from four to five...... - Mountain Buzz

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Old 02-25-2012   #1
Skillkilla's Avatar
Arvada, Colorado
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from four to five......

wanna know what solid class five whitewater kayakers think is the most important steps to take if you wanna advance from class four ?? got a bomber roll, solid boof, great gear, and the desire. been told to wait until i can kayak a four backwards- seems a lil excessive. what do you guys think ???

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Old 02-25-2012   #2
Dipshit with the most.
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All you really need is solid boof. The rest is just window dressing.
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Old 02-25-2012   #3
Glen Vegas, Florida
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Haha, CO boaters don't know how to boof!
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Old 02-25-2012   #4
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Seek out some Workin' Man's Class V...

Look for some old school class V, go with a group that has solid class V boaters, watch their lines and have good safety set-up. The "jump" from class IV to Class V is more mental than physical in my opinion,. If you are currently running solid class IV without a reasonable boof or a decent roll, you likely would not have much desire for class V at this point. Starting on stuff that doesn't require an advanced stout certificate from Rock and Roll High School will build your confidence, which is the key to a relatively safe and enjoyable progression into expert paddling.

I think the going backwards through a class IV is a little much, too, but the spirit of the comment is thus - By working on difficult lines and tight eddy hopping through class IV rapids, you greatly reduce the risk of swimming early on in your class V forays. You also develop important skill sets and confidence with a reduced risk after a mishap (Swim a class IV vs. class V, roll in a class IV vs. a class V, etc.)

One last thing - Single move class V drops are preferrable at the outset, as is hitting fast and furious class IV runs, as these tend to "feel" like class V due to the prolonged intensity of the drops. Good luck and HAVE FUN or ease off.
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Old 02-26-2012   #5
Denver, Colorado
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A couple of threads from the mountainbuzz vault down below address this well.

There is no single most important thing in my mind. Gets lots of days on the water, build skills (vs. ticking runs), incrementally progress, be patient and cautious, and resist the temptation to progress too fast.
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Old 02-26-2012   #6
Crested Butte, Colorado
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If Class IV runs become boring or more accurately just not challenging enough the Class V runs will be the challenge that you need. If you are still challenged and not running IV with confidence and somewhat ease keep paddling that level.
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Old 02-26-2012   #7
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Farmington, Utah
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Originally Posted by Skillkilla View Post
been told to wait until i can kayak a four backwards- seems a lil excessive. what do you guys think ???
I some what agree with that statement. The fact is one day you will find yourself backwards in Class V, and you should be comfortable bracing backwards, boofing backwards, and making lines backwards. As far as the whole run that is excessive, but you should be comfortable with it. You are better off practicing in Class IV. Of coarse certain things you don't want to run backwards. One thing that helped me was running class IV with hand paddles while I was stepping up to class V. Peak-Performance Hand-Paddles's Photos | Facebook
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Old 02-26-2012   #8
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Ian, those were some great threads you recommended. Thank you

What I took from it.

paddle with people who comfort you and explain things to you, allow you to scout and portage.(first time I ran bailey I only got to portage the big 3, and was assured It was not at all like what I had just seen at 5 falls, then followed blindly down from 5 falls to supermax and through deer creek to the take out. I was so taxed and scared by the end of that day.) Safety is key and stay calm. It does depend on the persons physical and mental abilitys to know if he or she is ready and only they will know(avoid becoming the sacrifice). You should be trying the hardest lines on the runs you are familliar with as training for the runs you want to aspire to. (it will make it easier to handle new and harder runs mentally). One last thing I would like to add, that I am learning now is that getting familiar with a run and being able to follow someone blindly down(verbals no scout) runs of your ability level are great training for progression, but You should be comfortable leading these runs and new runs of said ability level and even(gasp, here we go,) solo boating them as assurance you are ready to progress.

I say this because. In a class IV-V relm. You need to be calm, aware, and rely on yourself. You need to have things feel comfortable to you, not "holly shit I barely made it" feeling. You kneed to know you can read the water and stick the line if you get ahead of your lead, or off-line.

There is no substitute for time on the water and by practicing your skill set in a controlled manner, hole escapes, rolling on boils, eddys, waves, surfing ferrys, attainments, controlling the descents of rapids etc. will prepair you for the day! be it mr. bill, tunnel, funnel, pine creek, super max.

The river will always be there next year, relatively speaking against our life span.
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Old 02-26-2012   #9
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all great information !! thanks you guys.
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