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Old 07-02-2009   #1
havocfanatic's Avatar
silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
Skier Turning Rafter Needs Advice (Blue,Co)

I'm a longtime skier who wants to get into rafting or kayaking, so you experienced peeps need to help me escape my ignorance.

First, am I crazy in thinking I can put a low-end 3-person raft into the Upper or Lower Blue (eyeballing the Intex Seahawk II). If they are running too heavy, what about the Pumphouse? I want to take my kids, but I don't want to do anything stupid. We're all longtime swimmers/waterskiers/flat-river paddlers, but Colorado is new to us.

Alternately, should I get into kayaks instead? I'm looking at the rafts because it puts my kids (ages 10-15) in the boat with me, instead of on their own. Our house is right off the Blue in Silverthorne, so if I can do this right, I'd rather ease into the gear, learn the rivers and avoid the tourist traps.

Tell me if I'm thinking in the right direction or if I should just pay the guides to babysit us!

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Old 07-02-2009   #2
havocfanatic's Avatar
silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
You know, I'm not even sure that Seahawk is designed for river rafting. Is there an affordable raft that's best for CO rivers?

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Old 07-02-2009   #3
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 844
Yes you are crazy! I would expect that raft to get punctured on the first rock it hits! You get what you pay for in a white water raft. $1000 will get you a beat up, commercial company throw away that will have been UV damaged for 8+ years and my have many patches or leaks. I think it will help you to search on here for threads on rafts first and you will be better informed.
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Old 07-02-2009   #4
havocfanatic's Avatar
silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
What about the Sea Eagle 330 Kayak? I'm looking online, so it's hard to tell if it's legit or a piece of crap. I'm trying to order online so they can be shipped straight to the house in Colorado. I just don't know jack about the gear. Here, we can dump any inflatable in the river and go, but I know it's not the same up there.
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Old 07-02-2009   #5
Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 127
So you want to learn to raft or kayak but don't want to throw down a ton of money right off the bat, because you don't know how serious you are or if you or your kids will like it?

I've been down that path. A couple of options, depending on the abilities of your children.

You could buy a used inflatable paddle boat (raft) of some sort that would fit the three of you. There are a bunch for sale on the classifieds of this forum that would fit your bill.

You could buy one or two inflatable kayaks (duckies) used from the classifieds of this forum. Maybe a two man and a one may IK. And use those to get started.

You could also hire a guide to take you and your kids out and try in a paddle boat.

I would not recommend the seahawk thing you reference. While you may see those on Colorado rivers from time to time, they are generally not considered suitable or durable enough.

This is a sport where quality gear matters, and quality gear isn't cheap, so if you do get into it, get prepared to throw down some cash. Also, mountainbuzz is a great source of new and archived info, spend some time reading.
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Old 07-02-2009   #6
West By God, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 289
NRS's gear swap page is another place to find a good deal. I would buy an older but well built raft before I bought a newer but low quality raft.
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Old 07-02-2009   #7
havocfanatic's Avatar
silverthorne, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5
I'm learning real fast that the smart thing to do is hire out this first trip, get all the kids into a raft with a guide and see how everyone likes it. Any recommendations on outfitters for upper or lower Blue? It's close, looks pretty easy, yet offers some action, given the flows.
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Old 07-02-2009   #8
Spits Hot Fire
N. Cascades, Washington
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 978
Getting into rafting

Me too. Except I'm crossing over as a longtime bowler. I have a size 13 shoe. Please tell me what raft will work for me. Also, please explain the difference between hypalon vs PVC.
Your opinion doesn't matter when you're already biased.
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Old 07-02-2009   #9
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Eagle County, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 928
Like the others were saying, use the search feature on here. There's a lot of good info from the past on here about how to get started into kayaking or rafting, then pros and cons of all the different types of boats and flavors of the sport. I would echo what everyone else said. You don't have to buy new stuff, but buy good gear. There are enough wildcards on moving water, you don't want failing crappy gear to ruin your trip or get someone hurt.
It takes a big man to cry...It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man.

-Jack Handy
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Old 07-02-2009   #10
Cisco, Utah
Paddling Since: Dawn
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 351
Be careful before you jump in and put yourself or your family in harms way. It may look easy and fun, and may be... but a lot of stuff can happen out there. Six Flags is in St Louis. Look for some instruction or experienced ppl to go with / learn from. (One trip on a commercial raft dosen't count) Please dont go straight from WalMart to the Upper Blue or the Upper C for that matter.

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beginner, blue, colorado, raft

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