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Old 11-12-2012   #11
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Are these donations going to fund your affinity for virgin rum and cokes?

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Old 11-13-2012   #12
WetExit's Avatar
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 72
Great article! Well written and brings up some great points that I think the public doesn't see all the time. Unfortunately, most press surrounding almost any sport not in the mainstreem is focused on accidents, risk takers, or record breakers. None of the other factors ever make it to the public eye.

Just got the newest Outside magazine in the mail. There's a pretty interesting article in it regarding the decline of whitewater kayaking competitors, the WWGP, and how while sponsors are getting spooked away from the sport because of the perceived danger, other "extreme" competitions such as the Redbull Rampage and the Billabong XXL are still attracting money and attention. Good read for anyone interested.

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Old 11-13-2012   #13
4CRS, Durango, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 295

Congratulations Natalie! I hope you guys are able to make this trip happen.
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Old 11-13-2012   #14
Silt, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 41
send me $ for porn..women in wetsuits dont do it for me.....ya know ..i have never seen a guy cry after swimming..
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Old 11-13-2012   #15
GWS, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 133
My name is Ben Luck and I support Natalie in her quest for world domination.
Good luck out there!
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Old 11-13-2012   #16
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 03
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 51

Thanks to those of you who have donated so far, I really appreciate your support. I also really thank all of you for your thoughtful comments.

Due to some of your comments I plan to revise my essay a little bit. I would like to add hidden hazards (submerged logs, weird currents and the like) to my list of uncontrollable risks associated with boating. I would also like to add a little discussion about the difficulty of assessing rapids and perhaps the propensity for most everyone to underestimate the power of the water. I also would like to have everyone realize that this is a two way street. If you are taking out a fried that is less skilled than you are you need to remember that runs and lines, which may be easy for you, can be very very difficult for less experienced paddlers. As we take out newer paddlers, we have a tendency to underestimate the difficulty of the run compared to their ability (I am guilty of this).

As far as slalom... I've always wanted to get into slalom, but I haven't had the necessary introductory exposure. There aren't any slalom courses in Fort Collins and I don't know enough about the sport to really set one up myself.

I encourage everyone to cross train. Slalom, freestyle, etc. It will make you safer on the water. One of the reasons that I like running steep creeks, is not only the challenge, but the beautiful places it takes me. I admit, I have to have some component of willingness to take risks and seek excitement to whitewater paddle, but my main point, is that although accidents do happen, we can minimize this risk by being prepared and very aware of how the difficulty of a line/run relates to your specific skill level. This sort of assessment is VERY hard to do. As you get more skilled and as you gain more experience you get BETTER at this. I am less skilled than Evan Garcia at assessing waterfall dangers because I have much less experience than him. So if I do run a waterfall (this is actually not my favorite type of boating), I make the decision carefully. How soft does the landing look, how easy is the entry, how have other people's lines gone?, What happens in various scenarios at the bottom? What kind of safety is set up?

This is a good discussion. Thanks everyone. Events like this do have a tendency to push people maybe a little further outside their comfort zone than they usually paddle. I recognize this. By participating in this event, I am accepting a higher level of risk than I usually do when I paddle. I will keep in mind that just because I am going doesn't mean that I need to run all the events if I am feeling uncomfortable about them.
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Old 11-14-2012   #17
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 772
Not to distract from the conversation on risk, danger and perception of these things because I think it's a very relevant topic for all kayakers, especially those who run class V regularly, but for those who read the blog when it was first posted, like myself, there are now the items they are auctioning at the bottom of the blog post.
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Old 11-14-2012   #18
doesn't need a fake name
leif's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 481
Thanks Nathan. We just changed the gear sale part a little bit. It's on a separate page. There's been a lot of interest in the drysuit, so we might pull it out of the auction and just freaking sell it, because we're in a hurry. Email me if you're interested. (And if you already emailed, sorry, I am really busy and I will email you back tonight.)

The gear for sale is listed here:

Leif and Natalie: Gear Auction

And even if you don't buy our stuff, I recommend the season five booties as drysuit sock protectors.
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Old 11-14-2012   #19
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Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 614
We all make mistakes no matter how skilled we are since its part of being human. Thereís no doubt that very difficult runs are done with the attitude that nothing will go wrong and almost all of the time thatís true. Most kayaking videos being promoted make no mention of what steps are being taken to allow for accidents and still maintain safety. Kayaking was once done strictly for personal enjoyment, but now performance is taking precedence as a motive. We should all feel humble when putting our safety at risk, but that often doesnít come across either.
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Old 11-15-2012   #20
Silt, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 41
i saw the photo..which is lief..and which one is natalie?

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