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Old 01-13-2015   #21
Caleb125's Avatar
Edwards, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 262
I would demo a recon or habitat at your local shop and take it down some real class IV stuff and load it with some gear. If you feel good after that go for it and have fun!

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Old 01-13-2015   #22
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
I would say after watching that video that it was primarily class 3 at that flow. Looked like there was some pin potential in spots, but that flow was slow and the moves were all straight forward. I could see the character of that run changing significantly with more water. Looked like fun.

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Old 01-13-2015   #23
carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 165
Originally Posted by bigscottone View Post
This is one one the most entitled, asshole-sounding statements I've read in a while.

Sure, you can pay someone to pick up the pieces while you flop around down class III/IV in Bulgaria, OR you can put in the time and effort to actually learn to boat at a III/IV level, just like the rest of us.

Do you even have a solid roll? Low-payed Bulgarian or not, I'd be a mighty annoyed safety kayaker if I had to take some newbie who can't reliably roll any boat down a legit class IV section.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should, or especially should NOW.
Who sounds like the asshole here... It's a big world, travel a bit and get to know it, people have been making money off kayakers coming to their country to paddle their rivers for a long time. It's an industry.
Props to the guy who's going to get paid to help a guy do something cool, and props to the guy who wants to do something cool and has the means to do it.
Looks like a basic run with scouting and portages available.
No gringo american tourist is going on a free bulgarian river trip any way you slice it.
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Old 01-13-2015   #24
Cave Creek, Arizona
Paddling Since: 2014
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 33
Aw geez looks like a stepped in a buzzard shit storm. Until you are married to a Bulgarian and spent considerable time in the country, you are not qualified to make statements like: why not take advantage of the impoverished country. My father-in-law would disown me if learns how much I might pay to go boating there. Its 50 euros a day for the 'safety kayaker'; the kid they send out might be paid 2 euros and will be very happy.
As far as at the put-in, my fellow kayaker will know very well my ability. As I posted earlier, I'm in the early stages of planning and learned that there is a nearby river with easy portages and road access, that I can become familiar/confident with the rental boat before I commit to a wilderness run.
I do have a solid flat water/class 2 practice roll, which I understand doesn't mean much until you do a class 4 combat roll. I totally agree that videos lie. That being said, as a humble class 3 boater, videos of the lower taos box look way more intimidating than the video I posted. If I survive the trip, my fellow kayaker will be rewarded with an American cash tip that will probably more than he makes in a month. I am confident enough to say his inconvenience should be limited to no more than 20 minutes total waiting for me to self-rescue. He will also have all the free shuttles he wants should he ever make it to Arizona.

I understand how you class 5 boaters might see my questions regarding unfamiliar boats are very ignorant. I have simply never paddled a displacement hull, and perhaps insecure and ignorant regarding the difference to my own boat that is dialed in just for me.
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Old 01-13-2015   #25
albuquerque, New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 134
I'm not a class 5 boater by any means, and I got no aspirations either.

Sorry I got riled up and said the A-Word.

All I'm sayin, really, is that your post just sounded like you were thinking about running a river you aren't confident in your boating skills enough to get you down, but it's ok because there is someone there to save you and your gear if you swim, and it's kinda on them because you are paying them for it. Annnnd then you kinda implied being annoyed that you were going to be paying too much.
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Old 01-13-2015   #26
albuquerque, New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 134
Originally Posted by smauk2 View Post
I'm not sure running class IV the first time in a small and unfamiliar boat while doing an overnighter in Bulgaria is a good idea.
I should have just let smauk's polite and succinct response speak for me, but I let the typing fingers get away from me when I'm holed up inside too long. ha.
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Old 01-14-2015   #27
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 807
No, you are not good.

Yes, you will survive that class 3 river in Bulgaria with some hired assistance.

You are not an asshole for paying a local to pick up your yard sale. You are just missing the point of the sport, which is to develop the skills to navigate rivers well.

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Old 01-14-2015   #28
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Someone once told me about going with some outfit in Mexico where they had these guys that were trained as "rescue monkeys." He said they'd take these class II/III on pool drop runs. They'd go down drops that were way above their ability level. But they'd post these rescue monkeys at the bottom on tethers. When someone would go flailing off the drop, they would jump in and rescue them.

That funny image has always stuck in my head. It's kind of like the shutoff switch we always dream of when we're stuck in a huge hole. Maybe you can train some Bulgarians. Could be a million dollar idea.
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Old 01-14-2015   #29
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Go for it. New boats are way better. I did better my 2nd day out ever in a modern boat vs a guy with paddling experience who was too heavy for his old rpm. Boats make a difference.

When I was leaning I planned a middle fork salmon trip before I had the skills to run it. I busted ass to prep, practice, and learn and I did fine. The deadline made me work hard to prep. I would advocate some significant training though. Pool roll sessions, stroke drills on flat water, get in good physical condition. Make as many trips to moving water as you can even if they are a long haul.

You can ALWAYS walk a couple bigger drops.

It will probably be a big challenge for you but big challenges are what make us grow and learn.

There isn't likely a single know it all a-hole on this thread that didn't push the limits when coming up. Part of boating is pushing limits, but hopefully in a thoughtful and safe manner.

Good luck.
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Old 01-14-2015   #30
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 265
Don't listen to the dick replies--it's just jealousy disguised as advice. Hell, if you paid me $70 a day to float a river and pick up your occasional debris, I'd be all over it.

To answer your question, YES, it will be different. You'll have problems at first and, if facing rapids right away, you might get into trouble. The weighted boat won't respond like you want, won't carve, won't turn, won't boot, etc., so lines you'd normally make, you'll miss. Depending on the load, it's more like a point-and-shoot affair.
But, it's kayaking, and if you have your basics, you'll adapt quickly to the new feel and be fine. As others have stated, I would practice in a loaded boat and get a feel for it. Other than that, just DO IT. Never let poor internet advice get in the way of a good expedition!

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