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Old 09-18-2007   #21
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
lets see your pics to

double homo, you calling me out on some pics lets see yours? i missed you on bluegrass and deer creek this year, i didn't see you on the popo agie either? where were you, swim pool?

zero swims in 4 years last one was in tunnel on gore, which doesn't really count as a swim since skirt imploded and i paddled to shore before empting out.

you must be keeping track of all the runs i did this year want to add them up for me im needing some help.

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Old 09-18-2007   #22
Tim Kennedy
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Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 107
some advice

First, simmer down fellas.

Before this thread got hijiacked by "dick swinging" over who is a more experienced paddler/swimmer, I believe that it was originally about looking for some help with river rescue and river reading skills. That's all I'm gonna say about that, 'cause I'll admit I've had a few embarrassing swims over the past few seasons.

As far as rescue skills are concerned, the best place to learn is through an organized class. Many raft companies, kayak schools, shops, and even colleges offer "swiftwater rescue" classes. It sounds like you're signed up for one in the spring. I don't know of any in the fall months, but check the colleges (CMC) and I think Dagger is offering a DSI (Dagger Safety Initiative) class on the Gauley this fall.

Concerning all the talk about proper equipment, here are my views.

Proper footwear is a must. Decent soled river shoes with good coverage and no loose laces or straps to get caught on bolts in your boat. If you are doing more than park and play, you should wear them, not clip them in the back of the boat.

I prefer to use locking (locked) carabiners, especially if they are being used to clip gear in your boat or being worn outside of a pocket. Non locking biners are okay if they are in a pocket or inside a drybag as part of a pin kit. Once you've accidentally clipped into something with a non locking biner, you will never wear an exposed one again.

You should have a rope, and more importantly know how and when to use it. Whether you keep it on your person or in your boat doesn't matter that much. But you should get in the habit of carrying it with you when you scout. A throw bag isn't gonna help you much, it's for you to help your paddling partners. If you do lose your boat and the rope is in it, then you've lost your rope as well. Maybe carry a longer "spectra" type rope in the boat and a small waist bag or pfd pocket throwbag on your person. But again, take some instruction and practice using it. Over the last few weekends I saw a lot of ropes being thrown to upside down kayaks and from less than desirable positions on the bank. If you have a rope, you need a knife. Easily accessable and able to open with one hand.

Float bags are a good idea as well. They help keep your drybag and other weight in the boat from sliding around. In the event of a swim, your paddling partners will be much happier trying to get your equipment if it floats high and isn't full of hundreds of pounds of water.

A whistle, first aid kit and small repair kit can help as well. Sometimes some duct tape and zip ties can make the difference between a miserable hike out and continuing with the run.

As far as gathering better river reading skills, that can only come with experience. "Kayak" by Nealy is a great book, but even better when you apply the classroom theory to actual situations. Take an advanced beginner/intermediate kayak lesson through a kayak school. You can also try to paddle with more experienced and patient paddling partners. Look at local paddling clubs. Also don't forget to work on boat control and proper paddling technique. Being able to read a rapid won't help much if you can't put you and your boat where you need to be.

I hope this helps answer some questions.


You always seem to have alot to add to a conversation. Sounds like you've done quite a bit of paddling and gathered a wealth of experience. I'm surprised our paths haven't crossed up on Gore Canyon yet. I look forward to paddling with you some time. Maybe we can show each other some new lines.

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Old 09-18-2007   #23
CUkayakGirl's Avatar
303, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 301
I agree with the locking carabiners, especially if you are wearing them (Flip lines or something on a life jacket). I have heard horrible stories of people clipping on to things and getting stuck under water.

I also agree with Tim on the float bags. Everyone swims."If you don't swim then you are not pushing yourself and stepping it up"...or your roll sucks.
I was made fun of last season by a buddy (Derk) for blowing up my float bags. He laughed and told me that I never swim, why would I need to blow them up...I randomly ended up swimming that day.

My advice is to go to as many pool sessions as you can. Roll, roll, roll. Ask for help, do a lot of people watching (watch how they do things, watch how techniques differ) and listen to other boaters. I have learned so much from just listening to other people's stories and conversations. Most (i used to think all) paddlers are more than willing to help you out, ask questions, get advice. Find a solid buddy! Follow him down the river until you feel comfy with it.

My best beginner advice:
1. Over ride instincts...
- lean into rocks, not away
-push your head back into the water when rolling, don't try to get air.
2. Lean into eddie turns like you were snowboarding
3. tuck quick, rocks hurt
4. beer is good but whiskey is better!

Good Luck!

"I would lick it up if it weren't all glassified and on concrete"
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Old 09-19-2007   #24
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
take the chics advice.

if you are teaching classes, you should get in A ACA class with Miah at rmoc-cks, good stuff all the way around and worth the money. and a good swr training would be good for you. i was trained for free through raft company so i got lucky.
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Old 09-19-2007   #25
N. Wigston's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
There are a time and place for both types of biners. Locking biners should be used when connecting to the back of a rescue vest. If you have a leash, connect to the end of the leash and you don't need to worry about it. We had an experience just a few weeks ago in the black canyon where every one of my buddy's locking biners were jammed with silt. He had no other type of carribeaner which meant he had none that worked. It wasn't an emergency or anything, and I'm glad it wasn't. If you are going to carry locking biners, be sure to check them and clean them before every trip. It would suck to really need one, and they were all jammed up. I certainly don't argue against having locking ones, just bring a variety. Two non locking biners can be placed with opposite facing gates to provide a locking system.

I've worked with Mike Mather and he definitely speaks from deep knowledge and experience. I found that we agreed on almost everything concerning rescue and safety.

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Old 09-19-2007   #26
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 254
locking beaner tip

probably not worth the effort to type or read, but maybe this will help someone someday:

when using, if they are screw lock, hand tighten all the way, then untighten a half turn or so, to keep them from getting seized. especailly if they are loaded when used, if they are hand tightened all the way, it'll be a bitch to get them off. still lots of "lock" in them when backed off. rocks are helpful in getting them unsiezed.

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Old 09-19-2007   #27
bobbuilds's Avatar
x, x
Paddling Since: x
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,634
for the most part

well thanks a buch for the info i think i'll be going through mike or nick for river safty and training , i fully understand the beaner thing locking on exposed and open in a bag , also i think if i were to carry rope it will most definatly be in a throw bag and not loose . i do have a bag in my boat and a waist worn bag to have above my spray skirt , for towing only not to throw from a boat right ? is it ever ok to throw from a boat or not and you should only throw when you've got a swimmer or what ? i saw in a video of a guy getting trashed in a hole still in his boat upside down for like 30 seconds then a bag gets thrown at the upside down boat he wraps his paddle and pulls upright , w t f i know they are pros but how do you know ? im sure ill learn in a class when to throw oh yea , who wants to go paddle with me ? ill drive us anywhere and lunch shuttle and all , i can boat some stuff and am finishing my second season this year i just never met the right people, also i can roll just not on a river every time i flip i freak out and pull my skirt so im getting really good at swimming , last week on the lower blue i fliped in the first diversion dam pulled my skirt and got me and my shit to shore well befor the next drop and the water was movin 890 cfs so any way thanks for the help and teach me to improve i promise i am listining

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Old 09-19-2007   #28
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 86
Colorado Whitewater Association

Hey Bob

You might want to check out the Colorado Whitewater Association:

Colorado Whitewater Home Page

That seems to be the sort of thing your looking for. They organize trips with leaders, not really instruction like a class but at least something organized if you don't have a crew to paddle with. I've never really been involved with them, but did lead a few trips for them a bunch of years ago.

Looks like they've got a fall dinner coming up in October.
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Old 05-24-2008   #29
Ashtabula, Ohio
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 5

New to kayaking and to this forum, but I thought I would throw in my 2-cents. I have been rafting and canoeing on moving rivers for 5+ years. I am a firefighter by trade who has been trained in water rescue and rope rescue. Also, I am a mountaineer and have a different perspective on carabiners and their use in water rescue.
Personally, I have 4 oval wire gated carabiners attached to my PFD (Astral Tempo, I believe). They are attached on a waist strap under my arm with the gates oriented inwards to prevent them from being accidentally clipped. The strap they are attached to is wide enough that the biners are unable to rotate around. I would never carry them in any fashion where the gates could possibly be exposed. In my case the strap works, if it did not, I would carry them in a pocket.
I prefer the wiregate for several reasons. They are light, stronger than traditional biners, not susceptible to gate whip, and much less prone to getting gummed up with dirt. I am not opposed to locking-biners. I just find them more time consuming to use.
Hey, whiel we are on the topic, how many peole still use a double or triple wrapped prusik for a friction not in a mechanical advantage system? Take a few minutes Google and check out the Klemheist.

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