waterfall technique - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 11-03-2014   #1
 
salem, Oregon
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waterfall technique

No one ever mentions or advocates the layback technique for waterfalls. Why not?

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Old 11-03-2014   #2
 
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Because you can break your back.
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Old 11-03-2014   #3
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You obviously haven't met Forrest.
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Old 11-03-2014   #4
 
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BOOF EVERYTHING!
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Old 11-03-2014   #5
 
CCC, CO
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Stookesberry touches on why its a technique "from the old days", which has been superseded by the front-tuck, in this WSJ video:

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Old 11-03-2014   #6
 
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Ironically, since the OP is from Oregon, I believe the technique is known as the Oregon Tuck.
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Old 11-03-2014   #7
 
salem, Oregon
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Yeah, so, I understand protecting the integrity of the body is the main priority in running a waterfall. I'm a big fan of the "Oregon tuck", and practice it every chance I get. But on a few occasions, I've ended up executing the lay back technique and had some of the softest entries- like a diver.

Boofing is great, especially if you have downstream hazards to navigate. But you can also take a hit with a boof. And from altitude, I've seen people crack boats from the sheer thump of the boof.

Vis-a-vis broken backs, it looks like people break their backs more when they go for a tuck, but don't quite launch right and their bow starts to drift up. The instinctive reaction seems to be trying to "stomp" the bow back down, which leaves the paddler with a vertical spine on impact and a boat angle that is closer to a boof than a pencil.
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Old 11-03-2014   #8
 
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The spine takes a softer blow do to the natural mechanics of the spine by tucking. The abs help keep your spine protected it's just like taking a punch to the gut. It's all about the body if you are reared back it's easier to get whipped over the stern cockpit rim and over the back band which can def break a back. People boof to big and break their backs that's just the consequence of landing with a straight spine. I've landed back seat and it's no good always tuck it up. No pun intended
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Old 11-04-2014   #9
 
Durango, Colorado
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The reason you had soft landings when you leaned back is that it pushed your bow down so you did not land flat. The problem with this technique is that if your bow does not come down, you land in the worst possible position. Ideally, you want to land with the correct angle for the height of waterfall you are running (more vertical for taller waterfalls), and be tucked forward…like you see really good kayakers doing.

Being in the back seat also makes you less stable, so if you land leaning back, you are much more likely to flip. Maybe not a big deal if you are landing in a big calm pool, but sometimes there are hazards downstream that you need to paddle away from.

Its simpler in Colorado because we do not have many tall waterfalls, so we just boof the crap out of everything and hope for the best.
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Old 11-04-2014   #10
 
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Echoing what's been said above, I managed to get tossed over the falls while paddle surfing -- I was trying to surf off the corner of the breaking wave while essentially in a "layback" position. When I was sucked over the falls I was still leaning back over my cockpit rim, and the impact herniated a disc in my lower back. So yeah, not a fan of the layback position...
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