Originally Posted by LineDawg
I would say it is the younger crowd not making wise decisions. Testosterone fueled, peer pressure induced boating. Also a misunderstanding of rapid classifications. It's not always the difficulty of the water that you see, it's also the consequences of a swim.
A little peer pressure keeps the sport fresh and keeps moving the boundry. Because guys are chosing to run things you wouldn't doesn't make it an unwise decision, and the decision to run is not usually driven by peer pressure. Those guys are out there to get after it, regardless of who they're boating with.
And rapid classifcations do not incorporate the consequences of a swim. By definintion swimming class V is very bad for your health. But just because a class II rapid has a sieve that can kill you doesn't mean it should be considered a class V rapid. It would be nice if the rating system were more extensive like in climbing where the fall consequences are noted in the climb's difficulty (5.11R, 5.11X, etc) but kayakers also (usually) have the benefit of scouting and/or walking a rapid that isn't really practical in climbing. So we can walk up and down, hem and haw, watch our friends run, set saftey, etc before making that choice based on what we see.