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Old 03-26-2008   #21
krashhadley's Avatar
Grand Junction, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 78
I will admit that health insurance is a good thing to have, and if you can get good coverage at a price you can afford then that's great. However, don't let the lack of it stop you from living.

life is too important to be taken seriously
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Old 03-26-2008   #22
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 113
KSC is right. Get health insurance. He's always jacked up. It's either trashing an elbow mtn biking or blown shoulders like many of us.

Give boating a go. This forum is full of guys who couldn't function in society without paddl'n.

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Old 03-26-2008   #23
nmalozzi's Avatar
Front Range, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 330
Originally Posted by basil View Post
Overall, it's worth the risk.
I second that remark.
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Old 03-27-2008   #24
Park City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1985
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 700
Interesting question on several levels. I personally would not boat without insurance. I have had dislocations, broken bones, lacerations, and beat downs where it was difficult to walk for several days. I did not visit a doctor for any of these. In the last four years I have had a friend or acquaintance die every year. The most recent does not seem to be a drowning, but the others were. The consequences of a screw up are big. I took a year and a half off after one of these events, but couldn't stay away from the adrenaline or beauty of the river. I participate in a ton of mountain related sports and we have built our lives around the pursuit of said sports. None has higher consequences or higher rewards than kayaking. Climbing is the only thing close in my mind. Hope you find it as addicting as I did when I first learned to roll!
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Old 03-27-2008   #25
spartankayaker's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 70
Originally Posted by basil View Post
Several years ago, someone asked this exact same question on a post.

One of the replies was so good, I saved it:
I'll second those thoughts... I think we all came to it for reasons personal to us, but in the end I think this quote sums up why most of us are here and why we stay in this sport... "Kayaking is the only avenue of my life where I can figure out physically and mentally what I'm capable of doing... The day you stop taking risks is the day you stop living." Jesse Coombs.

Growing old is mandatory... growing up is optional
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Old 03-27-2008   #26
iliketohike's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 94
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 176
when you start boating your risks are different then when you're a seasoned 'semi-pro' (Lelands comment made me laugh and think of that movie semi-pro) or advanced boater. You should be learning in a pool first. Risk of injury in a pool... pretty much zero with proper instruction, but without instruction or solo, you're very unlikely to break any bones and go to the emergency room, but you could drown (spelling), in which case the cost of an ER visit is mute, and rather your family will be finding a funeral home.

On easy rivers the risk of going to the emergency room is smaller than any other sport I do. That is drastically smaller than skiing, but probably fairly close to roped sport climbing. In fact I would most closely compare entry level boating to sport climbing: the risk of injury is actually quite small, but the risk of death is actually fairly high. Tie your knot wrong climbing and you'll be lucky to go to the emergency room, and if you do you'll probably just be happy to be alive and not care about the cost of the visit. Boating is alot like this, the consequences can be extremely harsh if you make THE terminal mistake, but the risk of small injury, such as breaking bones and the like are relatively small.

This changes as you grow with the sport, as running the upper level rapids pretty much anything can happen, broken ribs, cuts, all sorts of nasty stuff can happen. But remember you are just learning, and so you won't be doing that stuff for a while, probably till after you gradimicate. So as a beginner, just respect the deadly nature or water... but you're not going to have a problem with minor (ER) injuries.

Given the two cents nature of the forum I am sure someone will have some hollier than though comments as to why I am completely wack and wrong, but that is my opinion.
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Old 03-27-2008   #27
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1994
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 52
Originally Posted by iliketohike View Post
just respect the deadly nature or water...
I think this is the key - respect the sport you're choosing, and inform yourself of the risks, as you're beginning to do here. In my experience, injuries and accidents occur when people fail to recognize and respect the risks they are actually taking. I still remember the first time I realized what a sieve was, and wondered how many I had paddled by without realizing what I was doing, and how I had failed to recognize a potentially deadly hazard. Start slow, focus on the basics, and prepare yourself before you move up to a harder class. This way, you will be able to recognize your own abilities and limits, and remember why you do any sport - for the challenge, for fun, for self discovery. Running big Class V or your first Class III can make you feel like a hero, but only if you know what you've just done. Otherwise, it's just splashing around in the water. Any tool can goob their way down a river, but if you take your time, learn, respect yourself and the river, the end result will be infinitely more fun, fulfilling and rewarding - and safe. The more time on the river you have, the more you will see and learn, so that you actually know what you are accomplishing. Keep your eyes open, get out there, and have fun.
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Old 03-27-2008   #28
yourrealdad's Avatar
185 lb. waste of space, Keeping Glenwood Springs real
Paddling Since: 1864
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 917
This sport is only as dangerous as you make it. If you learn from good people who are generally abundant in this community, go at a pace that maybe pushes you but is still in you skill range and keeps you happy, boat with people you can trust and they will not push you to do something then most of the time you will have no problems.

That being said you can worry about getting hurt and the doctors bills and death, but sorry to sound blunt but if you die you dead so you ain't got to worry about shit. And if you are truly worried about dying doing something that one day might consume your life because you love it more than life, then you will probably be one of those people who die crossing the street after picking up their orange mocha frapachino from starbucks and get hit by the city bus. That happens approximately 460,000 time each year in the united states and is the number 2 killer amongst yuppies aged 23-37.
970-217-21 six six
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Old 03-27-2008   #29
Monroe, Utah
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 137
Been boating since 1970 and have never been injured while in my boat. Hiking, etc. I've found to be more dangerous. I've not boated harder than class IV either. I think while I'm in my boat I'm as safe or safer than any where else. It's more dangerous drive to and from the river than the actual boating if you make the right decisions while on the river. I also, do some shoulder excercises to keep my shoulders in shape.
When the river stands in awe of me as I do her, I'll know I'm a kayaker.
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Old 03-27-2008   #30
Metro Area, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 214
i would def. look into some very basic health coverage. you can get hospital coverage for around $100/month. Last summer I was between jobs and didn't have coverage for about 6 weeks. Walking my boat up to the car after a run I slipped and sliced my hand on a rock. 2 stitches cost me $700 at the local emergency room. I'm not kidding. I wished I had paid the $100 and been covered for the month instead of forking out $700 for some damn stitches.

In my 4 years of kayaking I dislocated both shoulders and sliced my hand. I wouldn't say it is the safest sport, but def. worth the risk if you take it slow and stay with in your limits.

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