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Old 05-08-2007   #11
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 174
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I don't think I'd jump into Tunnel 1 (see basil's post) until you have a few runs under your belt, and a fairly reliable roll - not a fun place to swim.

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Old 05-08-2007   #12
rockinRio's Avatar
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 231
Get EJ's Bracing and Rolling (or Rolling and Bracing) DVD. It is a great instructional piece on you guessed it Bracing and Rolling (or Rolling and Bracing).

For the spring/summer I'd say go to a lake for roll practice instead of a pool, It is just more fun. But it depends on the weather of course.

You might also think about Filter Plant on the Poudre, it is a good beginner run.

Finally I'd second (or third) Jackson Fun series, or Wavesport EZG. Demo whatever boat(s) you are thinking about. On the Jackson boats, be patient with the outfitting and get some help, some people have had problems using the outfitting. I think the Jackson boats are the most comfortable boats I've ever been in, but it takes a little work to dial it in.

The size you get will depend on your weight. If you are on the cusp of a size, you'll have to choose. If you get a boat that you are at the top of the weight range you'll be able to throw it around while playing really well, but you'll get thrown around if you start doing harder/pushy water. Whereas if you are at the bottom of the weight range, it will be harder for you to play, but you'll be able to do harder/pushy water with the extra flotation.

The best thing is keep asking questions.

You ARE a soul, you HAVE a body.

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Old 05-08-2007   #13
possumturd's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 451
Don't buy a boat..........yet. Get all the other gear first. Then demo demo demo. It will cost you a little more but it will give you time to figure out what you want to paddle as well as what type of boat you like. as recommended go to shops and have people describe the differences in each boat. Shop shop shop till you drop.

Learn to roll. If you want to fast track it go down to confluence and get a private half day lesson from Josh. He will take you across the street on the river and chances are have you rolling in no time. Then he will work on ferry's and peel outs and then run you down the river a little piece. That's what he did for my 10 year old and it gave her a huge bump.

Boulder creek kayak course gets some well deserved flack but there are big advantages for beginners. There is a big flat pool at the top of the course where you can go and work on ferry's, peel outs and rolls in cold water without fear of losing gear if you swim. Just stand on the bottom and walk out. Then you can pick up your boat and walk down the course to an easy drop and work on that as you advance. It is at a good level for that currently but watch out once the level begins to climb it's not friendly to beginners.

Good advice about bracing as well. once you learn how to effectively brace you will cut the rolling down immensely.
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Old 05-08-2007   #14
Westminster, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4
I'm with you on the new thing. I've been doing sea kayaks for the last couple years in FL (and around here) and just getting into the WW stuff. Boat choices will have your heat spinning if you let it. I'm renting for the summer before I decide what to get, unless I just have to spend that money burning it's way out of my pocket.

I took a basic class (I) from Confluence (in Denver) and am going back for their rolling class (II), but there are a bunch of other instructors out there. It was cheap, they supplied ALL the gear and it's done in D.U.'s pool. They help you figure out proper fit and gear.
It helped me to start making the transition, I don't want to start out with bad habits from sea and bring them or any "this is the way we do it there" attitudes in to this. My 12 yr old daughter kicked butt too, so you know the setting is mellow. Although, she's a good paddler in the 17' boats......
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Old 05-08-2007   #15
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 176
First off I want to say I have never taken a kayak class in my life but some people like to, personal decision, but not necessary. Second I would suggest as a beginner you look to the used market. The main reason I suggest this is because you are still in the pivotal stage and you could decide kayaking is not for you. I know you are saying no way I am going to be a kayaker, but believe me I have seen to many people start hot and fizzle. This is hear say but I heard a statistic that only about 10% of people who try kayaking stick with it. So back to my point, using the advice from this forum and quite a bit leg work you could get yourself a good setup that will work well for your needs for about $400 to $800 depending on the age, condition and quality of the gear you buy. The beauty of this is its takes some of the pressure off. I know if I just spent $1200 on a brand new setup I would feel like I had to kayak but if I spent $500 and I knew I could sell it tomorrow for about the same, it would calm me. Also get yourself a tweener. Modern play boats a primarily made for park and play not river running. Creek boats are also made for creeking and are just lame in the play park.

The first question you have to ask yourself how aggressive am I? Area you young? Do you speed in your car? How about after a few beers? My point is if you really like water and donít mind a few swims in the river get an older play boat or a play oriented modern tweener, very comparable by todayís standards (ie. Dagger G-ride, Pyranha S-6 or S-8, Jackson fun series, Older Wavesports x or z are good, and many more which I canít think of right now). If you are more conservative, do the speed limit, and are generally less inclined to jump into a raging torrent knowing you have a high potential to swim, get a tweener built more similar to a creek boat but with a planning hull (ie. Dagger mamba, Wavesport Diesel, or Liquid Logic Hoss). The main point is get a planning hull boat that rolls well, fits your body size, is comfortable, and leaves a little cash left over so you can still take your girlfriend out because buddy you are going to be in the doghouse once you start kayaking (comparable to crack but you get to keep your teeth).

P.S. Dagger makes a good boat to. We could nitpick where the industry has gone but really itís not relevant in this context.
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Old 05-08-2007   #16
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
The demo comment is crucial. I am a boat whore and have owned almost every brand of boat. Some made me feel trapped due to the thigh braces, some I can take a nap in. All things being equal, find something that inspires confidence and you are mostly comfy in. I say mostly because if you go full on playboat which I dont recommend then you wont be as comfy as a bigger boat but you should be close. Every company has a different idea on what the perfect boat is, find the one that is the perfect boat for you, not me or anyone else on this forum. Follow the general advice here and demo some boats. I highly recommend working eddy's in any of the ww parks. For you Golden sounds close. You can learn a ton and its generally safe and has people to help out if needed.
The slam on Dagger is frankly one persons experience and dont take it any further than that. Hobie and crew are a good company. I have been very happy with the daggers I have owned in the past.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 05-08-2007   #17
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
Similar to crack but you get to keep your teeth? Damn man, thats funny.
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 05-08-2007   #18
Yrisarri, New Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 21
Paddle lots of boats

Don't forget to try a Riot Booster. If it fits your body it is a great beginner boat that you won't grow out of quickly. After 5+ years I still have mine and use it when I want to river run something that is on my edge of difficulty. (not used for creeks though!)

A lot of people start with the Jackson Fun series and seem to do well also. Some older models of popular playboats would be OK to learn easy water in like the Dagger Kingpin for example.

I also tell some beginners who seem to be really into the sport to consider buying a rescue PFD to start with. Until you take the swift water class you can always just remove the rescue belt. When you are ready to help others you won't have to go shopping again for another PFD.

Don't buy a a drytop. If the latex gaskets seem harsh at first there are good drytops with Neoprene neck gaskets and still much better than a wetsuit. Might want some dry-pants as well since you will probably do some swimming out of your boat for a while.


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