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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

Looking to increase my awareness out there. Aside from paddling, I was hoping to do some reading on how to read the water, identify obstacles, best lines to run, etc.

Any suggestions on a great "guide" book?

EDIT: I'm a rafter
 

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kayak by william neally. awesome beginer book, and between reading it many times and getting on the water just as much. it will help you. totally easy read.
 

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there's nothing like experience, i agree.

try Whitewater Rafting by William McGinnis.
it may be out of print, try amazon.

it's pretty old school but a lot of great info and drawings.
i found it to be great winter reading my first year of rafting.

bob
 

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God Amongst Men
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second on William Nealy's book. both the original and the new version are both great reads, and good additions to any book collection.

my advice is to simply go look at water. go find a river/creek/irrigation ditch and sit by it and just watch. watch how the water reacts to obstructions in the river, watch how it pillows off of walls, watch how it creates tounges, eddylines, waves and holes. look at different stretches of water, from class II gravel bars, to raging class V rapids. note the differences that small variations in the riverbed make. the beautiful thing about hydrology is that it replicates itself on a small scale to a large scale. the way water acts and reacts to things on a ditch with 25 cfs in it is no different than how a river with 2500 or 25,000 cfs reacts; it's just bigger and more powerful. the basic processes are the same.

spend time noting features, and how they work. once your understand how the river works, it makes reading it ON the river much easier. knowledge is power
 

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aka The Curmudgeon
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I've not read any of the others, but when I was starting out, RAFTING by Jeff Bennett (I think) was awesome. I used to have two copies, have loaned them out many times over the years and now have none.
 

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aka The Curmudgeon
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Oh Yeah, I forgot. Experience is by far the best, but if you get the experience after first having an understanding of what you are doing and seeing thru reading, you'll be able to take advantage of that experience much more quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the suggestions guys, much appreciated. I've paddled a decent amount, but it's always good to keep learning. While experience is unbeatable, I'm hoping some winter reading will show me some things I haven't come across yet. I was able to get that McGinnis book for $0.01, and I'll keep an eye out for the Nealy. I remember I saw an animated river rescue section from Nealy's book that was very well done.
 

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Nealy + Study time + experience = winner. It's a lot like college, though lacking severely in the female scenery department relative to college. ;)
 
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