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Old 11-22-2007   #1
youngpaddler06's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 173
What to do in the winter? / Knife and Gear?

i just started kayaking last year and i love it. i was so disapointed when the river droped and i could no longer run the river. i was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions on what to do to further my skills as a river runner durring the winter, without getting in the way of skiing?
also i was wondering if anyone had an oppinion on if i should carry a river knife and if so what kind? and what other safty gear i should carry, i do have a through bag but thats it. any advice would help me greatly.

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Old 11-22-2007   #2
erdvm1's Avatar
Lyons, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,565
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Wow!! That's pretty darn responsible and the sign of a great paddler to come. Surely everyone will tell you to get to the pool and practice. That would include paddling on one side only, the entire stretch of the pool.....dialing in your offside roll. Paddle circles using only one blade. Paddle backwards in a straight line. Yadda yadda yadda
Another very easy thing to do is practice throwing your throw bag at objects.
You can never have too much practice at throwing your throw bag. Ask the Craw.
Read all the river related books and safety books you can and all the practice videos
Then start watching all the videos (like LVM) you can and imagine yourself paddling the same way those guys do. Watch their strokes carefully. Watch how they boof and where they enter and leave rapids. Then one last thing is buy a block of foam and carve it into a boat of your choice (about eight inches long) these are called foamies. Take it down to any little area of water and run the rapids. You'll be able to run the rapid about 100 times in a day. Then you can apply what you've learned there to real life rapids in the spring. Have a great winter.

Go Dawgs!!!
Happiness is a way of travel not a destination
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Old 11-22-2007   #3
oarbender's Avatar
ww guide/ frame builder/welder, mobile fabrication gig
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 247
carrying a knife, is like carrying a R.P.G. If you know how/when/why to use/not use one, they are right up there with your PFD, helmet, and paddle. If not, your probably putting both yourself, and your group in trouble.

Best piece of advice I can give, is take a SWR (swift water rescue) course.
and in addition to that, try to take several courses, from several different instuctors, that are not afflilated with each other. you will gain a different perspective on diferent ideas from leaning fron different folks.

I mention this, because I am an SWR Instructor, and its ALWAYS a learning experience to work with different people.

best of luck.....
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Old 11-22-2007   #4
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 3,404
if you carry a throw bag, carry a knife. i really like the bear claw knife.

CRKT Bear Claw Knife
"Yesterday I was clever and tried to change the world. Today I am wise and try to change myself." -Rumi
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Old 11-25-2007   #5
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 160
RE: knife

If you do decide to carry a knife, find the cheapest one that you can. Just do a search for 'lost knife.' Anyone who has carried one has probably lost one.

I also scuba dive and a very popular knife in the tech diving community is a modified steak knife. It's cheap ($2), sharp, rust proof, and easily replaced.
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Old 11-25-2007   #6
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The Road, Colorado
Paddling Since: '07
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Robanna, which rivers do you paddle? I would like to know so I can stay off of them and avoid all of those cleavers you are probably loosing...

I like the Bear Claw as well. I got one off of ebay for ~$20.
Life: Live it!
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Old 11-25-2007   #7
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
Good advise from erdvm1 - I took a few notes myself. Absolutely carry a knife if you ever plan on using a rope, having a rope thrown to you, or think anyone on the river might use a rope. In other words, get one. My miserly 2 cents here is to check out a hunting shop before a kayak shop as you will usually get a much better price. There was a thread a while back touting the bear claw because it has a finger hole that allows you still handle the knife even when your hands begin to go numb (which isn't too far fetched in Colorado rivers).
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Old 11-25-2007   #8
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 160
Since when is a 2 inch blade with a round tip a 'Cleaver.'
BTW, I almost never carry a knife so I would not take any of my advise without a big hunk of salt.
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Old 11-26-2007   #9
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 18
Clearance At CKS

CKS has a Blunt tip knife on sale for 19.85 at CKS. Best deal around I agree A knife, a pin kit, a rescue vest, a throw rope maybe even 2, and a good swift water rescue course take that for you and your crew. And hit the pool every week to hone them skills looks like they are out of the claw here is what i have McNett Blunt Tip Knife syotr
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Old 11-26-2007   #10
raftus's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,128
losing knifes

Losing knifes is usually a result of failing to properly secure your knife in the first place. Two simple things can pretty much guarantee that you have your knife for a long time. First - tie the sheath with a piece of thin cord to a shoulder strap or other attachment point on your vest in addition to latching it onto you vests attachment point. The plastic attachment points fail and sometimes knives get knocked loose. Second - using a piece of elastic cord tied to the bottom of the knifes handle, tie a small loop that will fit over the top of the sheath. This gives you a second method that ensures the knife dosen't separate from the sheath and is easily removed for quick access to the knife.

As far as using a steak knife in a loose sheath - I would never trust my life to a knife that is far too weak and likely to be lost after a single swim. I have had the same river knife for the last 8 seasons. It has a big rubber handle with a finger hole for positive grip and a blunt tip for cutting people out. I strongly recommend something similar.

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