Dealing with a party members fear - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #1
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 63
Dealing with a party members fear

I can imagine being terified on the n.f. payette but we had an easy class 1/2 float where one of our group was just terrified and being the trip leader i was looked to for well..leadership!? Long story short i went from compassion and then i offered to walk back with them then i slowly became a bit tough love. With hindsite they realized that they where over reacting and that the river was beyond easy and safe but man it turned a fun float into a stressfull long hand hold. I should say the person has experience and is young and athletic. I wasnt mean but i wanted to be. How do you help your kayak friends advance in water and deal with fear in a fun way? I allways try to distract them and have fun , help them breath , play games catching eddys but iam just an intermediate paddler so we go on easy stuff thats sometimes just boring and shit o dear its like their on the stikine and yet after were done their asking "where we going next?" "I dunno the bar i need a beer!" Helpfull hints , ideas, strategies. I wanna keep going but wanna have fun not scout every riffle and freak out over a tippy eddy line?

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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #2
 
Gypsum, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2016
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I have dealt with fears on a raft, but could not imagine having to deal with this while kayaking! If I know someone is fearful, I take them on a float with small rapids. Most of the time that fixes the issue, or they don't ever raft again. I'm just flabbergasted that someone would even get in a kayak if they were/ are that fearful. I know not very helpful.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #3
 
MT4Runner's Avatar
 
Kalispell, Montana
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I agree with SlipShot, if they're that fearful, you'd need to assess how committed you are to their improvement.


Start out somewhere closer to tough love at the start of the trip. Be confident, but be firm. Let them know what to expect from you when their rational mind is still listening, before their irrational/subconscious takes over.

Part of what draws me to kayaking is the little bit of fear that makes me grow. Massive fear means zero growth. If they're scared, they're not growing..how bad do they want to become a kayaker?
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #4
 
Boise, ID
Paddling Since: '99
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Fear will only be overcome by confidence in that they probably won't get hurt or die and that they have a skill set they've built to run things successfully. A number of things that may help and that I've done....

Learn the HOG (hand of god) roll. Then practice with your party members in a pool or eddy but be very clear that is an option but may not always work in moving water. Knowing that someone might come to help a roll eases the mind and gives them more time to try and roll themselves.

Eddy out before the rapid they are scared of and scout it with them. Then, go run it clean on the line you talked about so they can see it. Then walk back up and have them follow you through it.

Same as above but swim it in front of them. Most stuff beginners should be on is 2 and 3s. I've swam every rapid on our local beginner run and have lived to type nonsense here. I've even had beginners swim rapids with me.

Take them to park and play spots so they can work on their skills in a more controlled environment.

It really comes down to how much you want to help them and how much you want them to succeed. The easiest is tell them to sign up for lessons and learn that way. It's okay to not be a kayaker. A really bad experience early on (whether dangerous or not) will make more non-kayakers than kayakers.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #5
 
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Bazzaro, Free
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Its beyond super important to be able to control "frame" with new fearful ppl on the water. One needs to change the "mood" by changing conversations and fun story telling.. lighten shit up if you know what I mean. Sometimes the guides tone effects fear in ppl with low confidence. So, when you see someone all freaked out, slow down, smile, talk, laugh, and change gears. Pull over, swim..... Hike, if you need too,. Talk about things they rock at. Like if they are a good runner, ask them running question.. let them know how much fun it is to hang out with them., stuff like that.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #6
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conundrum View Post
It really comes down to how much you want to help them and how much you want them to succeed. The easiest is tell them to sign up for lessons and learn that way. It's okay to not be a kayaker. A really bad experience early on (whether dangerous or not) will make more non-kayakers than kayakers.



Frankly I raft because it's an easier investment in my time to be able share the river with people.

I raft for friends.
I kayak for me.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #7
 
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Western Slope, CO, Colorado
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You didn't hear ? Disney got the recreation rights for the whole west side of the US from the government in exchange for California agreeing to de-annex itself from the mainland US.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #8
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Longmont, Colorado
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It's hindsight at this point. But, dealing with fear you need to find the root of that fear. Often, fear is rooted in the unknown. First, in the case of kayaking, how much experience has this person on whitewater? Did that person have a bad experience(s) like swims? Dealing with swims is a matter of confidence rebuilding. Fear of the unknown is a matter of experiencing those scenarios manifested in ones mind with the realization that "it was not that bad". This also applies to any sport, and comes from my experience.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #9
 
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Kalispell, Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoradoDave View Post
You didn't hear ? Disney got the recreation rights for the whole west side of the US from the government in exchange for California agreeing to de-annex itself from the mainland US.
this sounds like a bizarre game of "would you rather".


Color me intrigued!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago   #10
 
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Jul 2017
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All goos posts thanks. I have "rise above" tattoed on my wrist cause when i was a "kid" i read in some sports psychology book that rubbing on your wrist helped calm anxiety when under stress lol. I got it cause i was surfing big waves and scared shitless in Hawaii and well..it didnt work but seat time did. I learned to hang glide on the beach and then went and flew the owens valley and the "rubbn'" well..it didnt work=sold hang glider a few years later. I figure if your healthy and athletic thats half the battle. Our rule in the house is the right stretch of river at the right flow. So well probably never get all that good but we see great things and usually have fun. Kayaking is frickn scary i guess but we also do way more flat water than most people except maybe bird watchers or bass fisherman or some dumb shit. Get yourself a silly tattoo and rub on that shit and quit your cryn cause your not gonna die untill you do and what else ya gonna do anyway dumbass.? For fuck sake "yes" its scary now shut up and pilot that goddamn kayak or "yes" you are gonna fucking die! Good motivational speaker huh!? More lessons to learn and everyday anothet horror story or tragic loss on a seemingly easy river somewhere near by us all. Maybe ill give everyone but me a break. Anyone here ever do the stikine or n.f. payette ? Is it terrifing? Lol. Great ideas and sound advice thanks everyone.
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