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Old 02-18-2013   #11
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
Originally Posted by swiftwater15 View Post
Thanks for the info. Not so concerned with whether it could be done. Hell, it's been done with flippers hanging on to a dry bag. Just curious how often people say they'll do it, then end up begging rides in a raft for most of the trip.
I had the same concern on our trip. we brought three IKs with 16 people. One was in the water the entire trip, one was on a raft the entire trip and one was in and out throughout the day. We only had one person swim that afterwards said forget it and never got back in. Everyone else had fun swapping out.

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Old 02-18-2013   #12
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SE, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,098
On an 18-day trip, Lee's Ferry to Diamond Creek, I paddled a Jack's Fat Pack for 15 days and rowed a Jack's Cutthroat (mini oar cat) for 1 day.

It was a group decision to roll up the small boats for Adrenaline Alley and the Jewels, not because we weren't keen, but to save the time involved in pulling the small boat folks (one guy in a hard kayak especially) out of the water and retrieving lost gear.

I took five swims, one thrilling (a hole at Basalt Creek, late afternoon running into the low sun, that wiped out all the small boats in one big whoosh).

I had way more fun giving it a go in a small boat than riding a big one. So my advice is take some IKs but make sure there's room on the big boats to stow them and take on the extra passenger or two.

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Old 02-20-2013   #13
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Orem, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 207
Originally Posted by crispy View Post
not sure if they still do, but they used to run commercial trips with rookies in 'torpedoes', walking only a few of the big rapids. definately doable but depends on individual as someone already mentioned
A company called "Orange Torepedo Trips" OTT runs rivers in the northwest with everyone in IKs. They used to all be Sevylor Tahitiis, thus the company name. In the late 80's and early 90's they contracted with our campany to run the Grand. They had a 4 to 1 ratio of guests to guides in the torpedos; plus the rowing guides. We had enough rafts so that all the torps could be rolled up and everyone ride in rafts. All of the guests had to have been on one of OTT's other multi day trips to sign up. They had to walk around Hance, Crystal and Lava, but other than that they were in the IKs. It was quite a site to see them run Hermit. None of them made it past #5 including the OTT guides. Imagine 17 people, 17 IKs, 17 blue backrests and about half of them let go of their paddles all scattered in the river below Hermit. I was the last raft and by the time I got down to them they were mostly self rescuded or helping each other. I wish I had pictures, but earlier that trip we ran Grapevine at 33k and there is a huge lateral at the top at that level. My rocket box seal didn't hold in the flip and my camera died.
I think part of the experience for them was that they were all in it together. My thought is that those who may have been a bit timid about staying in the IKs the whole trip found comfort in numbers. There were 4 ladies and 2 of them I thought would give up part way through the trip but they didn't although there were several guys that opted for the rafts on several days.
I would like to do the entire trip in my IK some day.
You had me at 'Hey, Row'
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Old 02-20-2013   #14
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 831
Originally Posted by swiftwater15 View Post
My experience is that after a couple of swims, the duckies end up tied on a raft for most of the trip.
Same thing happened on my trip. I don't blame the ducky pilot, he hung in there for a long time and I would have rolled it up too if it were me. The swims looked not-so-fun and they looked unavoidable unless the ducky skirts everything, which is probably boring to some folks... I know I'd go nuts if I was skirting stuff while watching everyone else smack it... and swimming a nice rapid is just a waste, IMO.

Our ducky wore a wetsuit... and he was freezing balls once we started hitting real rapids... in July. I think that is the part that helped him decide to roll that thing up and sit in a raft.

It looked to me like it would be fun for about a week for someone with a positive attitude.
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Old 02-22-2013   #15
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 48
IKs on the Grand

I saw people still paddling IKs at Havasu when I ran it in March 2009. It looked chilly if you ask me but they seemed to be okay.
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Old 02-22-2013   #16
cadster's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 614
SOAR made a commercial version at one time. SOAR's advantage is better paddler position and retention plus a choice of lengths 16', 14', and 12'. Disadvantage would be slower bailing.

Originally Posted by Mike Hartley View Post
Not to hijack this thread but... If you ever want actual dimensions just let me know and I'll send them to you. It's really simple though. I just use two pieces of NRS frame stock and have some holes drilled for webbing loops. I run straps from the frame, through the boat's drain holes, around the tubes, and then back up to the frame. One bar on the front and one in the back. I used just plain pieces of steel pipe successfully in early prototypes.
I've been promoting this rig for a few years for a lot of reasons. It's super fun, maneuverable (close to a kayak), and stable. For the paddler there is little risk of getting knocked around or thrown out of the boat like in a R2. The reason I mentioned it in this thread is a competent paddler can take an athletic but ďday 1Ē beginner and easily run 4th Class in it. Iíve done it many times. So on something like the Grand you can take a novice and give them a much better experience over sitting in a raft with a pretty low risk of flipping. Our tandem model didnít flip at all on the Grand at 25k and we ran everything. Our smaller single version flipped once but only when we were intentionally looking for trouble running an easy-to-miss big ole hole. Because of itís low center of gravity, stability, and paddler security due to having secure thigh straps I think it will whip most R2 designs any ole day.
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