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Old 07-18-2005   #11
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 112
You have business on the river if can do the things mentioned above. Don't let you rafter girl friend deter you. Rafting is much easier than kayaking. It's a tough sport don't let her fool ya. She got x amount pounds buoying her. You've got a little bit a plastic than kind of floats. The one thing I learned from skiing is that if you don't push yourself you will never get better. You need other people to push you. Join Colorado Kayakers you find your limits.

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Old 07-19-2005   #12
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 159
I took 4 roll classes in the pool and couldn't get the roll I finaly got it on the river and was fairly good at it before I ever got a flat water roll.

Join up with PPWC since your down that way. As well as the COyakers.

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Old 07-19-2005   #13
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heliodorus04's Avatar
The Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 04
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,134
For me, kayaking was nerve-wracking until I got the roll. I got it on my 9th session in a boat, or about 4 weeks worth of flatwater (and 3 times on South Platte). I had terrible jitters when I heard rivers before I could roll, and afterward, my learning and my nerves were a lot more calm and a lot more fun. But as others have said, people do it both ways.

One place definitely to start is just practicing the hip-snap, which, if you've got some videos, I'm sure you're familiar with.

I would recommend looking into Pikes Peak Whitewater Club, since you're in Canon City.

It's smaller, but centered more around Colorado Springs/Pueblo residents.
They, too, have a yahoo group (I'm a member of both CWWA and PPWC).
The yahoo group (I hope) is here:

Don't forget that you have a nice shop in downtown Salida, and a playpark there with some places I'm sure that you can find help with the roll. I believe the name of the shop in Salida is Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center, but I'm not positive.

I look forward to seeing you soon!

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Old 07-19-2005   #14
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3
Hey Chad

You mentioned a beginner session this weekend - when & where?
Hopefully on Sun .
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Old 07-19-2005   #15
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 112
Sunday at the Chatfield gravel ponds
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Old 07-19-2005   #16
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 122
check on the coloradokayakers website for details on the roll session. I do think it's on sunday, not sure.

Scott (rasdoggy) is putting it together, you could also send him a PM and ask.

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Old 07-19-2005   #17
bouldrmatty's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 137
Originally Posted by chadmckenzie26
The best place to learn is on flatwater first. Do you have a boat, paddle, etc? Then I would progess to a class II rapid. Things to learn:
Wet exit (most important!)
Front Stroke
Sweep Stroke
Peal out
And.... Most important, dont buy a M3 if you are a beginer, you wont be able to control it.
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Old 07-19-2005   #18
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the fort, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 140
you just need to get a good teacher, u need someone who knows what theyre doing to help you learn how to roll,

and have you tried rolling with both sides. I learned how to roll on my left side, and after almost a year of boating i figured out it was easier to roll with my right side

so try an offhand roll
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Old 07-19-2005   #19
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 112
My M:3

Ha, We'll see after the EJ video. From what I understand is that's normal in all boats. It's called spin momentum. Every boat does that. It doesn't matter if your in an EZ or a M:3. I will grow into my M:3 while other suckers are trading up for a killer creek boat. I will already have one.
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Old 07-19-2005   #20
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1
my two cents - just opinions

I've been boating myself for about 4 years now, and have been teaching (young and often athletic) college students for two or three years. (There are very few boaters around here, so I ended up doing this sort of by default. I teach at a college and instigated the pool sessions, so I kind of fell into teaching boating as well. I did manage to get ACA whitewater certification.) Here are some suggestions that are a mix of what worked for me, and what worked for the students.

First off, I believe that people who can roll fairly reliably in the river will progress faster in their river running skills because they are more willing to try things when they know every mishap will not necessarily result in a swim. Some of our students learn to roll in about 3 or 4 pool sessions, attend another 6 or 8 sessions in which they really solidify their rolls, then go to the river and rarely or never swim. That said, if you can't get in the pool (or a warm pond or lake) that much, just try an easy river - that's what it is really all about in the end!

Videos work well for me, but aren't for everyone. The best video IMO for overall paddling is Ken Whiting's "Whitewater Kayaking" DVD. I like EJs roll progression (on his "Bracing and Rolling " video), but I have a few personal modifications for those who can't get the roll via his progression. I also teach a wet exit before anything else and bow rescue after practicing hip snaps off the bow of another person's boat. For a complete learner's library, pick up EJ's "Strokes and Concepts" also.

Ken Whiting and Kevin Varette's "Ultimate Guide to Whitewater Kayaking" is good for those more inclined toward the written word, as opposed to videos.

As far as paddling is concerned, I teach all the basic strokes in the pool, but I feel the two most important paddling skills to develop in flatwater are (1) paddling in a circle with the boat on edge and paddling only on the inside of the turn and (2) gliding in a straight line with a stern draw rudder for steering.

When I take a beginner to a river the first thing I do is take them to a place with an eddy with a very weak eddy line and weak current in the main river next to the eddy line. I have the students go out and try to hold their position (not going downstream) with the boat pointing directly upstream. They should adjust their angle primarily with stern draws in to the side of the boat. NO STRONG RUDDERS - this drags them downstream and develops habits that are a problem later. This drill is very helpful for developing balance in current.

Next thing is peel outs and eddy turns across the same weak eddy line. This is simply the circle paddling drill that was practiced on flatwater, with care to exit and enter the eddy at 45 degrees to the eddly line and paddling strongly across the eddy line before letting the boat turn (and paddling strongly while letting the boat turn - most flips here are caused by the boat going slower than the current once it turns downstream).

Then peel out to an upstream ferry, which is just the upstream position holding drill, but with angle to the current and some edging. Try changing direction of the ferry by changing the boat's angle with a draw into the stern (changing edges at the same time!).

Practice, practice, practice these things, and you will soon be running class III skillfully. I've seen folks who can comfortably make their way down the middle of a class III run with minimal skills, but it is much more fun when you can catch eddies and ferry with skill. Then you are ready to try surfing, stern sqirting, etc!

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