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Old 10-17-2010   #11
NathanH.'s Avatar
N/A, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 325
Get into having good habits:
go with a good crew, people that have you're back no matter what.
When you're picking it up scout! not only where to go in the boat but where to go out of the boat. Have safety at the bottom if you're worried and get the right gear, like a good PFD, and cold water gear if it's needed.

Play boat a lot to work on the skills you need in rapids! (Rolls, Braces... maybe some swims.)

Give it respect and you'll have the time of your life.

This mustache has a weight limit!
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Old 10-17-2010   #12
Charleston, West Virginia
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 76
Yeah, to be honest, it's kind of difficult to actually get a physical injury paddling compared to most other sport. But that's the problem... in most other sports, the worse you F up, the worse you get beat up. The problem with Whitewater is the worse that you F up, the more likely you are to die... To put it into somewhat grim terms.

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Old 10-17-2010   #13
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
No doubt kayaking is more dangerous than skiing or snowboarding or atv etc. It's still not like base jumping or hard drugs or the like. It's not a death wish, and you aren't limited to quiting or dieing. I believe it was the ACA that put together a study that found whitewater enthusiasts as a group (II - VI) are at lower death risk than the daily vehicular commuter.

The more you learn about what the water is capable of doing, the better you can make your own decision about the risk.
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Old 10-18-2010   #14
Chicago, Illinois
Paddling Since: 08
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 16
I really appreciate the feedback. As I stated before I really do not feel the need to do anything over clas III, well who knows as I progress that may change. But I think if I practice alot and take some more courses I will obviously become a better and more confident boater. I guess there will always be a fear factor to a certain extent and as others have said it is and can actually be a good thing if it does not hinder youre performance.

But I do still see this sport as being very dangerous considering all of mother natures and man made elements and obstacles that are on the rivers.
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Old 10-18-2010   #15
Cphilli's Avatar
Copper Mountain, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 288

"Hang in there, bro. First thing is quit reading these community forums or watching hair-boating videos. Get yourself a veteran boating buddy or three and start boating. Frequency is what is demanded. Get out there and do it with a possee that has your back and will teach you right. Work your way up through the classes and advance to the next level only after your sporting around confidently in each of the levels as you progress. Enjoy it! It is the best sport! "


Couldn't have said it better myself.

I'd consider myself lucky in 1 or 2 situations I have gotten myself into since boating. It will happen, I usually get about an average of 2 swims a season. I'd like to make it 0 but I am a realist and know that risk is an unavoidable thing in this sport(I feel that risk is required to progress at this point). Knowing how to keep it together in your head is very important when these things happen (mind you my "bad" experiences have usually been in IV+/V), swimming in II/III is not required, but learning how to keep yourself together may work to your benefit down the road.

Boating has taught me more about who I am than anything else I have struggled through in my life, and I will be in my boat until it isn't physically possible for me.
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Old 10-18-2010   #16
Chicago, Illinois
Paddling Since: 08
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 16
In regards to what SOLID posted, I would like to know what is a good helmet / PFD, I've been looking at the Stohlquist wedge, and for helmets I am considering a Shred ready scrappy or a WRSI,,, Any thoughts ??? for a newbie. Oh and a decent begginers paddle.

As of now I just have my Mamba 8.0 and an immersion research shockwave spraskirt.
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Old 10-18-2010   #17
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 403
Originally Posted by Flying_Spaghetti_Monster View Post
I would say that over all kayaking is a safe sport. You should be more worried about taking up riding a dirt bike or a four wheeler. Does anyone know the statistics on how many kayakers that know what they are doing die in an average year. I say kayakers that know what they are doing because there are a lot of deaths from people that a new running class IV's or low head dams without safety gear. I hear of way more deaths involving atv's than kayaks.
This guy clearly has not been paddling very long.

Get a really good, safe helmet - Sweet or WRSI in my opinion. Also you may want to get a Stand Up Paddleboard. Kayaking was more of a 1995-2005 kindof thing. SUP is the way of the future.
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Old 10-18-2010   #18
Chicago, Illinois
Paddling Since: 08
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 16
Great, now that I am just getting into Kayaking youre telling me its out of style or not up with the times. LOL
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Old 10-18-2010   #19
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
Another vote for WRSI. You can get a facemask or ear covers for it if you want and they're safe & comfortable. I would say any PFD you'll find at your local paddle shop will be fine. Get the one that is most comfortable and least restrictive. For a new boater's paddle, I'd suggest a Werner Rio. The thing is cheap and virtually indestructible. It won't perform as well as the higher end paddles, but you won't really need that performance for a while and I'd rather lose a $100 paddle than a $400 one.

Once you have good gear, the key to safety in class III in my mind is knowing the run you're on and being prepared for the possible scenarios. The majority of class III deaths seem to come from flush drownings. Dressing for the swim (regardless of air temp) and knowing how to swim (SWR class) will get you out of pretty much any class III mishap. But you'll want to know the run and know the locations of bad spots (Frog Rock on the Ark). You also need the skills to avoid hazards you may come upon, like trees or other strainers and lowhead dams.

Boating really is the greatest sport in the world and anyone that says they don't get the heebie jeebies from time to time is either lying or crazy. If you can manage your fear there is nothing more rewarding than a day on the river.
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Old 10-18-2010   #20
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 403
I'm just kidding, kayaking still rules. Definitely the most dynamic, exhilarating and all encompassing sport in the world. You are super stoked you're discovering it.

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