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Old 06-01-2010   #31
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 212
Originally Posted by raftus View Post
Paddling 60-90 days a season is great and will lead to a lot of progression, but you can make progress with a fraction of those days if you are following the suggestions here - the micro eddy catches, running tough lines in easy rapids, practicing ferries in rapids, making up slalom lines in rapids, etc. If you get 60+ days a year that is stellar but remember that there is a huge difference in the learning that takes place between a day spent floating in the middle of the current drinking beer versus a day spent catching every eddy, making tons of ferries in tough spots, practicing eddy turns, peel outs, combat rolls, braces and all the other skills that make a great kayaker.
Exactly. This is what I was getting at but didn't articulate.

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Old 06-01-2010   #32
nmalozzi's Avatar
Front Range, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 330
I just want to point out Dean-o that your little thread here just hit 1500 views, and has 32 posts (99% with great advice, commiseration, and understanding). So clearly this is something a lot of us know well!

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Old 06-02-2010   #33
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by Theophilus View Post
Somebody tells you what you should write?

Yeah I know, lame, won't do that again.

Thanks again for the advice.
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Old 06-02-2010   #34
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Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 267
LDEAN, it seems that everyone is giving you pretty good advice on here. We all have those runs that just kill our confidence. I had one last Thursday on a creek I've run more than 60 times! All you can do is know what your skill level is and just push it in small incriments instead of huge leaps. Also, take deep breaths and keep the paddle moving. It sounds like you are progressing pretty fast if you've already done the Royal Gorge. Everyone has bad days, but as paddlers we have to be tough and push through sometimes. Stay strong and smiling usually helps, too!
good luck,
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Old 06-03-2010   #35
Boof like a Utard.
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Moab, Utah
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 118
As a former instructor and someone who also struggles with 'head' issues, I completely agree with jhimick. To add to the regimen of ferries, eddy turns and peelouts (IE: practice, practice, practice) I would also encourage you to work on your off-side roll and hands roll (if you don't know them already). These will lead to more confidence both under and over your boat. "If you're thinking about the swim, you're gonna swim. If you're thinking about the moves, you're gonna do the moves."

See you on the river,
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Old 06-03-2010   #36
Buena Aurora, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1957
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 16
when i was younger....

the answer would have been more beer

wait 'til you get older & everything scares the bijeezers out of you

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Old 06-03-2010   #37
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kittredge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 62
know how you feel...

As a fellow female boater, I hear ya. It is really hard when you get spanked by the river, and it can really prevent you from coming back. I'm predominately a rafter (class 4) and class 2+ kayak and had my fair share of lumps. But I learn from them all, and it's part of the sport, I hate to say. But you learn and become a better boater because of them. After a good flip or wrap, you really remember why it happened an swear to never let it happen again!

When I first started boating in 2000, I had just finished guide school and was rafting down the Merced in CA. Had never run this first rapid before and did it wrong. I was paddleguiding and watched the bow of the boat come at my face after hitting the first hole wrong and sent all my friends swimming in cold water in May. My confidence was shot, but I gathered the troops and my gear and got back in the boat and finished the run. I felt I had to do it or I'd never get back in a boat! The bigger confidence killer was my wrap the same year on day 5 of a MFS trip.

But like anything in life, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back at it. Wall are there for a reason, and most of the time, the rewards are worth the efforts...

See ya out on the river!
I choose the road less traveled. Now where the hell am I?
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Old 06-04-2010   #38
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Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 966
I really liked reading this post and have been thinking along similar lines, about my boating abilities recently. I have been kayaking since about 2005 and have been feeling well on my way to being a class 3+ or 4 boater...however, I think I have been telling myself that I am more competent than I really am. I have wanted to call myself a class 4 boater for so long that I convinced myself that I was. Now, Its not that I can't run a class 4 rapid here and there, without incident, but that sure as hell doesn't makes a class 4 boater out of me. I got lucky on a swim recently, on the Narrows (Crystal), by making it the the bank before swimming the meat, but that swim could have gone a lot worse.
I took another swim on the Main Salmon, on Chittam, at about 47,000 cfs, yesterday. It was a LONG and COLD swim. The eddies and currents were brutal.
What I am coming to realize is that I will be a better boater when I put in the time and enjoy the process.
Sorry for the novel, I just happened to be thinking a great deal about my skills and confidence levels recently, so this thread resonated with me.
"You know that old trees just grow stronger and old rivers grow wilder, everyday..."
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Old 06-05-2010   #39
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Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
Damn Beth.. hope you are drinking up for them swims. glad you're okey, but dont think to much about them swims. shit happens swims happen. think a bout the mistakes made before and correct the simple. think about the positive. also good time to think about if things went different how could they have been better in a rescue since or if something could have been a bit worse... fix the simple learn and crush the future, you got it

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