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Old 06-29-2009   #11
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
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Originally Posted by Chip View Post
Some people who run ass-thumping stuff like the Lochsa at high water use oar rights. It gives you one point of certainty in an otherwise fluid situation.
Yeah Boy!

This is good, I was thinking of taking off the wheels this spring. Then came high water on the Lochsa and I said NFW, at least not my first year on it, probably never in that situation for me. After I drop an oar, and go to grab it, I want it down in the water in the right spot NOW.

But now that we're down to more mellow summer floating, I might take them off and try it for my next trip. We'll see. I agree with how stifling they are in flatwater, but flatwater is stifling anyways.

If you're indecisive, go without. Most people use what they learned on and if you can by without, what the heck.

I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 06-29-2009   #12
Dave Frank's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,727
I just got the convertibles. I really like not having the trainers most times, but when it gets bigger i love to be locked in at least as I learn. It can be really hard to disengage that upstream oar if you get it sideways. I got sideways with a sideways up stream oar in the royal gorge a few weeks and got pulled right out of the boat. Fortunately I had squeezed my oarlocks in the vice that morning and the downstream one held in the lock and I was able to pull my self back in with it.

With the convertibles, you can flip 'em right in at the top of a rapid if you feel the need. I assume I will get over that feeling with some more "untrained" experience.


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Old 06-29-2009   #13
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RFV, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
Hated them. Tried them when I first got my boat and they came with the setup. Tried again on cataract through the first couple rapids. Could not get the proper feel. tossed them in a bucket and they sit there today.The wrist action without the rights just feels natural. I think its a love it or hate it thing.

Damn, I need to get my cats wrapped. I love the donut though. Makes it so much easier to adjust the oar on the fly.
Claimer: Someone that makes a claim that they have been there and done that, can do anything you can do better than you. I hate "claimers"
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Old 06-30-2009   #14
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 149
I have always rowed without them, but for me it came naturally. There has been several times that if I had not been able to feather an oar under water, I would have been tossed. I just got off the San Juan a few weeks ago, and being able to feather in the wind was great.

I am starting to teach my kids to row, and my 6 year old son is doing pretty good about keeping the blades in the right position. My 8 year old daughter on the other hand has a hard time doing it. The way she rotates her hands spins the blades, so I am considering getting the convertible ones to help teach her.
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Old 06-30-2009   #15
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
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I like to feather my oars both in the water and through the air. Oar rights dont let ya do that. But I hear ya about knowing where your blade is.
That said I think I have devised a scheme to make an index on my Cataract grips ... 3" heat shrink tubing with something (not sure what yet) underneath, maybe something like a popsicle stick. I just ordered the tubes the other day. I'll let yall know how they come out.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 06-30-2009   #16
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 95
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Newbie fisherman rafter, started 3 years ago...My buddy and I started with oar rights on our 14 foot raft, took them off after a few days on the water, never even thought about putting them back on.

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Old 06-30-2009   #17
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
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Posts: 184
So far I am seeing a lot a personal preference expressed here and while I give credence to the training wheels argument I presently run rights. I learned to row without but appreciate the help in keeping my blades vertical in big water and while surfing. You will break more blades with rights, just because there is less give in the system. Rights really suck if you don't get them on quite tight enough and the shaft spins in there. I also think rights will save you one flip in your career, that violent flip where the upstream oar gets sucked under the boat while you are getting side surfed.
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Old 06-30-2009   #18
timbuktu, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 679
I started out without and really didn't think anything about it... but when I bought my new boat I got new oars with rights to try them out. I have to say, I think the whole feathering thing is in your head. I remember looking at people with rights on and thinking it was for amateurs, thinking my feathering was so beneficial. Now that I've used rights for 3 years I can honestly say I'm not embarrassed to use them. They keep it simple and you are always in your power position. If you do slip an oar in big water the correct position is easily regained. Do what you are comfortable with. In big water or big wind, rights are helpful. My wife also likes them when she gets behind the oars.
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Old 06-30-2009   #19
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San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 485
Try it both ways....

I HATE oar rights, Even in 'ass thumping water' like the Lochsa, Cataract, etc.... I found that when running heavy water you often are trying to catch eddys (or avoid in the GC), or move around in squirrelly water. Often with oar rights I found have my oar gets yanked from my hand because it catches a different current and gets sucked away. when I have no oar rights I can usually feather or flick the wrist and get my oar back. With no oar in your hand you have become a passenger!!

I will disagree with Pearen's statement that rights would save you one flip due to an upstream oar beings sucked under the boat, I feel with out oar rights you can generally avoid that. I loose grip of my oars much, much less when I dont have rights on.

I also think that oar rights can really hurt yourself, or you passenger. You could rip out your shoulder or have the oar whack your passengers.

Conversely, I know a lot of really good boaters that like Oar rights, and Pin and Clips. You will also see people on NF Payette with pins a clips, this a serious river with all kinds of scary things. I think it comes down to personal preference. People used to take scows and wooden boats down many of the rivers we take our $5000 oar rigs!

Have fun!

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Old 06-30-2009   #20
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Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
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Originally Posted by LSB View Post
I like to feather my oars both in the water and through the air. Oar rights dont let ya do that. But I hear ya about knowing where your blade is.
That said I think I have devised a scheme to make an index on my Cataract grips ... 3" heat shrink tubing with something (not sure what yet) underneath, maybe something like a popsicle stick. I just ordered the tubes the other day. I'll let yall know how they come out.
I've heard of putting a pencil under the grip so you know, by feel, which way is up. Never tried it.

Karma is like this: If we set causes in motion the effects come back to us.
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