Transitioning from larger volume rivers to creeks - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-23-2011   #1
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster's Avatar
Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
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Transitioning from larger volume rivers to creeks

So I started boating out west, and worked my way up the latter at a good pace, but did not do very much creeking. Now I am in the south east where the creeking is plentiful. With hurricane season around the corner I would like to step up my creeking to the next level so I can get on some goods. I am running the Green Narrows every weekend or so skipping Gorilla, and Sunshine.
My question is what are some good things to practice when switching from larger volume to lower volume steep creeks.

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Old 07-24-2011   #2
Haley Station, Ontario
Paddling Since: 2002
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I pretty much had to do the same thing going from the Ottawa to steep creeks in NZ. My advice is try catching as many micro eddies as you can (with no consequences). Go for ones you don't think will hold you, ones that are really hard to get, midstream, try to attain up to eddies. It will give confidence knowing you can catch any eddy anytime (which to me is what creeking is all about). The other thing you need to get used to is hitting rocks. Rocks are okay and can be your friend and help you with your line. Start using them to deflect you, slow you down, spin you, boof you... etc. Odds are you are probably okay with bigger waves and holes so work on the little moves in low consequence situations and you'll figure it out pretty quick.

Hope this helps and good luck,

Dan Caldwell
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Old 07-24-2011   #3
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Moscow, Idaho
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I agree with Dan, the best way to improve your creek skills is to try hard but lower consequence moves. You're already running the Green, so you have all the tools at your disposal. Find a good boater and have them show you the "alternate routes." You'll be doing all sorts of weird slots, boofs, peelouts, and ferries before you know it. The key to creeking is precision. For a good line on big boy creek drops (Gorilla and Sunshine are good examples) you need to be able to put your boat in exactly the right place with exactly the right angle and take exactly the right stroke. Big rivers give you more leeway in that regard.

Get your boof dialed and learn to read drops to know what kind of boof you need: straight, flared, late, stomped, etc. Luckily, boofing is one of the funnest things you can do in a kayak, so the learning is usually enjoyable. Again, you've got a sick training ground in the Green. Take advantage and watch/ask the good boaters for technique tips. If you're styling the whole Green on the regular, then your probably ready to step it up onto some of the badder stuff in the area.
"A river is more than an amenity, it is a treasure."
-Oliver Wendell Holmes writing for the majority in New Jersey v. New York
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Old 07-24-2011   #4
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Farmington, Utah
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Yeah man I fired up Gorilla for the first time today, and it went really well. I have a local boater that is teaching me to love creeks at the same time teaching proper creeking technique.
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