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Old 06-30-2005   #41
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 112
Taking it offline?????

Correct me if I'm wrong but it sounds that DBL went behind Rasta's back. It seems that DBL is insecure about his weight. Rasta didn't call DBL a "fat piece of shit." I bet he wished he had. I think taking it offline is very petty. I think that DBL had a snappy come back and that there was no need to take it offline. How would you like it DBL if I tried to get you fired? I want to hear the guide’s point of view. This is an emotional issue and feelings like that come out. I am sure it's frustrating for these guides to see these tourists that don't paddle and have no clue about the river. They would be better advised to go to an amusement park. It is also is very difficult to pull a three hundred pound man out of the water. It really isn't safe for the guides or person that is in that bad a shape. You can't tell me they can swim at three hundred pounds unless they are a football lineman. The problem is how you tell these people no. It's hard to tell them no. Before I started kayaking I probably would have been all for class V rapids in a raft. Now that I have swum a few times I'm kind of afraid of big water. I've taken class III rapids in a raft and had no clue about the dangers of the river. Enough on this, I don't want to want to be dragged into this conversation. I just think that this should be an open forum and that everyone is entitled to their opinion.

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Old 06-30-2005   #42
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
Ok I am not here to defend anyone or condem but .... as a customer service person for my whole life what was stated about customers being peices of.... is commonly shared by everyone in every industry myself calling some of them that this very morning at the retail store I work for after seeing all the rugs some bitch spread all over the floor and left "for the employees" to pick up she said to a friend when her friend said someting to her.

I felt that way about some of the passengers I delt with over the years while working on a charter sailboat and as a scuba inst.

Haveing that feeling toward them DOESN'T mean you wish them harm or would go out of your way to hurt them or NOT go out of your way to save them. I have seen many times service people take the hit to save a fat piece of shit from getting injured, myself included.

Everyone everywhere at one time or another is a fat lazy piece of .... think about it the next time you cut someone off in traffic or leave your damn shopping cart in the middle of the lot to roll and hit someones car.


The water is the harshest mistress out there. She has no mercy or feelings toward ANYONE stupid enough to temp her. NO matter how well you plan, NO matter how experienced you are, NO matter how much training or saftey you set up, SHE can and will have her way with you, it just depends on her mood that day...

Don't do anything, just stand there.
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Old 06-30-2005   #43
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 113
Personally, I didn't have any problem understanding where rasta was coming from.....that the safety precautions taken on class 5 rafts runs make those runs as safe as a normal raft run on class 3-4 where no extra safety precautions or cutomer screening takes place. I don't let colorful language obscure the intent of the message. I thought rasta's comments were very insightful.

I also would think that rasta is just like the rest of us when we're on the that we'd help any and all that need help no matter what color or shape they are in........well......maybe not GaryE......we'd just let him swim since he gets so much fun poking at others swimming adventures.

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Old 06-30-2005   #44
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3
OK, I am sorry for starting this. People are circling the wagons and are on the defensive. Rasta, please accept my apologies. I will believe what Tomcat indicated when he/she spoke of this as merely colorful language, and assured me that all guides will pull a customer out of the river, regardless of private feelings. Chadmckenzie26, I am not going behind anyone's back to get someone fired, please let me assure you of that. However, you were right when you said that my comment of wondering what company Rasta was guiding for was petty. You did miss the mark when you said I am insecure about my weight. If fact, I am quite skinny. I wouldn't mind it if I could gain a few pounds. Hmm, maybe I am a little insecure then

I will try to rewrite my original concern in a less aggressive manner, which is what I should have originally done, and then I will let this be. I am a teacher. I teach young people. I will never, ever speak of my students in any public or semi-public forum, as well as privately, with rude and non-constructive language for two reasons, business and personal. It is bad business because you are apt to lose customers. Ask a few business owners. If I did this as a teacher (students are my customers, if you will), I would expect a lot of angry parents and administrators to come after me, and I might lose my job. And in the end, I wouldn’t blame anyone other than myself. Also, I expect that many of us customer-service workers have garnered some unfortunate comments from our customers, which can sure ruin your mood for the day. There are two sides to this coin, and we may not always be on the winning side.

Second, regarding personal reasons, if I continually think of underachieving students in such language even only to myself, I would expect my effectiveness as a teacher to be compromised. Perhaps others find it easier to separate thoughts and language from job effectiveness, but I do not find it easy. And in the end, I like to look for the good in all people and treat all people well, despite any of our shortcomings. I try to teach in a positive manner.

If I am on a pedastal, I only wish it to be very short, but there are times when we all need to give our perspectives. Rasta, I only bring attention to my own shortcomings (see first posting and response) in the name of humility. I believe humility to be a vital human trait within myself. I am sorry if you saw my attempt at this in a different light. I am a supporter of the boating community and the general outdoor community, and always find very positive and non-judgmental attitudes in the people I meet. I hope and believe you are such a person.

Rasta, you end your e-mails with the word peace. I truly believe this is heartfelt from you. We must all monitor our occasional colorful outbursts (OK, we do need to let off steam from time to time) for that which may be excessive and counterproductive. I don’t want to be the PC police, but there is too much divisive aggression and conflict in this world, and not enough peace. One way peace may be achieved is through thoughtful language.

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Old 06-30-2005   #45
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 112
DBL's reply

Rasta he does make a good point. You can fired for making comments like that. That was my main concern. DBL you have easy I can't Bush Bash. He's the boss.
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Old 06-30-2005   #46
riojedi's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 191
DBL, just so you know, you, your family or friends would be more than lucky to get Rasta as a guide, having worked with Rasta over the years I have to say there is nobody I have ever seen put more effort into making sure everyone has a safe trip and more fun then they thought they could, even if they are worthless and suck ass. Or would you rather have the "experienced" 2nd year guide dropping your kids through Sidel's at 3K, Twin Falls comes up kinda quick.

My Mom was a teacher also it's a shame you can't tell the parents that thier kid really is a shit head and expect to keep your job.

Since I started-

Those of you who are placing blame on the Animas River outfitters, guides and class V guides in general, need to get out of the unfortunately all to typical "blame someone else" American mindset. Only YOU can make the choice to partcipate in an adventure sport where death is an inherent danger. People die on commercial river trips evey year, it's sad, but no longer a surprise, to those in the business or anyone with a TV or newspaper nearby. When participating in an activity where your life may be in danger you need to take responsbility for yourself, and in rafting the others on your trip as well. I'm sure before most of you (I hope) took up river running you learned of the dangers of the sport, this is a responsibility for any participant. There are many avenues available to the comercial passenger to discover if a certain trip (class I-V) is right for them, however most looking for a high adventure (IV/V) trip don't take the time due to a Fear Factor, Disney Land E-Ticket mentality (if I pay it's gotta be safe). Besides the obvious information on the web, you can request safety information on outfitters from their managing agency, call an outfitter in the area that doesn't run where you are looking at and see who they recomend, contact a river outfitter organization such as CROA, there are even guide books written for commercial customers that tell you where you can get this information, pick one up the next time your in REI to buy a cute outfit. It's right there in the waiver everyone signs but since we've become immune to this type of thing nobody gives it a thought. How many warning stickers are on your car, lifejacket, boat, do you know what they all say? The tools are out there to make an informed decision most people don't take the time to. Wouldn't a responsible person learn a little about mountaineering before being guided up Mt. Everest?

If you have to place blame on the outfitters, place it on the ones pushing class V that isn't class V, you know who you are down there on the Ark selling the class V Gorge Royal (you want fries with that wetsuit?) and all the others. It is a dishonest, dangerous way of doing business and only hurts the sport for your own gain, remember why you got in this business in the first place.

Rasta, spank a softball girl for me, you're the MAN (or is it the SHIT)!

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Old 06-30-2005   #47
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 6
First of all rasta, I did not call you stupid. I called your analogy stupid - because it is. Comparing the risks of a child falling off of a swing to the risks of a complete amature being dumped into a class V rapid is stupid. It is a ridiculous analogy - they are not comparable risks.

however most looking for a high adventure (IV/V) trip don't take the time due to a Fear Factor, Disney Land E-Ticket mentality (if I pay it's gotta be safe).
Again, that is my point and I already stated that I do not place the blame for this fact on customer, guide or outfitter. It is reality. You know it and I know it. You and I also know that even those that pass any physical test for a class V trip are probably still of that mindset - they paid therefore they really aren't in that great of potential danger and all of that waiver and safety talk stuff was done for the sake of lawyers. That is my point and to counter that point those in defence just list off the safety procedures that I am not questioning (with the exception of a R-1 safety boat) without addressing the ethics of putting amatures that we know have that mindset and take their money to put them in potential situations that are way more than they bargined for and way more than we know they were probably barganing for, other than to say tough shit for them, they should have known better before they gave me money to potentially put their life in my hands. That doesn't give you any pause for thought? The fact that you assume some of that responsibility for the customer when you take their money? River sports are not just about physical fitness - there is a huge mental component and the only test for that is experience and you cannot test for that.

Again, safety procedures or not, two customers have died on seperate rivers on seperate class V commercial trips this year in Colorado. Tough shit for them eh? They should have known what they were doing even though we know that they probably did not. Their own damn fault they died and to suggest otherwise is to blame somebody else other than the true culprit - the ignorant customer? Is that what you are saying?

You can speak all you want about personal responsibility, but when you take somebodies (an amature's) money to put them into a situational environment (an expert's) that they most likely do not appreciate the consequences of you do assume some of their responsibility; that is my issue - not the skill of guides that want to blow their own horn or the safety procedures set up by the outfitter. And of the river guides in this thread I appear to be the only one acknowledging that fact. Put all the throw bags, safety boaters and class V guides on the river you want and I'll still choose to swim Zoom Flume with nobody around than a class V rapid with commmercial safety procedures in place. It is the fact that we as river guides know that by in large, be it class III or class V, are aware of this lack of understanding of those that sign up for wild whitewater adreniline rushes. Like I said, this is the only element of river sports where an amature is subjected to expert conditions without having to gain the experience and skill to get there - hence a major reason for their lack of understanding, and the understanding of what happens and what can happen when their guide has a bad day at work.

And again, we are all in agreement on certain aspects, like upgrading rivers and the fact that even on class III trips there are people that do not belong and that I too have pulled people off of a trip because they had no business doing it physically.
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Old 06-30-2005   #48
no tengo
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Old 06-30-2005   #49
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 42
I have to second the comments of Rio in reguard to Rasta. I am a first year kayaker and had the fortunate experience of kayaking Waterton Canyon early this year with Rasta. He chased my boat, pulled me out of the river and tried his best to explain to me the different aspects of the current and how it works. He was always nice, considerate and kept safety in mind. If someone wants to comment on his word choice, then fine, but don't criticize his ability as a guide or his attention to safety... because you obviously don't have a clue what you're talking about.

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Old 06-30-2005   #50
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
I am heartened to see that boaters take safety so seriously that people carefully review safety methods after an incident and that people get emotional about it. It's especially good to see the amount of concern people feel about the death of a commercial client. Of course, there are no simple answers.

But, the heated arguments are not very constructive and I bet many people have tuned out on this thread.

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