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Old 07-09-2009   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 27
Kayakers vs. rafters

So I've just recently began getting on some whitewater. Bought a cat and run a few trips this year. I have many river miles but almost all in a canoe and on calmer stretches of river. Realizing my novice, I've scoured the pages of MB for all I can learn. Very vibrant, rich culture whitewater inspires.

One thing I seem to continually recognize as the elephant in the forum is a not-so-underlying distrust, almost an animosity between kayakers and rafters. I have to say I'm so new I don't understand. Sort of like your first year in SLC.

Seems kayakers feel rafters lack some version of integrity on the river. They can't be trusted in a situation. Rafters seem to think the best use for a kayak is as a groover.

I hope some of you will help me understand this version of a culture war in what I approached as a kind lifestyle.

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Old 07-09-2009   #2
no tengo
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Baytopia, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1876
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,768
I think many would disagree with you. Its not so much what craft you are in it is who you boat with.

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Old 07-09-2009   #3
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Lakewood, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,234
Mania has part of it... I'd add, Know Thyself. That usually dictates who you'll boat with and why. If you're going to share the river then it doesn't matter what type of boat you use.

Speaking of which, I met up with some very excellent rafters on Shoshone last week that allowed me to join their shuttle and kayak a lap with them. No animosity there!
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Old 07-09-2009   #4
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at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
Find out for yourself, if you just people just by the shape of their boat, the color of their skin, or their religion, you're just going to be part of the problem. Nice people are nice, mean people suck, no matter what they row/paddle. Get on with boating and don't worry about stereotyping people already.
I am a river, babe - I've got plenty of time, I don't know where I'm going, I'm just following the lines..... - "We are water" by Shaye
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Old 07-09-2009   #5
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Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 453
I do both. I've not encountered much animosity on the river, but trash talking comes with the territory. There are going to be jerks out there, but it certainly isn't the norm. Boaters in general are very nice people. Sorry you are getting a bad impression.
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Old 07-09-2009   #6
Colo Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 597
Most all I've seen is good natured ribbing. Lots of horsing around, but we all know we're there for each other when the need arises. Well, I don't know about that Grif fellow!
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Old 07-09-2009   #7
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
I kayak and raft, ergo I hate both. ...and i find it rather confusing
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Old 07-09-2009   #8
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 149
I have met some great people here, both rafters and kayakers. I have caught (and given) shuttles to both, without any issues or hassles. Shhh don't tell anyone, but I have even gone so far as to go boating with both rafters and kayakers at the time, together! Most people here are kindred spirits who live to get on the river.

I have also seen the ugly side, those belittle you for your gear, or think that they are better for having this or that. To me the bigger difference is those that boat and those that don't.

It doesn't matter what you use. Any day on the river is better then the best day on land.
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Old 07-09-2009   #9
North Bend, Washington
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 476
Thus far I fall into the "rafter' category (tried kayaking and it wasn't for me at the time). In so far as I can tell- nearly everyone I meet on the river is a little crazy and a lot of fun, regardless of what craft they are using.

However, I have noticed that I have gotten glares from kayakers who are surfing who don't want to move out of the way for my raft. As a rafter going downstream, I usually have only one chance to hit something whereas a kayaker can stay and play for hours if they choose. Also, IMHO, kayakers are a bit more manuverable than a bit fat raft, so- it would be nice if a kayaker who saw a raft coming for them, to politely move out of the way for the 23 seconds it takes me to go on by.

I don't have any animosity towards kayakers, but there are times when going down the river I'm thinkin' "really? - couldn't you wait a few seconds for me to get a good hit and then go back to surfin or whatever".

Kayakers- if I'm off in my observations, please feel free to enlighten me.

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Old 07-10-2009   #10
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 176
Originally Posted by David L View Post
Most all I've seen is good natured ribbing. Lots of horsing around, but we all know we're there for each other when the need arises. Well, I don't know about that Grif fellow!
This. Most people I know who boat have done both, although they tend to prefer one over the other. However you choose to go down the river, it's all fun.

The real hate is reserved for the fishermen.*

*Just kidding Travis!

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