Not falling out of the boat tricks of the trade - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 07-17-2016   #1
 
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
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Not falling out of the boat tricks of the trade

I am looking for tips to stay in the boat while rowing bigger water...

In watching raft carnage videos, you can often see the rower quickly transition from a poised rowing position to rolling off the back or side of the boat - often feet over head....

I am rowing while sitting on top of a dry box fairly up high to be able to see the river as clear as possible. Ideally, if I am headed into a big wave, I get off the seat, bend my knees and lower my center of gravity before returning to the seat to row again right after taking the hit. If I happen to hit a wave sideways then I will sometimes sit on the downstream tube for boat stability. I am not using pins or clips or oar rights so essentially it is only my own balance and gravity keeping me in the boat. The end result is that to stay in the boat at times I am getting knocked around a lot in the cockpit area...I am curious what others do in their cockpits to stay locked in bigger water and thus be able to get in a key stroke when it really counts...

Footcups?
Grab straps?
NRS makes a frame part that helps lock in your feet..anyone use that?

Interested in your experience...thanks!

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Old 07-17-2016   #2
 
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Boise, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bongo View Post
I am looking for tips to stay in the boat while rowing bigger water...
Interested in your experience...thanks!
When I see that things are going to get real dicey, I drop the oars, hit the floor and hold on to a strap. From there I can high side as needed. Also, using a seat to row from, rather than a drybox or cooler, seems more secure to me.

Good luck!
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Old 07-17-2016   #3
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FtC / Rancho del Rio, Colorado
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seatbelt...
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Old 07-17-2016   #4
 
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
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A seatbelt would do it but it might also kill me...anyone using foot cups or other foot bracing?

Dropping oars seems dicey to me - I want to know where they are...
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Old 07-17-2016   #5
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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Toe straps and thigh braces

The toe straps are small so there is no entrapment hazard. The thigh braces are simply vertical tubes. Use a real seat and hold on to your oars. How are you going to make that essential stroke if you don't even have the oars in your hands?
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Old 07-17-2016   #6
 
Minturn, Colorado
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I think firm footing on kick bar, and solid grip on oars, preferably powering forward through waves will make for stability and staying planted in boat.


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Old 07-17-2016   #7
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Real foot bar and a real seat.
Pins & Clips help but they are not for everyone.
Letting go of the oars is only when you are 110% certain you are flipping.
AS Bruce said, you just might need them!

BruceB, how many more years do you think you'll get out of that seat?
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Old 07-17-2016   #8
 
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Fort Collins, Colorado
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Depends

Three or four more years. Two bolts recently pulled out. The floppy seat contributed to a swim, although I may have gone in anyhow. Those bolts are now repaired so it's "good to go".

The frame itself is 40+ years old - had to be one of the first when 2x6's started going out of style. The first seat was destroyed in 1996 when, after a flip, the raft got caught upside down on a tree. It was maybe two hours before we got it off; all that remained was the metal seat base. You can't see the tree in the photo but it is under there, and the raft is stuck good. I would probably still be using that first seat if not for that day. Damned trees.
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Old 07-17-2016   #9
 
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Donkey Town, Colorado
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Just hold on to the stix at all costs this move has saved me from swimming and flipping many times


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Old 07-17-2016   #10
Jared
 
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Dundee, Oregon
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The closest I've come to flipping while rowing I jumped clear of the raft while it was a solid 90 degrees up perpendicular to the current in a wave/ hole that eats rafts and catarafts at certain flows. I bailed out on the upstream side, 110% sure it was on it's way over anyhow. Came up three waves downstream bewildered that the damn thing was still upright. I think my fat ass jumping off was the only thing that kept it from going over. That day we had six of ten craft either lose all of its occupants or flipped completely. I had a passenger in the bow fall out before I jumped, he was still taking pictures when it happened.
I've thought of a thigh strap type of solution, but I could see those become a hazard in a flip too. I've heard that some catarafters have utilized some, but have never seen them in use.
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