Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-19-2013   #1
Creswell, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 67
Panic attack

This question would be directed more toward the kayak world than rafters as a rafter doesn't tend to stay in their raft while it rolls. I have a friend that has been paddling a hardshell for going on three years now and still every time he goes over in the river, he panics and swims with no attempt at rolling. He says he doesn't mind swimming, this not only can be dangerous for him but has been for those trying to rescue his kayak. He makes half his rolls in the pool, but in the river he tends to panic and pulls without any attempt to roll. Not mentioning any names, but does anyone have any suggestions as to how Richie might get past his panic attacks in the river. One attempt at pulling without a roll attempt cost him fourteen-thousand dollars to get his finger screwed back together after he jammed it into his cockpit rim while pulling. Again, any suggestions?

Ezcruzr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2013   #2
Nessy's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 255
Talk it out

You're friend has to want to roll. It takes work to learn whitewater kayaking skills. Have a sit down talk with him and share your concerns. Be sincere. An occasional swim is in the cards for all of us. Having multiple years under his belt and still swimming very time without trying, plus he's injuring himself, is a bad situation. Ask him if he wants to improve.

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Nessy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2013   #3
glenn's Avatar
BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 1,489
First of all you don't have to kayak with him. His risk acceptance level is way different than yours and he consistently inconveniences the group. If you go that route tell him it's not personal but until he can start to hit some combat rolls you're not the crew or you won't paddle class (fill in the blank) with him.

Making 1/2 your rolls in a pool is pretty bad. It's about as low pressure and anyone paddling CL III should feel really good about doing rolls in a pool. For that matter doing rolls in deep flat water sections of river. Which he should be taking advantage of in between rapids whenever possible. Also playboating can be huge as it flips you a lot. Finding a good feature with a safe and confidence inspiring runout is key.

At a certain point rolls will be so common place and easy that pulling the skirt will seem like a silly option.
The sunshine walked beside her
glenn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013   #4
Abron Cabron
abron's Avatar
Santa Fe, Nuevo Mexico
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 594
1. a ducky should be in his future to paddle with your crew. orrrrrrr....

Like glenn and nessy said, the dedication level needs to change drastically. roll every spot you can, playboat for the skill of getting tossed every which way, etc.... ej has good drills in his videos, endless braces leading to tipping over with paddle completely askew to learn to set up underwater. (i totally relied on the 'momentum roll' for a long time. setting up under water is still challenging.)

2.this is totally obvious...but kayaking is definitely not for everyone. you have to really,really want it to get past the learning curve. a healthy appreciation for your mortality is helpful, instead of a cavalier attitude... but not so much that it paralyzes your ability to function under duress.

3. to do water sports(surfing, kayaking,underwater basketweaving etc...) a person has to be able to do tasks while working on anaerobic metabolism.(i.e. holding your breath,depleting O2 already in your bloodstream,generating lots of lactic acid...)

breath holding exercises are useful for all of us and mandatory for some.... (cue the music and carry some boulders underwater like in the surfing movies..... its actually a deadly serious commitment to surf big waves, or paddle class III whitewater....)
if he really wants to learn...ask him to 'hold' underwater for a couple seconds in the pool. and spread each step out individually.. not just a big sweeping flail. flip.tuck forward..paddle out the water. sweep. etcc.... if he cant hold upside down you are getting to the root of the problem. (promise a T rescue or 'hand of god' rescue as motivation to stay underwater longer.)

some people do not have that mindset/ or stubborness as an innate skill. some people are just 'fish'. the rest of us have worked out some combination of stubbornness,skill and fitness. or lack thereof.
4. goggles at the pool can be really useful. and a professional lesson.

5. booty beers.

6. i have swam a lot.and it took me a full season and many a pool session with no professional help to learn. some people take lessons and learn in half an hour. and i still freaking swim. everyone does. i still need to learn to hand roll. and not swim in class IV.
abron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013   #5
Gnome79's Avatar
Portland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 28
Originally Posted by Nessy
You're friend has to want to roll. It takes work to learn whitewater kayaking skills. Have a sit down talk with him and share your concerns. Be sincere. An occasional swim is in the cards for all of us. Having multiple years under his belt and still swimming very time without trying, plus he's injuring himself, is a bad situation. Ask him if he wants to improve.
The first step is admitting you have a problem. Sounds like it's time to call Jeff VanVonderen.
Gnome79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013   #6
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 99
Warm water. I would suggest you head out to the Deschutes when it warms up and play at surf city. Calm and warm water after you flip make it much easier to hang out and not panic.
suzpollon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013   #7
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 471
Sounds like kayaking is not for him. I too can see a future in IK
ENDOMADNESS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013   #8
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 53
Stop retrieving his boat?
Joel_G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013   #9
Front Range, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 79
We are all between swims

Swimming every time you flip is not good for you or him or others out on the river. He has already gotten hurt and swimming increases everyone’s risk and decreases the enjoyment out on the river.

I agree with Nessy, where the first step is to make sure he wants to kayak. It is not for everyone. Being upside down underwater, moving downstream, sometimes hitting rocks or just getting the shit scared out of you is not always fun. All of us have gone through that learning curve and decide to get back in the boat after the river hands out a beat down or you just miss a roll. Your friend has to have the drive to want to get better and swim less. Usually it is the swims that make people retire or quit the sport. Your friend does not seem mind.

If he wants to kayak, work on his confidence. I have been kayaking for 17 years and still think my technique around rolling and bracing can improve. Tell him it takes work and practice to get it right. Take him to the pool/lake and make him work on his roll until it working 99% of time and the movement is ingrained into his muscle memory. Make him take a lesson. CO Whitewater has a multi session “Mental Toughness class “specifically for overcoming the fear around being upside down underwater. See if there is something similar in your area.

If none of that works, I’d rent him a ducky or find someone else to paddle with.
iSki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2013   #10
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 161
I think it needs to start with a discussion that you are not comfortable boating with him unless he addresses his issue. Work from there. If he is your friend and you want to help him, take him to the lake. Tip him over, work on his confidence. If he's not willing to do that, I would not boat with him anymore.

KUpolo 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
Wide Spread Panic at Red Rocks 6/29/08 Gypsyblogger The Eddy 2 06-27-2008 10:40 AM
Widespread Panic @ Red Rocks Sat 6/23 OleMissBoater Whitewater Kayaking 0 06-20-2007 02:12 PM
Anyone need Panic Tix for Sunday June 24th? bvwp1 Whitewater Kayaking 8 06-14-2007 09:22 AM
I have a Sunday Panic ticket I cant use kkeane7 Whitewater Kayaking 2 06-24-2005 11:43 AM
Widespread Panic anyone? J Rock Whitewater Kayaking 10 06-23-2005 11:01 AM

» Classified Ads
Kokatat Dry Suit small

posted by peg2016

Kokatat dry suit small.Excellent condition with new...

SUP Imagine Surf...

posted by cosurfgod

SUP Imagine Surf Paddleboard with Boardworks paddle - $450...

The North Face women's...

posted by marilyn anderson

women's The North Face black ski pants/ x-small/ new with...

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 03:11 AM.

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