Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-29-2009   #21
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
So, Yes... there are classes. Swiftwater Rescue Tech. It is not just on swimming but the whole gist is not becoming a victim. Will certainly go over the things you asked about and more with plenty of in the water time.

As for when to float and when to swim, think about it like picking a line while still in your boat. Do I need to be defensive now (feet downstream etc..) or can I make a move for that eddy / should I swim like hell away from that strainer ("Mark Spitz / Michael Phelps" position). Your angles to the current will be similar to boating, just exaggerate a bit as you won't be as quick.

Get some training to keep it safe (SWT) / learn some limits, then practice to gain some confidence / experience. Makes a big difference when you find yourself in the drink unintentionally... the situation won't be so foreign

UserName is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2009   #22
Cipherion's Avatar
Pueblo West, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 43
Between swims

Thanks for the input. My goal is to have the techniques/knowledge so that when my next swim happens (I've been told we are just all between swims) I can have an active, aggressive action. That being said I don't want to ever swim again. But I highly doubt that I can keep that from happening. I think a day or two using proven rescue strokes could be invaluable.

Originally Posted by rdrouse View Post
Personally I would put alittle focus on staying in the boat rather then what happens when you come out, If your finding yourself swimming alot maybe you should step down the difficulty abit until your skill level improves to a point where you dont have to swim, not to say that there isnt some benifit to knowing how to swim in whitewater, but it all kinda what Im saying is I guess I would be looking for advanced technics for whitewater boating rather then swimming. For me and I think alot of others the goal is to stay in the craft that you choose. If you plan on not using a craft then disregard everything I have said and I don't know of any advanced whitewater swimming classes, but I know some guys that have alot of experience in that field. Good luck with your search

Cipherion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2009   #23
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
I don't think I saw the obvious suggestion in this thread, which is to go swimming more, like in a pool or something. I figure the stronger swimmer you are in flat water, the stronger you'll be in whitewater. It's also enjoyable and good exercise. I notice a lot of ex competitive swimmers tend to be more aggressive boaters - maybe it's just the nature of the beast, but I also think it's because they have more comfort with the consequences in being out of the boat.
KSC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009   #24
Ft Fun, Colorado
Paddling Since: 0001
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 207
the number one rule of boating-----STAY IN THE BOAT-----i dont think ive ever had a good swim...either im stuck in a hole with a kayak full of water beating the shit out of me or i want to cry from hitting my shins too many times...there is no good swim...stay in the boat
NoCo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009   #25
surrounded by mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1981
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 475
Originally Posted by NoCo View Post
the number one rule of boating-----STAY IN THE BOAT-----i dont think ive ever had a good swim...either im stuck in a hole with a kayak full of water beating the shit out of me or i want to cry from hitting my shins too many times...there is no good swim...stay in the boat
For the most part I agree. In the old days with 4 meter boats and huge cfs, Tom Nofzinger and I installed and boated with seat belts in our boats. Cartwheeling a 4m boat and poor outfitting in the day, we did not want to be dislodged or sucked out. It certainly helped me advance my fortitude to never swim. Although, I once took two shots to the head in the lower class V+ section of the Rio Pueblo de Toas having to divert offline to avoid my buddy that was caught in a drop. The first knocked me out, the second knocked me awake, and then my paddle was lodged in rocks. I hung in there without swimming, which was the absolute right thing to do in the middle of much more V+ below. Nonetheless, it made me consciencious of potentials for being knocked out or getting my neck broken. I admit that I have since swam twice in the past 5 or so years knowing that I was getting stuffed into boulder gardens upside down. I wish I hadn't, but "a learned preservation" for my head made cut and run unpreferrably instinctive (de'javu). The good news was that I knew how to quickly find exit from the rapids and was able to recover my gear. In all situations I was blessed and fortunate given the shots I was receiving. Moral of the story is that there can be a time to swim. Although, I agree that it is inadvisable and unnecessary for most ordinary situations. One should learn to hang in there and roll. Probably 99.9% of the time it is the right thing to do. It is best to develop courage, confidence, and technique to avoid a swim. But ... it is also important to have preconsidered your options if you decide to run the gnar and know what you should be doing if you have to swim. People need to learn the best "self rescue" knowledge so as to minimize their time in the water. Let's not forget our numerous fallen kayaking heroes that have passed because of the impact to their heads. Even better advise than never swim should be never flip.

No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs
Ken Vanatta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009   #26
Gunnison, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 73
I once paddled with a crazy guy who gave me this advice, "Swimming's not an option man!" Yeah, he was definitely a few fries short of a happy meal, but the more I boat, the more I think it's not half bad advice.
Most people learn the "whitewater swim position" from going rafting. This is what you want your customers to do because it is, more or less, the safest option for them. Rolling onto your front is better for maneuvering, but it's a decision. You gotta know when it's okay, when you should do it and when you shouldn't. You can't expect custies to be able to make that decision. That's why we teach them the wsp and hope they can at least think enough to do that until we can hit their face with a throw bag or pull them back in. I agree with leif though, just go swimming sometime and learn when to sit back and when to roll over.
riverrat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2009   #27
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
A couple more thought on swimming...

Shit happens... skirts implode, you may pin head down, you end up on a log... any of these could be cause for getting out of the boat as quickly and safely as you can. Its easy to say "never swim" or "stay in the boat", but I've never met a boater who has never swam, and I have never met anyone who boats difficult whitewater who hasn't had a major swim.

Of course its best to hold out and roll regardless of head shots, pummeling, fear etc. Having the mental toughness, roll skill, and perserverence is where we all hope to be, but when you gotta pull, you gotta pull.

First off, know when its time to pull. Don't hold out until you are totally exhausted and completely out of air. Save enough gas so that if you have to pull, you have enough energy to swim as the ass kicking is likely to go up a notch.

Also, be practiced in getting out of your boat quickly and learn how to use at least one method of popping the skirt if you can't find the grab loop.

Having the mental awareness to keep track of your gear if you pull is good but not always the best course of action. If you can safety collect your gear, go for it. If trying to hold on to your gear puts you at greater risk, ditch it and head for shore as fast as possible. When I pull and I know I'm in a bad place, I usually ditch my gear immediately and try to claw my way out of the river.

In many cases you should immediately get on your chest and start swimming like you are going for the gold in the olympics toward the bank or a safe eddy. Your goal should be to get the hell out of the water as quickly as possible. In some cases, however, it may make sense to float on your back until you have a good spot to get to shore. Be aware of where you are in rapids, and try to get an idea of where your exit points might be. Examples of when to float might be... big pool right downstream, can't get out of rapid you are in, or walled in section with no escape until down stream etc. It can help to purposely minimize your energy expended and float when it makes sense to do so, to save your energy for when its time to haul ass to shore.

When you scout drops, getting a good understanding of the drop and knowing were your safety backups are in the case of a swim is a good idea. Don't just focus on the perfect line, get the big picture and know where eddies, hazards, rocks etc are located.

Good footwear can help. Many times you have to crawl out of the water and footwear with good traction is a big plus climbing out of the water. 5.10 has the best traction soles in my opinion. I've heard a couple of stories where good footwear made a difference in getting out of the water.

Its also nice to have a bit of gear on you in case of a swim. A waist throwbag or bag in your vest (ala astral) and biners in your PFD mean that you have some gear in case you need it to aid in your own rescue.

A couple of common things to consider while swimming are: be aware of foot entrapment and resist the urge to stand up in water deeper than the knee, swim and crawl until its shallow. When going over drops, balling up can be good and protect limbs, prevent entrapment, and flush you out the bottom vs. getting caught in a hole. When floating on your back you can spread your arms and use hand sculling to keep your head higher to get a breath or a better view. When its time to bust ass, flip onto your stomach and swim hard. When recircing in a hole, try to flush deep and go with the water istead of fighting against the back wash at the surface.
deepsouthpaddler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2009   #28
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
As an ex competitive grape smuggler. I suggest swimming more not talking dogy paddle talking head in water get you ass out of the water the quickest routine. To make it blunt spend some cash learn it right in a class. Gotta go smoke more of My legal herbal medicene peace bitchs! Snowing good hear any you head to big sky this year hit me up ill be one of lifties

caspermike is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Topic Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Best overall white water roll... Cipherion Whitewater Kayaking 10 05-31-2009 11:45 PM
White water store in LA kayakmax Kayaking | Gear Talk 0 02-04-2008 08:16 PM
How do I choose a white water kayak? Robert Peek Kayaking | Gear Talk 15 10-25-2005 12:36 PM
Pueblo's New White Water Course skystone Whitewater Kayaking 0 04-06-2005 10:55 AM
Italian White Water smylesg Whitewater Kayaking 3 10-22-2003 01:53 PM

» Classified Ads
Gear Sale

posted by tskoe23

Selling off a few things that I'm no longer using. 1....

Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.1

posted by rjskibum

2014-Dagger Mamba Creeker 8.1 Purchased July 2014 from...

Bone Kayak Pendant

posted by circuitmonkey

Bone kayak pendant. Made in nepal. I have a bunch of...

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:13 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.