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Old 02-02-2016   #11
San Jose, CA, California
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 429
I think this is my new number 1:

From j-jo-ber:

".... Be willing to put in the time, a lot of it, and you'll be surprised at how much you can gauge your own progress. Don't rush. "

If paddling becomes a life sport for a person there is no rush to be at class IV in ___ number of seasons.

Thanks for the thoughts everyone.

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Old 02-05-2016   #12
Denver via GJ, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 333
Another tidbit on IV boating is that it seems to be the point where a boater can switch into different boats and still paddle and roll relatively competently.

IV is also where the velocity of drops changes especially at high flow. It's a point where you need to adapt to moving faster and get use to hitting holes rather than having the option of going around them.

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"I plan to leisurely advance through my existence" - Terry Fuhrman 1991
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Old 02-05-2016   #13
Stiff N' Wett's Avatar
Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 446
I think keeping your composure in and out of the boat will benefit you and your crew. When your boating you should be playing through different scenarios in your head: whose below me above me, what if Joe pins here and we are up river what would I do. I'm here and bob swims above me where would I set safety and how etc....
Pool and a pond... Pond be good for you.
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Old 02-06-2016   #14
Quiggle's Avatar
Summit County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 92
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 90
- Head is always on a swivel, looking at your safety, making sure the group is moving together, in communication range.
-being able to catch a micro eddy to set saftey if you see your hommie getting beat down
-knowing how to deploy rescue safely. you look at he river a lot differently when shit hits the fan
-Positive attitude no matter what the situation, this took me a long way in whitewater, same with the first

and +1 on the carrying your boat around a rapid, add to that scout if you have never seen it.

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Old 02-06-2016   #15
Grif's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 78
I thought everything through Class IV is totally safe, that there is literally no danger below Class V. Is this not true? Also, is Class IV always colder than Class III? How cold makes it Class IV? I don't have a Kokatat. What the hell?
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Old 02-06-2016   #16
Sacramento, California
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 232
Originally Posted by Grif View Post
I thought everything through Class IV is totally safe, that there is literally no danger below Class V. Is this not true? Also, is Class IV always colder than Class III? How cold makes it Class IV? I don't have a Kokatat. What the hell?
Nothing is total safe, but it's pretty hard to lose your life up through class 3, even though it happens. Class 4 and up is definitely more dangerous.

Cold water has nothing to do with the rating of a river.
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Old 02-06-2016   #17
Learch's Avatar
Dundee, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 655
More people die in II and III than IV and V. My nearest miss was a foot entrapment on a class II section of the North Santiam river. I was fully submerged for 2 minutes until I worked my foot loose. I was seconds away from swallowing water. I had to rotate my left knee enough that my foot was still stuck in the rock downstream and my torso was fully faced upstream. I could barely drive a clutch that night. This was after 15 years of running plenty of class III and some class IV.
When I did the Grand Canyon we never had a problem in the Class ten rapids, it was always the eights. We were so hyped on Lava, Crystal and Horn creek we were on high alert. House Rock, Bed Rock and Upset kicked our asses. Don't ever let your guard down on classification alone.
Wishing I was on the river instead of surfing the web...
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Old 02-07-2016   #18
canon city, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2011
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 46
I've looked at quite a few reports on American whitewater website regarding river fatalities. There is one predominant theme for sure. It's usually a swimmer that is victim of fatality. Usually a rafter that got thrown out or a kayaker that pulled the skirt. Rarely is it a kayaker that stays in the boat. Certainly pin situations happen, but if you stay in the boat, you are exponentially safer. I think this really defines a big piece of the progression to class IV terrain. Being able to roll reliably on both sides is extremely important. It is well worth the time in the pool. There comes a point when you do it enough, where you can orient yourself and do a roll, even if your setup got messed up and you have to start from scratch upside down. Now young grasshopper, you are ready for the river.

The other piece is learning the skills to stay in control and upright so you hardly even need to roll. Class III Rapids are generally short pool drop with few obstacles. This is the training spot for getting the skills to advance to longer, more technical Rapids requiring controlled maneuvers. Catch every eddy you can, practice ferrying and peeling out in your class III.
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Old 02-07-2016   #19
mattman's Avatar
Fraser, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,038
Not sure if it fits the scope of the dialog, but how about a solid understanding of river rescue, and at least some basic first aid skills?
Some times the newer paddler is the one in the right place to help, when things go wrong.
"Like a bunch of monkey's, trying to fuck a football."
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Old 02-08-2016   #20
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
A class 4 boater is in shape! As I get older this becomes more apparent. If you can't run a 5k in a respectable time. Stay out of class 4 runs.

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