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Old 06-13-2012   #21
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
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Most of all, make sure you're having fun.

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Old 06-13-2012   #22
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Bob, it sounds like you met what we call Blue House Hole. You're not the first person to get beat down there.

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Old 06-13-2012   #23
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Lakewood, Colorado
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Don't ever be afraid to get out and walk around something your uncomfortable with. If it feels sketch it probably is and you're probably not aligned with the river gods' plan of a beat down.
On the river, I can abandon who I am and what I've done. However brief it lasts, while on the river I am nothing important and everything insignificant. I am flotsam, and happy to be so.
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Old 06-13-2012   #24
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
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We all have bad days.

Shit that is easy on those days results in swims. Just part of boating.

Go to a play hole you know well and have some fun to get the monkey off your back.
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Old 06-13-2012   #25
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
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Bob, It sounds like you have some personal hang ups as well as boating hang ups. Not a big deal, we all do. Hell, I've been watching JD and Crazy Nate battling the sexual tension between them for several years and it's uncomfortable to witness (but so electric). Just don't take it out on your boating.

I say it's time to step it down a notch. I'm not a big subscriber to this whole mental toughness business. The way I see it, fear originates largely from things you don't understand and things you can't control. It's natural to encounter that sometimes in boating, but not constantly or overwhelmingly so. What people call mental toughness mainly comes from being well practiced and knowledgeable. In general, I don't quite buy this "I just need to nut up" attitude. What you need to do is focus, learn, rehearse, correct, practice some more, over and over and over again.

Personally, I know I'll never be the best kayaker out there - I won't even become a great one. Yes, that irritates me sometimes, but so do a lot of things in life. But, I'm still going to try to give it the best I can and focus on incremental improvements and so far that's kept me interested in and enjoying the sport. Some people seem to have this attitude that they must be boating such and such a run on a particular timeline. That's silly. You have to tailor your progression to yourself and what you're ready for.

I've never seen you boat, but based on your story here and posts last year about trying to figure out obtuse ways to run Gore, it just seems like you need to be more patient with your progression. I consider Waterton an easy run for me these days, but I went there the other week and it took me 3 tries to catch a little eddy on the left I wanted to get on Green Bridge. There's ample opportunity to learn in easier water.

I'll spare repetition of all the usual and good advise about how to progress. The main thing is to go out and implement some of that advice: practice and focus. Keep surfing it up and catching eddies while your buddies are pounding beers at the takeout. As you become a better boater - as you become a better person - people will gravitate toward you naturally. Focus on those things rather that what you have or have not run.
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Old 06-13-2012   #26
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Indian Hills, Colorado
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Adding to the "keep it fun" mantra, I've found that planning on walking stuff before you even get on the river is a way to deflate all the anxiety from a day of boating. You've got nothing to prove to yourself, nothing to prove to anyone else. You're on the river to have a good time, just like it should be.

Kevin, when you finally caught that little eddy, did you surf the wave next to it? It's so fast and nice.
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Old 06-13-2012   #27
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Denver, Colorado
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I just want to add as a caveat to Kevin's post, his becoming a better boater has not made him a better person.

The rest of his advice is spot-on.
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Old 06-13-2012   #28
Dipshit with the most.
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Bellevue, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1991
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Originally Posted by glenn View Post
Most class III runs have a good handful of CL IV moves. When you have the opportunity for a the isolated CL IV on your otherwise CL III run lap it. Own it.

If you are 'running' Class 3 and relaxed about it, then create a class 4 out of it.

Some good advice given when I was looking to step up to some 'easy' class 5: if you aren't ready and willing to play in class 4(+), then don't run class 5.

Surviving a rapid or run is a lot different than being comfortable in it. On your class 3 runs make it as hard as possible. Eddy out in the middle, go for micro eddys that look impossible to hit. Get spanked there before moving on.

If it ain't fun, you aren't going to relax. I realized I am not a class 5 kayaker, but I love to surf. That is what I did. Ran some tough class 4s and that was ok for me.

Good luck.
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Old 06-13-2012   #29
FoCo,NoCo, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 280
Been there. Even been in the same hole and swam out of it. And swam the next time, too. Only problem with swimming the BT is the shallowness. Beat down, then beat up.
I found the section above Drake, the section just below the gnar, to be a much better place to start. More distance between events/rapids.
Life ebbs and flows. Self confidence is the biggest safest tool around.
Step it down. Have fun. Meet people and paddle with them. Or the other way around. There are freaks of all sorts on rivers. That is one of the great things about it!
Cheers, Sarah
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Old 06-13-2012   #30
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Boulder, Colorado
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Dan, of course I did - what kind of fool do you take me for? I surfed it even when I missed the eddy above the rock, just caught the one below the rock.

Originally Posted by craven_morhead View Post
I just want to add as a caveat to Kevin's post, his becoming a better boater has not made him a better person.
Unfortunately, this is true. In fact, the quotients seem to be inversely proportional. The only consultation is I don't seem to be getting much better as a boater.

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