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Old 12-02-2014   #31
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 149
No one should expose themself to danger. But people do it all the time, especially in this sport. Which has got to be a bit psychologically overwhelming for him, so I give him a break for posting hilariously crazy advice on the internet.

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Old 12-02-2014   #32
hotchkiss's Avatar
Pejivalle, Costa Rica
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 188
I realize I have provoked some of the hilarity in this thread, but on a more serious note, I am not sure anyone asking if they should step up to class V should be stepping up to class V. If a boater does not know they are ready, then they are probably not.

Besides that, running any rapid is a decision a person needs to make at the time. Look at the river level, scout the rapid, find a line, play out worse case scenario of a swim, then do or donīt put-in.

Not to mention, there are some excellent class IV + runs that will give a person a much better idea of whether or not they are ready for class V: Granite to the Numbers put-in; the center of Skull at 2,500; Taylor River at 3,000 plus; the Upper Yampa...

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Old 12-02-2014   #33
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 582
One thing's for sure, if you are gonna step up to class V, make sure you've got your whistle and the group you're paddling with has a spare turkey leg to through you while you're drowning and screaming for help because you're about to lose your life
It's a good day to be a duck....
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Old 12-02-2014   #34
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
This sport is an art form. Progression in this sport can, and IMO should, be an elegant dance with the rio. I get that there can be a lot of testosterone involved but even the boyze going biggest are dancing more than they are hucking. I've said this here before but it bears repeating... The best boater I know has swam once in his life, when he was 12 and brand new. It takes an agro personality to even attempt this sport but deep respect for the rio and humility are some of the most important lessons to be learned.
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Old 12-02-2014   #35
Steamboat, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 582
Geez... that was supposed to read: turkey leg to throw you, not turkey leg to through you... it's not even the right past tense. I would have edited my silly spelling and grammar error but apparently editing is no longer allowed?

Or just for a certain amount of time?
It's a good day to be a duck....
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Old 12-02-2014   #36
Durango, CO
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 211
There are two sides to this sport. The physical - the skills needed - and the mental aspect. The skills progress fairly quickly for most people and are key to progressing to harder whitewater but the mental aspect is what determines what kind of boater you're going to be and just how good a boater you're going to become. The more you paddle, the quicker your paddling skills will come along. The mental challenge and sharpness comes from dealing with the unexpected difficulties that happen when you're paddling. Practice you're recovery scenarios in friendly environs ( play boating, eddy hopping, rolling in difficult currents, learning how to use boulders to make moves, boofing, and so on....) Also attention to detail and focus are key to progressing. Learn how to visualize and slow things down in your mind as they are happening and you will begin to attain the zen - like experience that hair boaters strive to achieve, the perfect moment, when everything happens in sync, where you relax and have complete confidence in what's about to happen. Of course it doesn't happen every time but it happens more often as you build your mental toughness and focus. It's an attainable goal, good luck with it.

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Old 12-02-2014   #37
Durango, CO
Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 211
And as much as possible avoid complacency, don't take the river for granted, even on easy water because complacency will get your butt kicked in a heartbeat in the strangest of ways................
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Old 12-02-2014   #38
Colorado, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 131
I'm of the mindset that some swims are good for you. A swim every now and then keeps you honest and keeps your imagination in check. I see a lot of new boaters that assume the bullshit feet up/down river position and float for 1/2 mile in nearly flat water because they don't know any better while everyone yells at them to swim to shore. Take that same person who doesn't have any experience in swimming and put him in class IV or V water and he's going to get a beat down. I've paddled some easier class V and I've never swam class IV. That frightens me a bit.

I don't flip over very often and I have a bad shoulder so I don't do a lot of rolls. I enjoy play boating but it bothers my shoulder. If I haven't done a roll in a while it frightens me. Sometimes a roll is good. Sometimes a swim is good. My opinion.
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Old 12-02-2014   #39
Paddling Since: 96
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,373
By definition, class 5 swims are almost never good. Class 4 rarely. One can learn how to swim rapids in SWR courses. Believe me, someone who paddles hard water and hasn't swam in 18 years isn't lacking in judgement or humility. I paddle a hundred plus days a year and have gone a whole season without a flip. "If you aren't swimming you aren't pushing yourself hard enough" is old school BS, IMO, says the old school boater.
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Old 12-03-2014   #40
Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 302
You should take Phil U's advice or better yet make the wintertime pilgrimage to BV to paddle low water #s with him, if he will have you. Its kind of like boating with an oracle or sensei.

I haven't swam in many a long year, and boat 100 days/yr. I boat mostly IV+ in my playboat when I have the option available. I like learning new skills, some of which are indeed only practicable in Class V environments, however I would urge any boater to avoid looking at boating a specific run as an accomplishment unto itself.

Its more about the skills you rock, not the run you bested. Any more than this, its about the stoke! That said, if you want to run something, and I think you're going to swim and maybe get hurt, I'll still go with you, save you and your gear, hike out with you etc. As far as I am concerned thats all part of the fun!

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