Originally Posted by okieboater
As far as rowing goes, I think there is a time to pull and a time to push.
My best rowing stroke is to have both oars tucked under my legs leaving my hands free to hold a beverage of choice while the current speeds my raft down river.
By using these techniques I am usually one of the faster boats in the group and do the least work.
Okieboater has done a fine job of detailing what I was trying to say, ...........I deleted most of what he said to avoid making this thread longer than it already is, but it is a fine read and everyone can learn from it.
Except that I still push more than pull.
I would only comment that there appears to be the misassumption that if you pull a lot, and point your nose to the trouble, that you are doing a down stream ferry a lot. For my part that is incorrect; I rarely did down stream ferry. I hate downstream ferry.
A lot has been made about "bony creeks" where pushing is required; again, in my experience, bony or otherwise, a push is generally preferable to a pull.
That's my way anyway; you do what works for you.
Okieboater nailed it though; read the current and understand how it will effect your boat, then take advantage of it.
Or, flail away; whatever works for you.
Of all the river sections I ran this was never more critical than in Bucks Alley on the Dolores. It's basically gone now, but as a challenge to a guide, Bucks alley was it. A misjudgement would put you firmly wrapped around an unforgiving rock, pinned under a ledge, or jammed like a cork in a champagne bottle. There was no muscling things around; you had to have your line clearly in your mind and you had to stay several steps ahead of the boat and the current or pay a horrible price.
It was one place where "bony" and big water applied equally. You were picking your way through a massive rock garden, but doing it in fast moving, deep water. Pushing for anything but fine tuning your line or angle would simply not get you where you needed to be and wear you out.
Enough; I'd love to get on with some dedicated pushers, see maybe we could learn from each other.