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Old 09-07-2010   #1
Charleston, West Virginia
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 76
Taking someone on hard whitewater without a roll

Hi everyone, I have a quick question. I paddle an OC-1, and I grew up paddling for years on class 4/5 whitewater without knowing how to properly roll. Of course, the day eventually came along where I really needed to learn, so I spent an intensive weekend geting it down, and have been working on it ever since (I am now very confident in my roll). So my question is... I have a friend who also paddles an OC-1 who I paddle with on a semi-frequent basis. He is a good deal less advanced then me, and does not have a roll. However, he is still a solid class 4 boater. He asked me to take him down the Lower G the weekend after next; do you all think that this would be a bad idea? I know that he has the skills to handle the river, and he can probably make it down every rapid without problem. However, if he does flip, he is 100% surely swimming. I know every nook and cranny on that river and can inform him of every hazard, but do you all still think that it would be a somehwat bad idea?

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Old 09-07-2010   #2
Charleston, West Virginia
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 76
Also, to give an idea of his skill level, he paddles creek runs like the Cranberry, Middle Fork, etc. without any problem, and has also successfully made run downs the Lower New, Tygart Gorge, and Cheat Canyon, so I definitely think that he has teh skills.

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Old 09-07-2010   #3
Matt J's Avatar
Leadvillian, Colorado
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 381
My understanding of open boating is that it's always assisted swimming

seems like a reasonable progression

my biggest concern would be that his "guide" aka you seems to lack confidence in the idea
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Old 09-07-2010   #4
Arkansas during the off-season Nomadic during the summers! :), Arkansas & Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 945
Gotta agree with Matt...If you have to come here to see it it's a good idea (i.e., justify) taking him down then you DO question his ability to run the section...Otherwise you woulda just said lets get it!

Think about the time you found out you needed a roll...How bad was it? Can he or someone else handle that type of situation when it could be avoided by simply taking time to learn to roll.
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Old 09-07-2010   #5
Beaverton, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 569
"Don't run that which you aren't prepared to swim." That piece of advice has helped me a lot!
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Old 09-08-2010   #6
Commercial Paleontology
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 182
I also agree with Matt J......If he is running the Cheat & S-Turn rapid of the Cranberry & if you are talking about the Middle Fork of Tygart.....then that would set the off the flag as to why you are even posting the ?. Those are all great rivers though..love them all...
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Old 09-08-2010   #7
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
I bet he is fine on the lower G... But why not take the day and teach him to roll?
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Old 09-08-2010   #8
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster's Avatar
Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 707
I think it is crazy that OC-1ers, C-1ers can go so long without learning a roll. In kayaking that is one of the first things you learn, and the first things you ask before taking someone on something. I will say this you guys are crazy, paddling on you knees with only one blade is hard as hell Anyone that can run Class IV and V water like that roll or not deserves a pat on the back. A head shake in disbelief, but a pat on the back none the less

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