A "kids in the bow" question - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-23-2017   #1
 
Bozeman, Montana
Join Date: Apr 2009
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A "kids in the bow" question

Longtime lurker heading out on our first family trip on the Main Salmon trip this week. So pumped! The forum has provided such great info during the planning - thanks to everyone for sharing so much.

I had a quick (maybe silly/stupid) question that I've been dancing with, and would love any feedback for additional ideas.

I've got a 7 and 10 year old. Both do well in bigger water, but I've always thought they'd do even better with something a bit more substantive to grab onto when things get rowdy.

I've seen some pictures of people having a post of some sort coming off the frame in the middle. I've got some friends that tie a very short (12") line of thick rope off the front inside D-ring. When going through bigger water, the kids kneel and grab onto that line.

Of course I'm most concerned about any kind of further hazard anything like this might cause, especially an entrapment issue.

So to those of you that stick kids up in the bow, do any of you have anything or the kids to grab onto? Any advice/thoughts would be great!

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Old 07-23-2017   #2
 
Frisco, Colorado
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I take kids out commercially often, and when they are in the bow I just use the bow line or perimeter line for them to hang on to. I only add straps when they are sitting on thwarts further back. On a multi day trip there should be plenty of things for them to hang on to, no need to add more entrapment hazards.
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Old 07-24-2017   #3
 
Eagle Mountian, Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaverickUSC View Post
I take kids out commercially often, and when they are in the bow I just use the bow line or perimeter line for them to hang on to. I only add straps when they are sitting on thwarts further back. On a multi day trip there should be plenty of things for them to hang on to, no need to add more entrapment hazards.
Seconded. My kids just hold onto the bow line. I have pulled a short section of the bow line out and tied it to a carabiner with a clove hitch on the outside d ring. The biner is a locker and already there for my bow line so no added hazards and its easy to use then stow.
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Old 07-24-2017   #4
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Bellevue, Idaho
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So riding the bull is out of the question?
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Old 07-24-2017   #5
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Boise, Idaho
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and we're talking the main salmon here. I've taken kids as young as 3 down. My dog rides in the bow and doesnt hold on to anything and she's never fallen out. I'm sure your kids will be fine.
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Old 07-24-2017   #6
 
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Salem, Oregon
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Always good stuff to think through when taking the kids rafting. I have two priorities when I take my kids out (ages 2 & 4).

1) They must be safe.

2) They must enjoy themselves.

Kids won't enjoy themselves unless they feel safe. I always make sure that my kids have good solid handholds wherever they are in the boat, and that an adult is within arms reach of them. In fact we are still holding the 2 year old through most rapids still.

I agree with the sentiment of keeping entrapment hazards to a minimum. However, since I'm not taking the kids on anything above a Class III with very minimal chance of any kind of swim/flip, I usually opt for the extra strap as a handhold. Easily adjustable and movable to whenever the kids want to sit next. My kids like to move around a fair amount and don't like to sit in the same spot for too long.

My 4 year old's favorite is to straddle the tube and lean forward till her chest is also resting on the tube. She grabs the chicken line with the outside hand and I give her a strap hand hold for the inside hand. Super secure position for her through the rapids and she still gets splashed a lot
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Old 07-24-2017   #7
 
Bozeman, Montana
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Great advice everyone and lots to consider. Thanks for the thoughts!
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Old 07-25-2017   #8
 
Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Within arms reach is solid advice. My daughter always rides in the bow. I thought I was gonna lose her in a pretty big hole when she almost bounced out of the boat. Now she rides on the back thwart with her old dad. I put two straps around the thwart for her to hold on to. That said the line on the inside d ring sounds good to me.
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Old 07-25-2017   #9
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Dundee, Oregon
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Name:	ImageUploadedByMountain Buzz1501046337.176037.jpg
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ID:	20929 that's a recent pic of my 9 year old son taking a pretty good hit "riding the bull" with my wife holding onto him. I let them ride on the front frame seat with a few loops for handles. I don't think bounce outs happen much until you are hitting steep drops. I've thought about adding a clean ended strap to the floor loops for them, but haven't seen the need arise.


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Old 07-25-2017   #10
 
Salida, Colorado
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2-4 yo toddlers in 'safe' Class III is not a good idea. Neither is believing a 3 yo is just as capable of a dog to stay in the boat. Ya, it may be unlikely that something happens, but when it does, it happens fast.

Iy is important to set ground rules and maintain order and safety protocols, ADD is not an excuse to allow free reign. Ya not always, but if you don't have control in calm waters, how can you effectively manage a situation in moving water? No exceptions to pfd rule.

Remember the kids are ALWAYS in training. Do not over estimate the ability of the yunguns to take care of themselves. Be very conservative and know that a safe environment naturally results in them having fun, the only true measure of success. They depend on you for that.
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