One great thing about Open boats are that they effectively eliminate the risk of a pin, which is probably the cause of the majority of whitewater deaths. Of course, this is not the reason that I paddle one, as it is simply the style that I prefer, but it is certainly a plus. I am also of the mindset that with the right skill level, just about everything that can be run in a kayak can be run in a canoe (aside from bigger waterfalls). While this seems crazy to some people, look at the stuff that's been run: Niagra Gorge, Raven Fork, etc. Hell, I've paddled the Lower Meadow and NF Blackwater, and I personally know numerous unheard of OC-1ers that are much better than me.