Originally Posted by chadmckenzie26
Things to learn:
Wet exit (most important!)
I would also add catching eddies and ferrying from one side of the river to the other.
There are many schools of thought about the roll. some say it's absolutely necessary before you even get on a river. I am not of that school of thought. Learning how to read rivers, catch eddies, ferry, and brace are way more important in my opinion. I just got my combat roll after 7 years of trying (not bombproof yet though!), but I've been comfortable on easier class 3s for 3 seasons now. River skills are way more important- knowing how to tell where you want to be on the river and getting there... and staying upright so you don't have to roll in the first place!!!
Definitely join our group (that chad mentioned), we're all really friendly and there's people on the list who are just beginning all the way up to people who are comfortable on class 3+ rivers. Plus a few better boaters who periodically offer free lessons to us too! Be prepared though, there are almost 200 people on the list and a lot of e-mail traffic!!!
See ya on the river!