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Old 02-14-2007   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 11
i know it's asked a lot but, what boat to get???

So right now I guess I would say that I am in a bit of a rut. I started paddling almost five years ago, but have done so little of it since I lost my confidence in my roll that I haven't really progressed past class three and can sometimes be shaky on class three. Anyway, right now I don't even want to practice my roll. I am thinking of getting a new boat since I have had such trouble with mine. I have an old dagger gt. What I want is something that is friendly but will push me and allow me to progress without buying a new boat. I guess almost a hybrid, a river runner with some play. I would rather push myself to run class IV and V's, get into some bigger water, than get in the play hole, just not a play boater I guess. I have looked at the dagger rx and some others, but I would love some feedback. I am a small female (5'6" and about 130lbs) Help would be much appreciated.

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Old 02-14-2007   #2
rockinRio's Avatar
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 231
I would look into Jackson's Fun series. I got my wife a 4Fun (their larger boat) and she is doing a lot better now.

Above all else you should work on your roll, if you don't have confidence in your roll, no boat will help.

Again I'm going to suggest a Jackson product. EJ's Bracing and Rolling. Is an amazing video. My wife's roll is getting better along with mine. I have also been able to teach a young women her roll in 40 minutes, and she is jazzed about getting on the river.

You ARE a soul, you HAVE a body.

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Old 02-15-2007   #3
CUkayakGirl's Avatar
303, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 301
I second the jackson 2fun. I paddled the classic series last year and i just got the new one, it is awesome, i can paddle class IV w/o getting stuck in holes. It is also a solid play boat, i learned to cartwheel and loop in it as well.
The EZG is a good river runner but i dont think it as good at play boating.

Good luck!
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Old 02-15-2007   #4
goldcamp's Avatar
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 337
You may not like the park but it is the best way to get a bomber roll and your confidence in a safer environment. Above all practice makes perfect. I was intimidated by the park at first but once you get your roll there is nothing to be afraid of.
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Old 02-15-2007   #5
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
Hey waterlily,
I would concentrate on that roll and not worry about the boat for now. I lost confidence in my roll a few seasons ago when I took some spankings on the river.
My problem was that I had stopped practicing my roll. I never went to the play park and all I did was go creeking and get flipped once or twice a day.
Go to the play park and do 50 or 100 rolls a day for a while. That's what I did. Then keep going back to the play park regulary and do tons of rolls.
Also, try not to let it psych you out. About 50% of my problem was mental and 50% lack of practice. Even after I practiced a lot I took a lame swim and trashed/lost a bunch of gear. I was so pissed I about passed out. After that I went back to the park and worked on it and everything came out OK. Try to overcome the fear and try not to get too pissed when you swim.
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Old 02-15-2007   #6
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Summit, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,085
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Good advice. Hey Ture, when do come home (as in Golden)? Keep on healin'.

"The world would be a better place if everyone kayaked."-Brad Ludden (Valhalla)
"You only get one chance to run a drop blind."-DD
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Old 02-15-2007   #7
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 10

You might also consider the EZG 42 (or 50). Super easy boat to roll and a friendly little river runner with decent play. I don't paddle really difficult stuff, but on III-IV, I find it very forgiving and sometimes I need lots of foregiveness! The outfitting is terrific. I also have a GT 7.5, but I'm not using it much since I got the EZG. I'm 5'5", 115 and the 42 is a great fit for me.

You've already gotten some good advice here. There is nothing like park and play to give you confidence in your roll. About 5 years ago I was exactly where you are and I literally spent all summer at our local park and play working on my roll. At first, I'd just ferry out and intentionally flip in the current, then I started trying to play and got lots of roll practice that way. I'm still a terrible playboater, but it saved my roll and expanded my horizons -- though not to class V -- if I was younger, maybe, but I started this game way too late for that.

One thing I've noticed about lots of women is that they often have a good roll, but at the same time don't trust their roll. I still lack confidence in my roll at times, but I know objectively that when I do end up counting fish that I've rolled enough times in enough types of situations that my body will go on autopilot and the roll will come. That objective knowledge lets me push myself. In other words, the only time I have complete confidence in my roll is when I'm upside down!

You sound like you already have a roll, just lack confidence in it in combat. Don't get hung up on this or that type of roll -- start off with what feels right to you at least for now. Have someone you trust watch you roll in flat water. If it looks good to them and feels good to you, your mechanics are probably ok, you are probably just having trouble sticking with those mechanics in a combat situation. All that takes is practice in all types of situations. Park and play will give you that in a safe environment.

Another thing about women, is that we often don't forgive our selves for our swims. When you are working on something new, you may swim. Instead of beating yourself up, learn from it. I remember I banged my head at the local play spot and swimming (easy swim). I did beat myself up pretty bad over the swim, but I learned to roll first and then worry about whether I was hurt or not. Not a week later, I really banged my head and scraped the hide off my knuckles. This time I was in a place where the swim would not have been kind. But this time I rolled up easily. I credit the swim the week before and if I had to swim, I'd rather learn my lesson at a park and play where the swimming is easy than someplace punishing.
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Old 02-15-2007   #8
holley's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 181

Originally Posted by mojomom
Another thing about women, is that we often don't forgive our selves for our swims.
Amen, sister. I swam in December and still haven't forgotten about it. Still kind of pissed at myself for it, too. But I did learn something, and I always do. I just don't shake those things off so well. But guys...I know guys who swim all summer long because they are constantly stepping it up, and they just chalk it up to part of the experience. They don't seem to get too hung up on it. I'd like to be a little more like that - deal, learn from it, and move on. Sounds so easy, but it always gets in my head.
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Old 02-16-2007   #9
FoCo,NoCo, Colorado
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 280

Work on your roll, girl. Now!

Sure swims happen, but rolling is way too important to shrug off. Start in the pool now and then take it out to easy river sections. If you don't like the play park don't go there. Play on smaller river features away from the crowds. Learning to play, surf, spin is the way to better boat control.

If you don't like swimming III's you won't like swimming IV-V. It isn't fair to your boating partners either. Life on the river is much more fun with a good roll. Work on it!

The reason you might not like your boat is the outfitting. Pool sessions also offer the opportunity to try new boats.

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Old 02-16-2007   #10
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Thought-criminal, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 989
Good advice from the buzzards -- get in that hole, girl! There is no better place to start feeling at home in the water than at the play park. You will be rolling all day and there are plenty of people to help you out should you miss a couple in a row and swim. "Be aggressive, B-E-aggressive" as the cheerleaders would say. Charge that hole and get into it and let it toss you around. You'll get windowshaded. Maybe you'll bump the bottom. No biggee. It'll be fun. You'll see.

Not only will you learn a bomber roll from muscle memory but you will also learn to keep your cool when you find yourself in a maneater (sorry, womaneater) on a run. And the edge control you need to do simple stuff like spins and cartwheels will really help your ferrying and eddy hopping.

Last endorsement for play parks...they take so much less time. You can pop in after work, have some fun, and take off. No shuttle. No scouts. Worth it if you only have a half hour.

At the same time, don't get stuck in the trap of getting too comfortable andd never going anywhere else. I had a buddy who paddled at parks but was scared to run anything...that's definately not good.

The new boat can wait. Go get after it.

I hope in the future Americans are thought of as a warlike, vicious people, because I bet a lot of high schools would pick "Americans" as their mascot. -Jack Handy
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