I didn't say that Golden isn't playable. I said that the ratio of honest-to-goodness respectable playspots to the total number of drops is not a very good one. Even an eddyline is a playspot, but it isn't a real play spot, not Salida or Hell Hole. I'm not asking for Lunch Counter in Golden, but there is such a thing as a spot that is playable for us and safe and non-intimidating for the non-boaters.
Consider this: a good surfing wave or hole for us also works just fine for a tuber or swimmer. The opposite is not true - a fun tubing wave train is useless for playboating. Good play features are better for kayaking and do not lessen the experience for swimmers, tubers or slalom boaters (except that the rest of us crowd the eddy by the gates). I think that shows a lack of forethought in the design at Golden. (And I don't mean by this that every single feature ought to be super-retentive and borderline trashy hole, b/c that would not be good for everyone who uses the park.)
Golden is a great idea, and they've sunk a lot of money into it. But the design should have accounted for the majority of the time when there is not much water. You can have a nice wave or small hole with only a couple hundred cfs. I think the design should have accounted for this by having features designed to be at their peak at different water levels - some best at low water, some at medium, and others at peak runoff. This would not keep the non-boaters away from the river, but it would bring boaters there more often, which would bring more money. And if there were more features, the eddies would be less crowded at each one. I'd call it win-win for everyone.
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