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Old 11-04-2014   #1
Auckland, Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 9
Stepping Up

Hey everybody,
What's everyone opinions on stepping up and pushing yourselves on harder whitewater?

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Old 11-04-2014   #2
Blade&Shaft's Avatar
Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 227
Do it!

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Old 11-04-2014   #3
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 342
LOL. I suspect you were looking for a little more than that although it's certainly a valid opinion. I'd add "but not too fast". Check out the Arkansas Canoe Club message board if you haven't already. There are some top notch boaters in your neck of the woods who love to help other boaters step it up. It's also a great place to find trips to join and just hang out. • Index page
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Old 11-04-2014   #4
Auckland, Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 9
Haha I live in NZ and I had to lie about where I'm from to join the forum. I've been paddling the same grade 3-3+ section for years experimenting and getting worked in shit and in the last year I've been paddling the Kaituna River which is 3-4. I'm just second guessing myself due to comments made by another paddler. I have been holding myself back due too school and petrol money which has stopped me from paddling other rivers.
My best paddling buddies are telling me to just man up and I'll be fine it's just the odd comment which is worrying me.
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Old 11-04-2014   #5
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,207
Don't let anyone pressure you into running whitewater your not comfortable with. You know if your ready. I personally paddle conservative with the attitude that I want to maintain this level of kayaking for another 30 years...
GARNA’s mission is to foster stewardship of the resources of the greater Arkansas River region through education, volunteerism and experiences.
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Old 11-04-2014   #6
MT4Runner's Avatar
Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,436
Don't let peer pressure push you into running something you're not ready for.
Don't let the odd person hold you back from something you're ready for.

Find a III stretch that has some IV rapids, especially if its a roadside run where you can easily get out and aren't too committed if you're not ready. Get them dialed before you jump headfirst into a river that is solid IV.

I paddled the same III- river (MF Flathead) for 13 years with a few runs on a III+ a few hours away (Alberton Gorge) before I stepped up to a nearby big water IV (the Lochsa) six years ago.

A LOT of my friends run the Wild Mile on the Swan, which is a IV+/V- depending on who you ask, but the shallow, bony, creeky water terrifies me. I'll stick to the Lochsa.
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Old 11-04-2014   #7
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 68
While I was making the III to IV jump, I found that a familiar stretch of III was invaluable. Every time I took another lap, I kept going for tougher and tougher lines (catching hard eddys, trying to get around that one rock WAAY over there, making big ferries etc.). You can turn III into IV sometimes this way and when you miss, you're still in III so the consequences aren't as bad. When you finally make that jump, you'll find many of the lines in IV are the same as III.

Scout everything that you can, figure out what the water is doing. Pick a line and if you miss it, figure out why. Was there a feature that you thought would do one thing but did another? Did you miss a stroke? When you asses lines and reflect on what you did successfully and what you did unsuccessfully, you'll progress much faster. Then, you'll eventually realize that water features in IV (and even V) are the same as III, just bigger, more technical, longer, more hazards, or what have you.
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Old 11-04-2014   #8
Sacramento, California
Paddling Since: 2012
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 232
I think Ninja_Nico has the right idea. At least this is the way I've been pushed to learn. I have only been through 2 seasons now with my brother, but we often go with an old school paddler who routinely does class 5 stuff, and he has pushed us to ferry, surf and eddy all the toughest lines he can find. It's quite a challenge, but you can learn a lot from it. Unfortunately, my brother doesn't want to do class 4-5 rapids due to risks, but his friend keeps saying we are ready.

I guess the point is, even class 3+ water can be used to push your skill level, and is probably the first thing you should do, before moving up in difficulty. You'll be far more prepared when you move up.
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Old 11-05-2014   #9
north little rock, Arkansas
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by callum.mcmahon711 View Post
Haha I live in NZ and I had to lie about where I'm from to join the forum.
That's funny! There just happens to be an Auckland, Arkansas too. Well, in that case I wouldn't recommend joining any Arkansas trips unless you just happen to be here.
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Old 11-05-2014   #10
Arkansas during the off-season Nomadic during the summers! :), Arkansas & Colorado
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