Taking out friends vs. River/Hazards - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-22-2015   #1
SpeyCatr's Avatar
Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Paddling Since: 2013
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 446
Taking out friends vs. River/Hazards

So I'm sure many of us try to take our non-rafting enthusiast friends out to maybe try to plant the bug in them if it's fair to say. It's always good to have a few more friends to raft with and a fun first few trips for them may succeed in making a few converts in this regard. I'm just wondering where you draw the line as far as your rules for taking people on your boat. For example - while commercial rafting companies take people out on class 3-4 even some 5 rivers who have never rafted before, it is a little bit different when you know the person you are taking out. I would imagine most in here would take a buddy out on a class 2-3 stream a few times and then work up if they enjoy it perhaps.

Also, related - at what point do you think your buddies should have some training? Perhaps some swiftwater training or something, if you are going to take them out? Do you have some rules of the road in this regard? Just curious how others feel on this...

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Old 07-22-2015   #2
Eagle, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 80
Oh boy... get ready for a ridiculous flood of replies on this one..
My take, and I am certainly no expert, is that you will never find a baseline answer. It's like the Drake equation right? There are sooo many factors. My personal guideline is taking into factor the class of the water, the experience of the MAJORITY of the boat, the expectation of danger vs fun among potential crew and of course the inevitable alcohol question, which all leads into the question "Will/can this crew work together to get us through anything that we encounter?"
I've never been a guide, but I do recite an informational speech before each venture out. Make sure people know where/how to sit and how to paddle, use a throw bag, highside etc. After all you are the leader and need to own up to the job. After that, you're really giving yourself up to the river gods. Think about how many times you've run a line, but today it was a little different and caused all kinds of chaos, or the exact opposite, you did something different and it was easy as pie? In the end, you're gut tells you what you should and shouldn't be doing.
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