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Old 03-22-2010   #11
Bellevue, Washington
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 112
After reading the above posts I have to clarify my position and agree with the need for safety and proper use. Use it right and be prepared for something to go wrong. One reason I like AIRE thigh straps is that each strap has 2 big quick release buckles that I could try to pop before grabbing my knife.

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Old 03-22-2010   #12
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Not dangerous 99.9% of the time.Helps you control the boat much better,I' d say a decent foot brace is even more important.In a fluky situation my leg has gotten caught though the strap, when i got trashed, and it is scary to be tangled in it while trying to swim or self rescue.Many straps have a quick release buckle right at the hip.I have had my foot ,size13, get stuck in my creek boat too,not that much fun on the Big Thompson.Never really consciously executed a wet exit from a ducky ,you usually just fall out of the straps,if you are upside down still in the straps you just straighten your legs to fall out or try to roll,you'll fall out
That said the best duckier I know is paranoid about anything that could cause entrapment ,uses a two man Lynx bare .I t is impressive to see him sky over big drops eg Supermax ,using only acceleration ,body english ,and the length of his boat to bridge over big holes or stomp big water,has problems on tight technical creeks though .I have the opposite approach,small well outfitted high performance ducky,like creeks scared of big stuff.

Logan did we get any picks of the good stuff or the funky wood mank downstream?Man that was fun!

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Old 03-23-2010   #13
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
Originally Posted by cayo 2 View Post
Logan did we get any picks of the good stuff or the funky wood mank downstream?Man that was fun!
Yeah, I'm waiting to get the rest of the pics and video from Tom and Angels. Then I am going to combine it all into a kick-ass video of Fossil at good flow...I will post it online or email it to you.
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 03-23-2010   #14
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1066
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 165

How bout Velcro on your butt/legs and IK floor!
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Old 03-23-2010   #15
yakrafter's Avatar
Whitewater Boater, Boating Whitewater
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 147
Used an IK, but not much, but I have done much kayaking and also creature crafting (which involves and thigh strap).

I vote yes on the strap from experience.

The safest place to be, if you are held in position, is always in your boat, with an easy escape if needed.

In kayaking, the boater is held in the boat in two ways, one through their purchase via feet, thighs and hips and the other is through the skirt. Releasing this purchase is easy and automatic if needed. The other is your skirt, which will hold you in to the death if you do not pull it, you are strapped in the boat unless you take an action and most kayakers would have it no different.

When running a creature craft (look it up if not familiar) you are strapped it and I would also have that no different. You can pull your strap if needed, but in 999/1000 it is going to save your ass and keep you moving down river without issue. Folks that make fun of the strap, get in and ALWAYS tighten it at the lip of a rapid, it makes instant sense.

In the IK, the amount of additional purchase provided by the strap will make you a better boater and reduce the need to think about the dangers, as you will not be up side down as much and you will have more fun.

With a good thigh strap set up and a good tuck, I would feel safer in an IK...and you might just end up right side up in your boat after that hole.

I agree with the foot purchase as well.

One of the times I IKed was on the grand for a half day or so, I took one of my creature craft thigh straps and put it in, strapped my self down and would not want it any other way. My creature strap is one 4" velcro strap that goes over the lap and may mitigate the thrashing issue brought up above due to 2 straps. The top one has an extra easy grab whip, it will hold you in place but come off with one pull just like a skirt.

Just like any kayaker, I suggest spending some time up side down, strapped in to your IK, twiddling your thumbs and stretching into diff positions, pulling and exiting at will, having someone jerk you around....perhaps even rolling.....

Then get a hard shell...
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Old 03-25-2010   #16
brettb's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 131
because you are thinking about the possibility of entrapment puts you higher into that 99.95% margin of not having an issue!

thigh straps do help with staying in and not tipping over much like thigh braces in a hardshell! I find the tighter the less likely of and entrapment! and yes those big buckles help with eliminating the entrapment as long as you stay cool and practice in pool and on water!

but really...... anything loose is a possibilty of danger.... I've had my skirt get caught on a branch under the water once and I believe I read a post a while back about someone with the same deal on Bailey.... and he cut his skirt with his knife so being prepared for the possibilities is key! (I believe that thread was more about using kevlar skirts though?) also rope rescues have caused peril too!!!! just be smart and be prepared!
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Old 07-01-2010   #17
Oakdale, California
Paddling Since: 1978
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1
I have been running a Star Yellowjacket for about 7 years. Have done class IV with it. The thigh straps have been a big help in controlling the IK. Since your part of the boat when the straps are tight, you can put all your energy into every stroke. They also won't allow you to float out of the boat in big water. On the Yellowjacket they are easy to get out of also, just taking your feet off the pegs allows the straps to fall off. While I have never swam a rapid using this boat, some of my friends have, they didn't have any problems with the straps.
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Old 08-11-2010   #18
Solgear's Avatar
Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 24
While I think you can control your IK better with thigh straps I also would say that they aren't necessary. I have paddled many big water stretches in a tandem IK paddled solo without thigh straps. I would kneel and tuck my lower legs between the inflated floor and the tubes. If I flipped, I fell out yet I found a ton of control paddling this way. The bottom line is that you must understand your equipment and manage risk. There is risk with and without thigh straps. While risk can be managed, it is never eliminated... expect the unexpected... be proactive!

And I didn't swim.

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inflatable kayak, inflatable kayaks, thigh straps

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