how to throw a throw bag? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 08-05-2009   #1
Jackson, Wyoming
Paddling Since: 1966
Join Date: Jul 2009
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how to throw a throw bag?

Brand new to this. Is this right:
Open the drawstring all the way before throwing.
Throw with the rope still in the bag -- let the rope come out as the bag is traveling. I'm much more used to microphone cables that tangle -- is there something about the rope that keeps tangles to a minimum or is there a special way to put the rope in the bag that minimizes tangle?

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Old 08-05-2009   #2
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Bozeman, Montana
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when you put the rope in the bag let if fall into the bag don't shove it in compactor style. always throw your bag pretrip to make sure there isn't unknown knots and than repack. simple. throw overhand like a football. try to smoke them in the face with it, don't throw it unless you have some sort of eye contact, or he is somewhat aware you are about to bag him...
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Old 08-05-2009   #3
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I thought you throw it underhand?
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Old 08-05-2009   #4
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Throw it how you practice it, how you are most effective and comfortable. That would require practice, so practice and find out, and get good at it. By practicing you will find out the best technique for yourself. I can't throw overhand for sh!t, so I throw underhand, and practice it.
Living in Montana, boating in Idaho
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Old 08-05-2009   #5
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denver, Colorado
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Originally Posted by lhowemt View Post
so I throw underhand, and practice it.

does campsite cornhole or horseshoes count as practice throwing underhand?
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Old 08-05-2009   #6
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Bozeman, Montana
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Originally Posted by stribtw View Post
does campsite cornhole or horseshoes count as practice throwing underhand?
only if you are holding a turkey leg in the other hand
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Old 08-05-2009   #7
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Practice throwing different ways, because depending on the situation (tree branches, bushes, large rocks, whatever) you may have to make a throw from an awkward stance. I practice overhand, underhand and sidearm. Left and right hand.
And like CM says, don't throw it if they don't know it's coming. You only get one shot to throw an un-deployed bag.
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Old 08-05-2009   #8
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I've been taking my old BAG with me alot this summer. I take it to the river when we go take the dog on a walk. I take it to the frisbee golf course. I keep it in the truck. This makes sure that I am throwing it lots and lots. It's not a great bag, so i do not mind abusing it a little. I mostly use the standard under arm swing type throw. I have been getting better at the tomahawk and the football throws. I also have a couple beaners and prusssiks that go in the bag. This mandates that i set up a makeshift Z - drag setup every now and then to keep skills sharp.

I 100% agree. Deploy and repack your bag before a big day. As you pack it, just let it fall into the bag in a nice "flake".
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Old 08-05-2009   #9
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Practice makes Perfect

Good question - this is something we often overlook due to familiarity and that may save someone's life someday.

Like Brendo says, practice. Practice throwing to someone who's walking across the back yard at about the same rate a swimmer's going to be floating past. Make eye contact so they know its coming, lead them a little bit and throw it so the rope lands a couple of feet in front of them. I like the underhand throw. The swimmer will typically be moving a little faster in the water than the floating rope so if its ahead of them they should catch up to it. When you're taking newbies on the river tell them to look for, swim to, and grab onto the rope (not the bag). Remember that the swimmer and thower alike should NEVER wrap the rope around their wrist because they may need to be able to release it immediately.

When you repack the bag, try doing it so the rope comes over your shoulder from the back. This allows you to easily hold the bag in one hand and put about 8" to 1-ft long sections of rope into the bag at a time with the other hand (this is with a large rafter's type 75' throwbag, I think it'll be a little different technique for a small kayaker's bag but the basics are the same). Pack the rope loosely into the bag, while trying to put the rope all the way down into the bag so it plays out cleanly. Think of layering the rope in there so it'll feed out easily.

Get another newbie friend and as many throwbags as you can get your hands on, each of you do about 20 - 30 practice tosses in the back yard, and soon you'll start getting the hang of throwing, and then repacking the throw bag. If there's a place where you can do this in shallow, calm water it may be even better as the rope/bag will be wet as in a river situation.

Work on your accuracy and getting the rope to deploy to its full length, then repacking the rope so its second nature. Remember after any rescue situation, repack the bag as soon as the situation allows you to do so safely. This is because A) there may be another swimmer coming along, and B) one of the worst hazards around whitewater is a loose rope that could pose an entrapment hazard.

And if you're going to use ropes on the river, get a river rescue knife (search for posts on that topic and you'll find a ton of info). I like the Bearclaw and have one with an orange handle so I can see it easily.

Could a kayaker describe re-packing a little kayaker's throwbag?

Thanks for asking,

Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 08-05-2009   #10
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Pretty much agree with everything said here so far. A few other things to add:

-Make sure you are ready for the force of the swimmer. Ideally, you will have someone behind you to help brace. As you catch the swimmer sit down and have your spotter grab the back of your life jacket. Obviously, you won't always be able to rock the buddy system, so MAKE SURE you are in a spot where you can catch the swimmer. I've kneeled down in rafts, sat and wedged between rocks. Standing on a slippery rock is clearly a bad choice. The point here is to not create another swimmer. Or even worse yet, put you in a position where you need to let go of the bag to stay out of the river. Both render you useless. The options are endless, so keep it in mind when practicing so you have it in mind for the real deal.

-I was taught to pull a few arms lengths out of the bag before throwing. The number of arms lengths is determined by the distance to the swimmer, and the time you have to do it. This way if you miss with your first throw, or the swimmer lets go you are ready with the other half of the rope to try again. Like I said, the distance is a factor here... you need to have enough left in the bag to reach the swimmer. Time frame is a factor as well, and may make this a non option. The other benefit here goes back to bracing for the force. If you hit the swimmer first throw, and sit down but find yourself being pulled into the river... you can slowly let some of that slack you have out and equalize the force, and hopefully by the time you reach the end you're good to go.

-Surprised this hasn't been said yet, but as you are getting ready to throw it... yell ROPE! as loud as you can. Once eye contact is made... QB that shit.
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