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Old 11-22-2010   #1
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 33
Does Playboating Help your Creeking? And is there any Playboating in Oregon?

Hey Guys,
I've been looking into moving out west from WNC to finish school either at OSU in OR or UI in ID. I just started not to long ago and mainly creek out here in the SE. I was just wondering If oregon happened to have any playboating near corvallis, portland, or the hood ect... I paddle about a III+-IV level hopefully be a solid IV boater by this season and have always been told that playboating really helps improve your creeking skills as far as getting stuck and surfed in holes and knowing how hydraulics of the rivers work ect...? Is that true does playboating help your creeking and does oregon happen to have any play spots you can learn on cuz I get waxed and the total beatdowns sometimes when surfed in a munchy hole and wanna learn the skills on how to surf and get out of them instead of gettn flipped or tossed around like usual...

Please Help

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Old 11-22-2010   #2
phlyingfish's Avatar
Moscow, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 269
Yes x 2.

If nothing else, playboating improves your roll. Depending on how much you go, it can also improve your fitness, boat control, and balance. Most people who diss playboating also suck at it and/or live far from a decent spot. Hence, many people in WNC diss playboating.

Most reliable playboating in OR is the ocean. There are a few rivers with excellent features that come in after some rain. Some claim Lake Creek is the best play run in the nation. Overall, Idaho has better, more consistent playboating. The Salmon almost always has a surfable feature with eddy service as does the Lochsa when it is running. The Payettes also have great surf and two whitewater parks. At U of I you are also within striking distance of the Spokane River, which features a number of great spots at varying water levels. All the Idaho stuff is fed by snowmelt, so it runs on a fairly predictable schedule. In OR, by contrast, you'll just be waiting for a lot of rain.

That said, there is almost zero paddling, playboating or otherwise, in Idaho during the fall and winter. OR starts running in the late fall and goes all winter. Trade-offs...

"A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes writing for the majority in New Jersey v. New York
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Old 11-22-2010   #3
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 33

Lol that's usually how most sports go where ppl only diss it cuz they've never tried or suck but I have never heard anyone out here dis playboating most creekers I know encourage it in order to improve your boat control and other skills but thanks for all the info! I think im diggin oregons program and style of paddlin more but can you learn to playboat pretty well on the ocean? or is that totally different from what im thinking as far as boat control and learning how to surf holes ect....?
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Old 11-22-2010   #4
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
We actually have something running somewhere pretty much all year. Prime time is October to April, and runoff season in May and June tends to be awesome. As noted above, there aren't a ton of play features in Oregon. Corvallis is closer to them than Portland is.

As far as playboating helping your skills, of course. Time on the water helps, period. I'm not a park and play guy, but I will run my playboat on the easier stuff for the explicit reason that the boat is unstable and prone to kicking me at random moments.
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Old 11-23-2010   #5
Arkansas during the off-season Nomadic during the summers! :), Arkansas & Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 945
Helped mine! Thats actually why I started playboating. I still think oh crap if I get surfed in my creek boat before I remember ohyeah it's just like play boating.
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Old 11-23-2010   #6
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
That's what I've been told by numerous times. Even learning some of the tricks would help, I think, because it familiarizes yourself with those positions. You'd be less panicky over accidental cartwheels and squirts, I'd imagine. I've seen Dave Frank do a cartwheel (on purpose, I think) in his creeker at O-Hole, and he mostly just creeks.

Me, I have a G-Ride, not the best for play (don't think I'll be able to do a flat-water cartwheel in my 6.5), but it can surf and be less-stable down rivers better than the usual creek boat, so it has taught me well. I plan to get a more play-worthy boat eventually though.
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Old 11-25-2010   #7
smauk2's Avatar
Near water (hopefully), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 770
Playboating is great because I get to show off all the time. Nothin like a couple of hotties watching me get windowshaded at the top of buena vista at high water. Replenish your tired muscles with a good 3.2 beer after.
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Old 11-26-2010   #8
The next zone, .
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,200
I have never seen a "I am only a hard core creek and playboating is gay" type be able to jump into a play boat then destroy a good feature...

But I have seen a the "I play boat every day" type jump into a creeker and soon excel at creeking....

If you dont ever playboat it will show in your skill set and the best boaters out there are the ones who can kill a creek in the am then go to the local spot and destroy it in the pm.. Most places in the west have a good chance to both play and creek. Here in colorado - I am pretty sure that only the boaters up in ft collins are the ones who are too sweet to own a playboat ...

From what I have seen if ya got the ballz and a roll you can huck yourself (then half successfully fall down class V) off just about anything but if you want to throw a blunt to mcnasty then you are going to have to put in your time on the wave..

I love creekin and I love to playboat... Fortunatly I live in a place that has both great creeks and sweet playspots here in colorado.
"I feel better than any other time when I am in the mountains and uh I cant explain it ya know...." - Shawn Farmer..........
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Old 11-27-2010   #9
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Teacher, Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 251
Originally Posted by RDNEK View Post
Here in colorado - I am pretty sure that only the boaters up in ft collins are the ones who are too sweet to own a playboat ...
That reminds me--you gotta bring that playboat down next summer for some high water poudre runs. Also, I think your statement is right--the only guys I know here in the fort who playboat are ones who used to live in BV

My 2 cents on the question as someone who got into creeking after learning as a playboater: Playboating def helps the creeking skills. Several times I have saved my ass by playboating out of a hole in my creekboat for example. Plus, a playboat really forces you to learn how to roll, brace, and use your hips a bit earlier in the process. Either way though, time on the water is best.
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Old 11-27-2010   #10
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Near water (hopefully), Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 770
Most people I kayak with who live in fort collins play boat also. It helps, common sense.

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