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Old 04-26-2005   #1
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
More self rescue???

This topic wasnt covered in the first kayak class I took just wet exit and t-rescue.
Last week I watched a new kayaker swim at Union@250ish that wasn't wearing a helmet nor booties at least he had a pfd, he did the water slide thing down a shoot and we spent awhile looking for his paddle. This guy had bought a used boat and paddle and went kayaking.

Comming from a SCUBA training back ground, after watching him and myself being a new nonrolling/swimming boater with some training. I am wondering about the safety aspect of kayaking during training, I know that shops and Instructors don't want to scare off the new paddlers by telling them what "could" happen. I know that the local shops and clubs offer continuing training, but when should this type of topic be brought up?
If kayakers are like my SCUBA students 3 out of 10 took follow up classes.

Is it to easy to learn to kayak? Are the classes to short? Is there enough emphasis on continuing education?
Myself I plan on learning all I can about kayaking including becoming an Instructor and swiftwater Instructor in time to teach the people I might be paddling with how to save me in the event...

Don't do anything, just stand there.
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Old 04-26-2005   #2
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 122
kayaking safety

I think that when someone goes into a river for the first time, be it kayaking or rafting, they need to be aware of the dangers of foot entrapment, strainers, and undercut rocks. (IE, don't stand up in water higher than knee deep, avoid any trees in the water at all costs, and know how to recognize a rock that may be undercut). Basic skills in reading the water are a must as well (downstream V usually is the easiest way to go, know how to recognize and catch eddies, recognize a hydraulic in time to avoid it if necessary, etc.). They should also know to try to keep ahold of their paddle and boat and swim to shore holding both- much easier than chasing them down the river after you get on shore!!!

These topics are usually covered in a beginner river running class (usually days 2 and 3 of a 3 day beginning kayaking class).

If you want to go into more depth with river rescue and safety, you should take a swiftwater rescue course. I took an awesome swiftwater rescue course with Dvorak Expeditions on the Arkansas river and it really helped my abilities to rescue others as well as myself, catching eddies while swimming class 4 rapids, etc. ( This course is not specific to kayaking, it is for any river sport. It does teach methods for rescuing people in a vertically pinned kayak, foot entrapment, etc.

Are you on the front range rasdoggy? what rivers do you like to run? I'm a class 3 boater without a river roll. wanna paddle together sometime?


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Old 04-26-2005   #3
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305

I am a Front Ranger (Littleton) still trying to get my pool roll down sometimes you will find me Paddling/Swimming at Union when the flows are low like >150, I know my limits, Yes all you big time paddlers can laugh at me if you want.
The girlfriend and I like to paddle out at the Deckers portion of the South Platte where I am just working on the FUNdementals, practicing my eddy stuff and even doing a little hole playing too while she is trying to get used to moving water. I walked down Waterton last week and I will admit that I know when not to get in over my head.

Right now I wont be doing any paddling for a few weeks as I had to have some knife work (surgery) done to my hand but after the rehab starts I be back out there practicing my self rescue till I get this roll thing nailed.
When that time comes it would be great to have an other paddler along to play with.

By the way Gary if you read this, thanks for the Help/Advice the other night. It sure motavated her.
Don't do anything, just stand there.
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Old 04-27-2005   #4
Superior, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 67
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It's very hard to learn without someone there to to teach/help even after you have taken the basic 2 -3 day class from one of the local shops. That is why clubs like the CWWA are so important.
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Old 04-27-2005   #5
Tiggy's Avatar
Steamboat Springs, CO
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 213
I have been paddling C-1/oc-1 for ten years or more. I have been instructing for about 8 years . Instucting really helped my paddling out. I dont think this would be the case in kayaking as I had the opportunity to teach beginners while polishing intermediate skills.
Time on the water is the best thing you can do.
I disagree you need a club in the eddy to learn, I think figuring things out on your own is great!
Try HARD moves on easy water. Catch those eddys, paddle upstream (ie make obtainments), take an aca course from a well known pro, check out 4-corners river sports.
I used to swim 3 times aday learning to surf an open canoe on ye ole yampa town run doh, dont tell ane1 !! But you learn, now that lil ironhorse hole is a wee riffle and I have moved onto the 4+ stuff when I can handle the andreniline.
I took 3 college , lol, yeah college, canoe couses paddled alot and got a job polishing,,,errr paddling canoes.
My philosophy is "TIME ON THE WATER" . Push your skills every now and then, just know your limits and go with good buddies.
One last thing,
Every Stroke Counts
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Old 04-27-2005   #6
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 122
It is my humble opinion that up to class 3 is fine even without a river roll (it took me 5 years to get a pool roll so I had to think there must be another way!!!! yeah I know I was a SLOW learner. Really slow!!! at least I have it now... in the pool...sometimes )

Bracing is even more important than getting the roll I think. people will probably disagree with me. In the last 6 or 7 times I've kayaked, class 2 and 3, I haven't gone swimming at all. A strong brace is the key- making sure you don't flip over in the first place!!! And being strong with catching eddies and ferrying is key too.

I expect to try waterton at the very end of the season this year, but not just yet, it's a bit over my head too. Now foxton on the other hand is AWESOME Great low flow class 3. That's my favorite run (just up the north fork of the south platte from waterton)

I don't think you necessarily need to join a club to keep learning, but finding good partners to paddle with who are better than you but won't push you to do stuff you're not ready for is important for sure.

let me know when your hand is healed and let's go boating!!! my e-mail is

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Old 04-27-2005   #7
Superior, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 67
Send a message via AIM to Lurch
Yes if you have someone there that is good enough to chase down boats and help you learn the basics then you don't need a club. But few people getting into kayaking know people who already kayak, that's where the club comes in.

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