Originally Posted by Demosthenes
Knowing how to setup a Z-drag doesn't do anything unless you have other related skills. Instead of having some random person teach you one skill in isolation, TAKE A SWIFTWATER RESCUE CLASS! There are a million different instructors all around Colorado and the class is only around $150.
I'll second that. A Z-drag takes time to set up. There are some other super fast things to try before you do that. A swiftwater rescue class kind of opened my eyes to a few things I didn't know. For example, in Mike Mathers class he clipped a rope to a "pinned" boat, used a wrap around a tree to pull the rope real tight, and had me pull laterally on the rope to extract the boat. I fell on my ass because I gave it a huge tug but it only took a relatively small lateral pull to pop it. I was amazed.
Another thing he showed me was to keep my pin kit on my body. That worked for me that very same season when my boat got stuffed under a log and I used my pin kit that was in my pocket to get my own boat out... not possible if my pin kit had been behind my seat.
Mike Mathers showed me a lot of things that were new to me that I will never forget and that I think improved safety for me and my partners.