R2 Coordination - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 04-21-2015   #1
 
laterwagged's Avatar
 
Portland, Oregon
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R2 Coordination

I recently had a chance to R2 my smaller raft with a buddy. It was both of our first times R2ing. It was a blast, but it identified that neither of us had a solid plan for commands.

We had the person on the right side of the boat be the "guide", as we are both right handed and thus had a little bit more natural ability to draw/pry/J stroke from that side. And we used simple commands like "Bow right", "forward", "back", "Bow left" to get down the river. We got down the river just fine in class III+ water, but it certainly wasn't as smooth as if we had a more traditional guide in the back of the boat.

So...

I was wondering what everyone else does for R2 situations.

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Old 04-21-2015   #2
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RFV, CO
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R2 is a fluid situation. I like being on the left and the right and have no personal preference as to where I am in the boat as the "Guide". My boat,(Super Puma) So I call commands, but R2 is more fluid. When I stared paddle boating, I used to yell commands, but realized that palledlers don't respond to being yelled at and having no voice at the end of a run sucks. Now I "call" comands in a firm, but reassuring voice. Once you commit to a move and start calling comands, do your best to make that move, but always have a plan B and C in the back of your head. When done correctly and with a good R2 partner, you almost never have to call comands. It ends up being more of a conversation about the river. "Hey look ahead, I think we should be river right at that S curve", or "hey we have to move from right to left on this drop". I tend to ask for more or less power from my partner as well so I do not get over tired. If I say "relax" my partner know that I am in control of the boat and should not be making paddle moves. We can then discuss the next move or rapid. Some partners need more "talk" from me, while others have a better idea of how to read water and we just have a normal conversation as we manuver down river. The worst partners try to set the boat the way they want and always have a paddle lilly dipping in the water, no matter what I have asked them to do. They usually don't get a call the next time we head out.

Sounds like you guys started to have more of a conversation as you went down. Continue to boat together and discuss rapids and moves on the fly. Things will sync up and you will get on the same page.
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Old 04-21-2015   #3
 
Meadow Vista, California
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My wife and I almost split because of multiple bad rafting outings. It was because I couldn't read the water. As a class IV paddler, I followed commands real good, but didn't know how to get the boat down the river; I kept turning the boat because I paddled too hard.

Like brendo, when both read the water the same, it is fluid. If one is more skilled, ask questions or even try to guide a rapid or two solo from the back. Once you know how to make the boat go where you want it to go, a R2 will be that much more fun.


Good luck!
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Old 04-21-2015   #4
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Great thread. I'm interested in hearing how others R2 as well.

Last thing I need is a divorce. Wife and I both have had no issues climbing together for the past 15 years, but we're both new to boating and I've seen other couples damn near throw each other in the river.
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Old 04-21-2015   #5
 
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Portland, Oregon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunburned View Post
My wife and I almost split because of multiple bad rafting outings. It was because I couldn't read the water. As a class IV paddler, I followed commands real good, but didn't know how to get the boat down the river; I kept turning the boat because I paddled too hard.

Like brendo, when both read the water the same, it is fluid. If one is more skilled, ask questions or even try to guide a rapid or two solo from the back. Once you know how to make the boat go where you want it to go, a R2 will be that much more fun.


Good luck!
For clarity's sake, I have plenty of guide experience on class IV water - so does my buddy (that I'm R2ing with). I'm just interested in what people are using for coordination.
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Old 04-21-2015   #6
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Dundee, Oregon
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My Dad and I sometimes can coordinate really well, and have an easy day. Other days, we want to paddle each other more than the water. We did the upper Clack a few years ago in R2 configuration. I'm headed up there with a small group Thursday, and I might take a rookie paddler in R2 configuration with me. A 14' Sotar is a little big for R2, but I've done it before with a very experienced paddler. It's only running 1280, we'll see how we do, and I'll report back
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Old 04-22-2015   #7
 
Frisco, Colorado
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My wife and I R2 our 14' Sotar and we do just fine... mostly Class III. Obviously 14" is a bit large but we make it work. I have more experience than she does and find myself playing the guide role a little more BUT she seems to pick up on a lot when it's just the 2 of us.
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Old 04-22-2015   #8
 
Golden, Colorado
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My gf and I just picked up a minimax with the hopes of R2ing a bunch over the next several years. We have both kayaked the last 4ish years, but I have more experience on the river and around a raft. Because of this, our R2ing experience will begin with more stroke calling from my part with the intent of taking a step back and letting it become a more diplomatic exchange.

...and more laid back than that last sentence sounds...
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Old 04-22-2015   #9
 
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Until you get dialed in, it is best to have a guide. Just think about it a one person paddle crew. Really the only differences are that you can discuss you line, "hey, you wanna go left" and that only two people need to paddle in unison.
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Old 04-22-2015   #10
 
Golden, Colorado
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Having a guide would probably help get communication rolling too. In the sense that, if someone is shouting out commands there will be less confusion in the boat.

I will be trying this as we get started. Also, making sure to switch who is guide so both paddlers get used to the configuration.
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