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Old 09-07-2011   #11
GearDog's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 397

Thanks for the reply. Makes sense. Do you ever worry they will get snagged on something? I was always under the impression that any loose ropes/straps are a hazard but I guess if they are short enough then the benefit to having them if/when a swim occurs outweighs the potential hazard?

Thanks again, Lenny.

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Old 09-07-2011   #12
lhowemt's Avatar
at my house, Montana
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,347
A swim from any craft is going to suck on that river.

I wouldn't say it is easier to swim from a cat, although a lot of kayakers seem to think so. We are quite well braced into our frames, not precariously perched up there like people have asked me. While you only have your paddle to brace with (I'm sure this is simplistic) we have a lot of options. That includes highsiding all over the place, lots of frame to grab to keep you from going off/over, lots of tag lines and oars to catch if you do swim, and then with an open cockpit it's pretty darn easy to get back onto your boat.

If you do swim the #1 rule is to never leave your boat, it is the biggest PFD you have. It seems to me if a kayaker swims on that river you are SOL and better get to shore, while we tend to get back to our boat ASAP. The goal being to get back in the seat, which may or may not require a reflip. It is ideal to have your boat right side up so you are again rowing (duh), but an upside down cat is pretty stable although gear is going to get trashed.

Tag lines are life lines, although I have heard of one instance where someone had to cut one. They are flat webbing which do not tend to snag (do not use rope or tubular webbing). I do not use my side ones as flip lines as Josh does, I don't like them that long near my oars. There are always risks with every rigging decision, but the benefits of tag lines far outweigh the risks.

It's funny, I can't imagine running that river in a kayak. How do you guys see?!?! And you're down in that shit, instead of (mostly) on top of it. Yikes, that's too much for me.

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 09-07-2011   #13
jmcdannel's Avatar
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 159
Our law is no different - "DO NOT SWIM"

But, we have a different definition, or classification, of swimming.

A swim is being in the water, separated from your boat.

If you flip, you must hang onto the boat, climb on top, then asses your situation and decide when you can attempt a reflip.

If you fall in or over, but the boat is upright, you must hang on to the boat and climb back in ASAP.

It is very important to stay with the boat - they float really really well.

If you flip or fall in and get separated from the boat, it is life threatening - just like a kayaker swim.
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Old 09-07-2011   #14
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 505
Those are great explanations.

I don't kayak that river, nor do I really expect to get to that point. The risk is far too great for the reward, for me.

I actually feel much more comfortable on a cat than any other craft, but for money reasons got into kayaking and love it a ton. Oaring is more natural to me, and I'm pretty good at it. Paddling was not natural and I find myself correcting a lot of things that are appropriate while oaring but not good paddling. So I can certainly understand a lot of the things you're saying about kayaking in water like that...
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Old 09-07-2011   #15
Boise, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1962
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1
Your signature line is great!

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