Back to the roots! - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-16-2019   #1
NathanH.'s Avatar
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 337
Back to the roots!

Hey Everyone,

I'm not new to boating or to the forum but it's been a long time since I've been in a boat and connected with the community (2011). I do have some stuff I want to chat about so I'll post it here and see if there's some traction.

1) I used to paddle a Burn L. Loved the boat, honestly it felt like it could smash through about anything and come out on the other side. I took the thing down everything from III to V, big water to steep creeks, and loved it. Since I'm getting back into it, I found a cheap beater (Jackson Villain) in anticipation of some growing pains swims. I took it out on a III+ (Middle Stillaguamish) this weekend and felt right back in form (hitting rolls, braces, strong forward strokes, pick apart rapids, eddy by eddy) I did notice the boat performance difference, especially when catching eddies... It seems like every mid-river eddy I would target, I'd push through the other side, even with my bow facing upstream. Is there a technique alterations for catching eddies with the hull difference?

2)Growing Pains- Like I said, I felt pretty good for the first time on the water. I misread the run description and thought it was easier than it was but luckily, no issues. Has anyone else took a long break from boating and then re-entered and learned some lessons along the way? Please share, half of being smart is knowing where to look!

3)Community. It feels different, almost like paddling isn't as popular as it was and finding groups to boat with a little less accessible. Especially with the amount of traffic on the forums, how has paddling changed in the last 7 years?

I was an Arkansas Valley boater before and now I am a PNW boater, so I have watched Professor Paddle and Mountain Buzz.

Thanks everyone!

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Old 05-17-2019   #2
lmyers's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4,804
Hey Nathan, glad to hear you are getting back into it!

I've never liked displacement hull boats so I shouldn't give you advice regarding technique... but I think that if you put in the time you will get used to it.

The community has changed in some ways, but in other ways it's still the same. There is definitely an agro, bro brah attitude amongst many of the younger, new boaters.... but there are still plenty of seasoned kayakers around willing to help. I would suggest trying to find a good crew to run with up there.

Best of luck getting comfortable on the water again. It shouldn't take long, like riding a bike!
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Old 05-21-2019   #3
frisco, Colorado
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 6
I like these videos

Youtube search "paddle education" for a bunch of good stuff.

I use displacement boats too. Maybe some vertical draw strokes may help you carve into eddies and then anchor yourself where you want to be.

Have fun! Jim
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Old 05-21-2019   #4
NathanH.'s Avatar
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 337
Thanks for the replies!

Logan, You're right, it has been like riding a bike and the right crew makes all the difference. Got into some read and run class IV last night and it didn't feel too bad so maybe it's coming back. Blew right through the back of mid-river eddies still so I'll keep working on that. Thanks for the well wishes, I should be on a boating trip in July in the Ark Valley(home), hope you're around.

Jim, It's never a bad time to refresh and refine with some technique, appreciate the linked resource and I'll get some vertical draw strokes a go.
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