I have run 5-10 Diamond Downs a year since 2006 and have watched this rapid grow since before it was anything and the rock island was buried underwater. We would fall asleep and nightfloat through it regularly.
For a long time while I watched it grow and I considered it all hype - the new road, the "unrunnable waterfall", the fear of the unknown. I thought people were totally being wussies as many GC boaters are. The rapid has always had a clear run until recently. I thought that a new road was ridiculous. If you can row the entire canyon, that rapid should be totally doable. I now aggree with the new takeout and agree that the proponents of it had some great foresight.
Fall 2010ish is when I first saw it as a "no shit, this is a dangerous rapid". It was when the far left line changed from a bumpy ride to that big upstream u shaped hole that you can see in the above photos. The far left line now looks like the potentially most dangerous part of the rapid. I threw a log in this winter and watched it recirculate until I was bored. The big holes the the left of the island are HUGE. F that. The rapid is now really gnarly. It is totally crazy, and I do not want to row a raft through.
That said, for a good kayaker, there is totally a line. It is there. It is good to go. I may not be diving in anytime soon, but people are still running way crazier rapids.
I will be stoked to watch the continual change in the future with the changing Lake Mead levels and the higher flows this year.
In 2007 we were goofing off and put too many people in a mini me and ran the right line clean, and then flipped in an eddy line. I had a long swim. Check it out:
YouTube - wwf swim
I am not sure how to embed videos. HElp anyone.