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Old 02-03-2012   #21
Duluth, Minnesota
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 175
I see that you've got this conversation going on boatertalk as well, which is great. Fair warning though, you're liable to start a shit storm in certain circles by even bringing up the green. Actually, from what I can tell you're always in danger of a shit storm getting started there. I'm surprised that no one got uppity already. Get boating with someone who is a good teacher and enjoy the ride.

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Old 02-03-2012   #22
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 505
Learn your roll first, and then worry about conquering eddy lines before you worry about taming Class IV.

I think you need to buy the best boat for the rivers you're going to be floating. A Remix is a great versatile boat, especially for here in Idaho. Pretty much everyone runs a Remix. But, that may be different in where you're boating.

I don't recommend learning to roll in a playboat, but I do recommend doing as much playboating as possible before jumping into serious whitewater. Playboating will teach you so much about edge control, paddle control, weight/balancing, and how to work a hole, which can be vital when you step up to Class IV. Knowing how to playboat kept me from swimming and being trashed in decent sized holes more than a few times.

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Old 02-03-2012   #23
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 505
Also, I'll echo what everyone else has said: you need to have respect for the river. Hopefully it doesn't take a pummeling for you to learn this lesson.
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Old 02-03-2012   #24
Bellevue, Washington
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 112
I did the thing where you start out in a river/play boat (Wavesport EZ) and it was great for me. I grew up IKing and rafting, so learning to read water wasn't an issue. Learning to control the boat, not catching my edges and rolling on command were the skills I needed to gain.

But I think that it's more important that you carefully pick where you push yourself. Once you have learned the basics and are comfortable with your boat, ask the locals what rivers have relatively tough rapids (water wise) but minimal consequences. Places with minimal risk of a pin, flushy holes and pools at the bottom of rapids for recovery are ideal. That way, if you start the day thinking you're pushing your limits a bit, but find out that you are in over your head, you learn from the experience instead of getting yourself hurt. Talk to any boater who has been at it for a while, and they all have a story about some time they got scared but didn't let that keep them from coming back to the river.
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Old 02-03-2012   #25
Shelby, North Carolina
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 59
Thanks for all the info guys, and I guess the reason i bring up the Green river is because it is only a 30 minute drive from my house to the Narrows! Now I only see myself running the lower and upper green river parts and skipping the Narrows this summer, but my ultimate goal is to be able to safely run the narrows (hopefully in about 3 years if i'm able to paddle as much as i'd like, time permitting).
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Old 02-03-2012   #26
dirtbagkayaker's Avatar
Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,323
Originally Posted by KSC View Post
I would vote for neither. I say get a river running playboat design like a Jackson Fun or even a full on playboat if you want to be really aggressive. You'll want a boat like this eventually anyway. I think this kind of boat will force you learn body position and edge control much better and faster rather than relying on the boat's volume to do the work for you. You can certainly run that type of boat in class IV water and even beyond. I think that's the boat of choice for the aggressive beginning paddler and a river runner is the boat of choice for the less aggressive paddler afraid of taking a beating.

But of the two choices you offered, I'd say "river runner". People take boats like the Remix down all sorts of creeks so it's not like they will hold you back from The Green. In fact, the line between creekboat and river runner is getting increasingly blurred. It doesn't really matter because in 2 years you'll probably have already cracked your boat and need something new.

When you run The Green in two years, before sure to tell everybody you run The Green as a code word of saying you're a really awesome boater. Just kidding. Have fun getting into the sport. I hear boating has been good in the SE this year.

x2, what KSC said. if you have any skills at all. you'll want a play boat within a couple months. Most everyone I boat with runs IV in playboats. (maybe not the green well maybe?? whats the flow.) I think its aswome to go all GNAR on people. I second the "Tell everyone your the best boater on the river" By the way, "I am the best boater in Cali right now, so if you hear about some old dirtbag ripping it in Cali, That would be me!"
Bound is boatless man
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Old 02-03-2012   #27
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Bazzaro, World
Paddling Since: 2020
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Posts: 1,323
Originally Posted by KSC View Post
Starting in a playboat will make you ready for creekboating faster. A playboat can take you down anything a creekboat or river runner can in your first couple years of boating. It will amplify the effects of all your movements and the river features forcing you to learn faster. You will crash more than if you were in a creekboat/river running as you learn proper technique. This is a good thing. It's generally ok to crash in class III, and you'll do that a lot starting out. Crashing in class V and even class IV can get ugly.

This claim that you can't run class IV/V in a playboat is just silly. Dane was a better than me when he was still in diapers and I've run plenty of creeky IV+/V- in a playboat.

As an aside, I'm not much into playboating but there's no doubt that playboating can dramatically improve your creekboating skills.

You should do some internet searching if you want to learn more about boat design, but in general a beginner will have an easier time controlling a boat w/ edges than without. But yes, the differences between designs won't be important to a beginner.

I think you're starting to butt heads with the kayaking culture. Kayakers are generally humble and respect the power of the river. Most everybody who's been doing this for a while has seen new guys come out charging hard and paddling stuff way over their heads. The river can be remarkably forgiving, but if you can paddling out of control it will eventually catch up with you. Watch the true experts out there and see how they negotiate a rapid. If you can't move with the same control and ease as they do, hit the same eddies and make the same moves, you're likely not really successfully paddling the rapid even if you came out unscathed at the bottom.

It's good to have goals, but maybe it's better to formulate your goals differently than I want to run X river in N years.
What he said again. I fully agree.
Bound is boatless man
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Old 02-03-2012   #28
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Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 983
Seems like you have a lot of fire for the sport, which is a must have if you want to get better. Lots of the previous post have ton of great beta and words to live by and they have been around a lot longer than I have so listen to them and be smart.
Getting back to more about your question of boats, I would recommend getting a planning hull boat. Having seen hundreds of first time paddlers try boats out most people prefer to be in a planning hull boat over a displacement hull design, mostly for the primary stability. Because you want to do more river running/creeking I would recommend getting into a river runner that you can playboat and creek a bit in, I would recommend looking at a dagger mamba. Its a super fun boat that you can really do anything in, its big enough and got enough speed that you wont get pushed around on most runs.
The other option would be to go used, you said you haven't even been in a boat yet on the water. Go take a class or demo some boats, find out if you really have the drive after swimming 10 times on class 2. hopefully you do its a great sport.

Tom Janney
Team Dagger
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Old 02-03-2012   #29
Duluth, Minnesota
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 175
The mamba is a good suggestion. I paddle with a guy who runs one that surfs and spins it better than I do in my Fun, and you'll find plenty of people who use it as their go to creek boat.
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Old 02-05-2012   #30
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Nampa, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 240
In my opinion, the boat doesn't matter so much as long as it's either a river runner or a creeker.

My friend Brian "B-Real" Ward is one of the first people to run 80 foot Metlako Falls and he did it in a full size "river runner" LiquidLogic Remix 79. He also has run West Cherry, Upper Cherry, all of Eagle Creek, the Green Truss, the Little White, and countless other "creeks" in his choice Remix 79.

Meanwhile, I personally have ran the Milner Mile of the Snake River and all of the North Fork of the Payette at respectable flows in the Wave Sport Habitat 80 and Dagger Nomad, and other "creek boats." Numerous boaters have ran the Stikine in the most extreme of "creek" boat designs. Currently, my choice big water boat is the Jackson Villain, at 92 Gallons and not specifically a river running design. It's my choice boat of anything class 5.

Both the river runner and the creek boat can run steep creeks/waterfalls and paddle high volume/big water. It is more about the paddler than the boat. I would find one that works well for you.

People may disagree, but bigger, longer boats (60+ gallons, 7+ feet) equal pushing your limits and running class 5. Smaller, shorter boats are for running whitewater more within your comfort level.

All playboats are awesome, but I would say if you were purchasing only one boat or on a budget, purchase a bigger boat because you are the aggressive type wanting to get to class 5.

Be safe, and get feedback from other paddlers better than you! And have fun!

-Micah Kneidl

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