cocking and leaving that flat hull level to achieve the desired effect.
you also have to sit up straighter than you may be used to and paddle
over the bow a bit more to even out that backender (although moving the
seat helped a lot for me, and i don't think it backenders much at all
for its length). sitting up in this manner is proper form anyway.
i've been switching between c1 and kayak for a couple years now. used
to be when i switched, i was almost guaranteeing that i was gonna get
hammered the first day or two in whatever i was switching to. now i
transition very smoothly between my cascade, 240 as kayak, 240 as c1,
blade, and squirt boat. why? because i paddle all different boats and
i switch it up constantly. could i jump in most boats and drive them
down the green without mishap? yeah, probably - my first day in the c1
240 was the green at 200%, and i had great control and good lines.
would i have been ok switching to the 240 for the green back when i
paddled only a cascade? no way - i'da got mauled. if you want to be
able to switch boats and paddle difficult rivers well, you need to
switch boats often on easier rivers for a while - like anything else in
there are no shortcuts, folks. when you change boats, you need to learn
that boat on easier stuff *before* you jump on class V if you are not
used to changing boats a lot. it may be safer for you to take your
playboat down class V than it is to take a creekboat you don't know
well, but it is safer still to learn the creekboat on easier water and
then take it on class V.
put in the time. stay alive.
I sustained a concussion after taking two direct hits on an unprotected
forehead. It is still a much scarier accident to me than the shoulder injury
that put me under the knife. I couldn't work for a week because my BRAIN
wouldn't work - I felt marginally retarded or drunk without the buzz.
> I use a metal face guard and am amazed that I don't see more
>serious boaters using them too. In addition to saving your face, they add
>rigidity to the vulnerable temple area. I have not read of any negatives
>from using faceguards but would be interested if anyone knows of a bad
>experience from using one.
I don't like things that can get caught on stuff so I don't wear a facegard.
I've never yet heard of someone who died because their jaw was broken. And
yes, I've never heard of a death by faceguard but there was an incident several
years ago of a kayaker who died when his throwbag "backpack" became entangled
in some branches in a strainer while he was trying to roll and held him under
til he drowned. I once had my chinstrap caught in an overhanging branch - no,
faceguards are not for me.
I do agree that you want a structurally strong helmet that covers the
vulnerable temples in a bombproof way. I've invested in 3 new helmets since
my accident last April: 2 "minimal coverage" styles (a shredder from
ShredReady and an edge from Grateful Heads) for summer and a "full coverage"
(extreme layup GH's HardHit) for winter. All of my helmets fit to perfection
either by serendipity (GH's edge with 7/16 inch liner), or by customization
with foam. They do not blow back - key to this is a little triangular piece
that both of these manufacturers use under the ear - it lets you move and
stabalize the helmet as far forward as you like. (I gave my ResinHeads squirt
helmet to the yakmom figuring that it could be foamed out enough to fit one of
the kids properly - turns out it couldn't - blew back on them too because it
lacks that critical below ear adjustment feature.) Anyhow, I'm comfortable now
with my choices. The extreme layup Hard Hit is especially wonderfully strong -
can't see how any facemask could improve on it!
After pulling off a stupid stunt (doing a vertical pop-up and falling
over forwards towards a rock) and barely avoiding losing my expensive
dentistry by quickly turning my head and getting whacked against the
side of my head I bought a helmet with a chin-guard. Not long afterwards
I added a full face-guard. It was funny to see all the astonished looks
I got while wearing that helmet in the U.S..
It didn't matter to me, I still have my, ahem, "good looks"...
Better safe than sorry!
In article <3692DC...@ioa.com>, leland wrote:
>put in the time. stay alive.
Excellent words, as usual, Leland. Too many people want to be paddling hair in
less than a year.
Paddling is fun, even with a gradual learning curve.
Hey Derek - bathtub, shmathtub - I started in a Fiemat - 60 pounds worth!
Soce...@aol.com Mr. Robin D. Sayler Meldrim, Ga.
I haven't tried the Y or the Kix. I did however take a look at the Y and it
really didn't impress me much. I would also suggest the Kix, it looks along
the lines of a Y and cheaper too. Other than that what about a 007 or stubby
I know of alot of 150lb paddlers using 007's Stubbys and Sleeks for creeking
> Sir Heimer
I've spent a full day in a Kix (Section IV), and about 15 minutes (of pain)
playing in a 007. The Kix is a lot faster, and a lot harder to turn (low
rocker), than the 007 or other short rodeo boats. It also feels really tippy
(it's narrow, with little flare) if you're used to rodeo boats, but it does
punch holes really well. My impression was that it's better for big water and
big drops than creeking, and that slalom racers will probably be more
comfortable in it than playboaters. It is advertised for "extreme" river
running, rather than creeking.
-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
I don't know much about the SPARC, but the Y probably turns easier, is
slower, surfs better but need a bigger spot to do anything vertical,
especially off the stern.
> Finally, if it's not out already, when will it be available? The other boat
> I'm thinking of getting is a Z or an X.
If you like the SPARC for river-running, you might keep that for harder stuff
and get the rodeo boat. If you're going to only have one boat, you really
need to decide what you want to do, and realize that you're going to be
limited in other aspects. Two boats offer a lot more possibilities: at 200
lbs my ideal combo is a Y (playful creeker) and a Z (rodeo, most rivers). Of
course other companies make boats that you might like, or other models may be
more suitable for your weight.
I had the Y on my car when you were up here in DC, and Wilko paddled it on
Section IV. It was out last August, I think. At 150 lbs, if you're
interested in playboating, I would go with an X (or wait for XXX if you want
more radical). The Z would be better for river-running and on a wave than
the X, but for cartwheeling you're a little light. Your lucky to be an
average size, there are lots more possibilities for rodeo boats to check out
this spring, too (Glide, Zone, Medieval, Mr. Clean).
It seems like this type of comparisons on hull speed get made all the time,
often with very different results for different boaters doing the analysis. I
did the above comparison and found the 240 noticably faster. While it is
certainly true that the paddlers style and weight will have an effect on hull
speed. It would seem like hull speed should be something that could be
objectively tested and measured for comparison, like drag coefficent on cars.
Doing some test to measure this and then publishing the numbers would be
beneficial to the paddling community. Are there any engineering dweebs that
might help us out on this?
No. Measuring from the back of the chair I'm sitting in now to the front of
my knee-cap, I get about 27" (OK, call me a freak). I don't think there are
any boats I can get a leg out of while my butt is in the seat.
> I personally think boat-choice had to do with "0" of the tradgedies of 97-
> That doesn't mean it won't next time. Flat decked boats pin worse than round
> decked boats. Add a flat hull and you are making it worse. Small, short
> boats are more likely to go into seives and cracks and to probe the bottom
> below ledges. Longer boats are more likely to vertically pin, fold, wrap on
> trees, bow-stern pin, and less likely to pass through seives and undercuts
> without pinning.
> YUCK! What to do?
> Paddle a higher volume, rounded boat with blunt ends on steep, tree-infested
> runs where pinning is a major concern. Paddle your Creek boat at least 1 day
> on comfortable water before jumping out of your playboat and into the gnar.
> They handle differently and you will want to know the difference when scouting
> the drops
> . If you choose to take your playboat, know the drawbacks and paddle/scout
> accordingly. You will always paddle better in what you are used to paddling,
> but the boats act very differently once you are not where you wanted to be.
> Choose accordingly.
I agree for the most part, but it seems to me that because a rodeo boat is
more responsive to the water flowing under, over, or around it, it is more
likely to put you where you don't want to be in challenging water that you
may have misjudged, or once you have made a small error. The creekier
designs are more forgiving in that respect, but of course you well-practiced
in whatever boat you are using. Avoiding the mishap is at least as important
as escaping the mishap!
> Happy paddling (rain coming into SE Thurs!)
-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------