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Old 01-31-2014   #1
bobbuilds's Avatar
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have you been pinned?

I was watching LVM last night, getting ready for the trip and they had a seggy on what to do in the situation of a pin. I realize some people are going to jump in here and say take a SWRC to know what to do. I want to hear about your experiance, and what you did or what was done to get you out of it. I have 2 to share, both mild in nature.

The first was with my friend on fossil creek.

We hiked up for laps on the falls and on our way down to the takeout he pinned at the top of a mini gorge on a log.

As we were dropping into the mini gorge I looked back after the first drop to see my buddys bow pencil in and stop.

Water was rushing over his shoulders and around his neck. As I got to the bottom of the gorge to exit my boat and work my way up to him I saw he had sank deeper, water now going over his helmet and the situation getting worse. I lost sight of him for 20 seconds, but i was counting the seconds between his pin and my arrival just for clarity of the time that passed.

I was able to get to him and pull his bow out from under the log in about 50 seconds total from time of pin. If i didnt have a gorge to negotiate it would have been faster, it is hard to know. We inspected the log after the pin and decided it was best he stayed put, a wiggle might have sent him under the log.


I was pinned on a solo lap of upper narrows of the poudre at a low flow.

My friend and I met for middle and lower laps, I was feeling confident, so Mark set safety for me at the hole on super collider. After I made the move through cabbage shreder I waved him off to go on down below whiteline.

From the eddy at CS I peeled out into a class 4 rapid above whiteline. I was on what I thought was a wave train and as I took a stroke to miss a partially under cut rock on the left bank only to hit my bow on a small rock and come to a stop.

Within seconds I was pushed to the bottom of the river, my head above water but everything else gone, boat, body etc.. I had no one to help me, mark was getting in his boat and no one could hear me. I tryed to wiggle, pry, lean, etc... fuck I was stuck. After a short time I found if I lunged forward my stern would come up a bit. I tryed a few more times and it poped me out, sideways and upside down. As I rolled up I could see on my bow a small crease in the nose. I was glad to be out. The awesome part is I kept my shit cool, and ran white line right after.

I know where my mistakes were this time, and I learned alot.

What can you share?

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Old 01-31-2014   #2
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
Back in the 90's, I was on a lower water level Selway trip. We camped last night just above the last "big" rapid. Don't remember name (Wolf Creek ?) but good sized cliff river right and the obvious run was down the chute there and miss or hit a hole at the bottom.

Several of us in kayaks, most in rafts.

We were ready to push off and one of the kayakers (in a creek boat) just for the fun of it, decided to run far left through a bunch of large boulders. He took off. We watched from the boats and did not see him exit the bottom. I was in a RPM Max with the bulkhead foot setup. Since I was in my kayak, I decided to go over river left to see if he was ok. Got there and saw a obvious very tight line off the river left bank with what looked like a easy low drop pour over. No sign of my bud so I elected to drop down into the next little pool a short distance below the little pour over. Looked easy and I drifted into the drop. Instantly bow was sucked left and disappeared. Turned out that pour over was a slanted log not easily visible above water. Boat slid down and as it did I could feel the right side pushing in. Immediately I started pulling my legs back. Ended up feet almost in the cockpit and butt up setting on the back band. Had a really good spray skirt and could feel the pressure and did a balancing act to not pop the skirt. Water was rushing up on lower chest but the boat's movement downward stopped. I just sat there. In a few minutes, I saw one of my buddies (we had been thru SWR training together) running up the bank with throw rope in hand. He got into good position and we decided on a rope toss. Perfect throw in my chest. I held on, popped free of the skirt and washed down the chute. He angled me in to the shore at the top of the next pool. Others came up and it took quite a while to finally get my RPM Max released. The right side was bent in big time. Bulkhead and aluminum side braces bent and ripped some screws out on the plastic bulkhead. Not much distance to the take out and I got on a buds big cat boat and with beer in hand enjoying the ride out.

We found out that my bud in the creek boat had the exact same experience I did. His boat tho did not stick like my Max did. Just rolled over cockpit facing down stream and he swam out. Boat followed and they both missed the undercut and swam to the bottom ok. My RPM Max was bent in big time and would not pop out. Back home, I ordered a new bulkhead (NOC sent me a new one free after hearing the story). I could not get the bump out. Finally one hot sunny day I left the boat out in the sun on our concrete driveway. One of my buds on the trip happened by. I secured the kayak while he got his size 12 foot into the cockpit. A really good push on his part and the boat popped out. Even knowing it was there, hard to see a crease mark and no cracks. I still have the boat and it is one of my favorites.

Lessons learned:
After that experience, the solid bulkhead kayak foot brace became my foot brace of choice.
Next, while the RPM Max is a great all around river running boat, it is not the boat to have in certain creeking drops. Maybe I did not handle the drop properly myself.
Finally, if you make a mistake - stay cool plus it pays big time to have your buds along who know what to do, how to do it and act accordingly.

Finally, at the time lots of people were complaining about Dagger kayak plastic.

Maybe I got lucky when my kayak was cooked but my Dagger plastic took a beating, probably saved me from serious injury and when popped out is still working and surfing just as good now as it did the day I bought it. For us larger kayakers, the RPM Max is a classic design that has stood the test of time in my opinion.

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Old 01-31-2014   #3
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
No, but I pinned a couple girls back in the day! Does that count. (-;
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Old 01-31-2014   #4
alta, Utah
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 121
Back in the 80's.....Took my first trip into the two black box sections of San Rafeal river in central Utah. After a long flat-water paddle and we could see that we were entering the whitewater section of the canyon, myself and partner got out to stretch our legs and discuss strategy. I launched back in off of a 4-5 foot undercut bank. In a patch of brush at the waters edge there was a completely hidden noose of rusty barbed wire. The nose of my old Dagger Response scooped it up and in a millisecond I was jerked to a halt & being held at a steep angle by a loop of taught barbed wire that went right over my waist/cockpit area and around under my boat. The entry angle and current teamed up to rotate me underwater....but, I was able to counter by bracing off the river bottom w/ paddle. I have no doubt that is the position the next group through would have found me in had I been boating solo or not had a capable partner. I could not have freed myself on my own & felt lucky to get away with a leaky skirt and a couple of small puncture wounds. Lesson: Paddle with capable & aware crew.
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Old 01-31-2014   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 117
I was running Meadow Creek in Ohiopyle, PA. As I was peeling out of an eddy I didn't see a 3 inch diameter log sticking out of the water about 12 inches out of the water. I tried to duck under it but it caught my lifejacket strap. My boat continued on but was floating in such a way that my head got pulled under water. Fortunately I was able to pull my skirt which let my legs drop to a semi vertical position which brought part of my head out of the water. About that time a friend came running up the shore and was able to pull my shoulder strap off the log.
Whitewater Map American Whitewater river info you can use.
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Old 02-01-2014   #6
floatingk's Avatar
Waha, Ida'maho
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Originally Posted by dirtbagkayaker View Post
No, but I pinned a couple girls back in the day! Does that count. (-;
6.2 by the judges

Getting pinned sucks, is scary, and ends up sending yourself and boating friends right into SWRC like someone already mentioned. Im very thankful that such a thing exists. Ive been punished so many more times than my liking by the river that I think it must be some kind of river spirit playing poker with my guardian angel. whatever that means....
Simply in between swims
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Old 02-02-2014   #7
Miller Time's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Pinned twice so far.... Big south there was a log on weird creek that I got stuck on across the chest. I probably could have let go and went under but I didn't want to try it. My crew was in an eddy below me telling me to let go. Lesson (for them) learned: if someone wants your help, and it doesn't jeopardize the safety of others just get out to help him. Later that day our friend Daniel was pinned with his stern in the river bed and he was facing downstream. He was slowly sinking. My mistake I learned was giving him the bag side of the rope when clearly I could have reached out and given the end instead. When you're in a hurry sometimes we don't think clearly. Practice practice practice.

The other time I was pinned was on SBC in the runout to the brain. Justin was in front of me and took an eddy behind a large rock. He couldn't see me. I concentrated on not moving as I've seen any little change in your posture can cause repeated change in your boat position. Lesson already learned in the past: keep your whistle accessible near your mouth so you can get your crews attention without moving or letting go of the rock/log.
History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.
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Old 02-02-2014   #8
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Golden, Colorado
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PS - Hey Bob. I need to make a custom atv ramp for my camper. I believe you said you were fairly good at welding. I could buy the material and pay you to come down and build it for me. Let me know.

History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.
-Winston Churchill-
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Old 02-02-2014   #9
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Originally Posted by Miller Time View Post
PS - Hey Bob. I need to make a custom atv ramp for my camper. I believe you said you were fairly good at welding. I could buy the material and pay you to come down and build it for me. Let me know.

Yo Syd,

I just built one for our long bed. I made each ramp 22" wide and 7'6" long. Our tailgate is 40" tall and there is plenty of ramp travel with out being too steep. We used 2x2 angle all the way, length and runners, it came out sick!

It is steel, so it is heavy, but i figure it can handle the weight easy when we upgrade to the 800 h.o next season. Right now we have an 05 sportsman 500 h.o in the bed and it works fine.

I originally was going to build a trailer to pull the boats up to the crystal, after some debate, test fitting and thought, we decided to build a boat rack on the quad instead of a trailer and the neighborhood tests are holding up great, so boats go overhead on the quad. Right now it can pull me and 2 creekers plus gear, we should only have to make 2 trips to the mill to get all our shit in!!!

Just so you know, there is an aluminum ramp sets pre built for 169.00 to 209.00 that you could have longer ramps than your truck bed allows to fit inside w the tailgate up, or we could make em fold in half etc...

Are you keeping the ladder rack on the truck? If so you can store longer ramps than the bed allows up on the ladder rack, and if we use aluminum instead of steel, we can keep the weight down quite a bit, tho steel is not bad.

I'd be glad to help, tell me your design ideas and we will build it!

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Old 02-02-2014   #10
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Buena Vista, Colorado
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Pinned in Pinball Rapid in Browns at record low flow last spring (it was like 125 if I remember right). Pinned backwards in the slot to the right of 4wd rock with my stern down and bow up. My face was about 10" below the surface. Easily flushed through the slot when I pulled, but my paddle was pinned around 10 minutes before it came loose.
I was the least experienced paddler in the group and the only one to attempt the move. In hindsight I should have followed the group's lead instead of trying it, but everything turned out OK.

GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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