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Discussion Starter #1
There was a recent post, and it had a load of comments and views, so I am here again to field some questions. I am Brandon from Creature Craft, AMalmostA.

On a side note; Things have been going really good lately for us as a company and we are stoked to unleash our products on the world at large, especially in the Swiftwater and low head dam Rescue field. Our products are always improving and it has been an exciting time for us lately. That being said, since I'm feeling really good about it, I thought maybe I could use some abuse. So far, this has been the best place for that, so here we go again.

I'm happy to answer any of your questions about our company, boats, guide school, spring trip, any of our wild rides, or Team Creature Craft and their activities. Some of you have made mention of some of the less fortunate things surrounding Creature Craft, I am also happy to field those questions as well, but only if they are presented in a manner that is respectful.

I'm gonna go play disc golf for a couple hours, then I will be back to see what's happened.
 

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There was a recent post, and it had a load of comments and views, so I am here again to field some questions. I am Brandon from Creature Craft, AMalmostA.

On a side note; Things have been going really good lately for us as a company and we are stoked to unleash our products on the world at large, especially in the Swiftwater and low head dam Rescue field. Our products are always improving and it has been an exciting time for us lately. That being said, since I'm feeling really good about it, I thought maybe I could use some abuse. So far, this has been the best place for that, so here we go again.

I'm happy to answer any of your questions about our company, boats, guide school, spring trip, any of our wild rides, or Team Creature Craft and their activities. Some of you have made mention of some of the less fortunate things surrounding Creature Craft, I am also happy to field those questions as well, but only if they are presented in a manner that is respectful.

I'm gonna go play disc golf for a couple hours, then I will be back to see what's happened.
Ok now you got me. I didn't comment in the other topic, but I did see the video. What is keeping them connected to the craft? Does this cause a hazard? More importantly, what was you're disc golf score. : )
 

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Are you concerned about customers that may be getting way in over their heads? ex. A class II rafter could get into a creature craft and feel like they could run a V+, which would obviously be a dumb idea...
 

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One question for you, just moved to Washington from Boise a few months back and have been running with a guy named Darin who has a CC, he has done the boulder drop run frequently and the actual inflatable is Bomb Proof, however his aluminum frame has broken on 3 different welds multiple times and he has had it repaired over and over. There are others having issues also, I was wondering if you guys are making the frames or subbing that out to someone, might give them a heads up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok now you got me. I didn't comment in the other topic, but I did see the video. What is keeping them connected to the craft? Does this cause a hazard? More importantly, what was you're disc golf score. : )
My disc golf score was +4 on 19 holes.

The device holding the users into the Creature Craft is a patented quick-release velcro thigh-strap. It is 4 inches wide. It's load break point is somewhere around 38,000 lbs. Or you can yank it free with a quick pull. It is typically held to the boat using NRS 1" straps, which are rated for about 1500 lbs. The velcro is actually one of the strongest connections in the boat, as the straps are all similarly rated and the frame has a breaking point well underneath 38k. The thigh-straps in an oar rig and the R2 configuration are both strapped to the frame, which is strapped to the boat. Creature Crafts tend to use a lot of straps, and most of us dedicated to the sport are gear junkies anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Are you concerned about customers that may be getting way in over their heads? ex. A class II rafter could get into a creature craft and feel like they could run a V+, which would obviously be a dumb idea...
Yes we are concerned that customers may venture in over their heads with our boats. That is one of the reasons why all of our boat sales come with 10 hours of training included in the cost of the boat. This typically encompasses three days of river running with the Creature Craft team and doing lots of roll training in the eddies.

And just to keep the discussion realistic, does AIRE, MARAVIA, AVON or SOTAR concern themselves with where the customers that buy their boats put in to the river? I think not. As boat manufacturers we do not concern ourselves with the end user's decision on how to use our product. But I can tell you that as a team of professionals in the sport (Team Creature Craft) we care very deeply about people who choose to engage in the sport and always encourage risk assessment, proper planning, and informed decisions.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
One question for you, just moved to Washington from Boise a few months back and have been running with a guy named Darin who has a CC, he has done the boulder drop run frequently and the actual inflatable is Bomb Proof, however his aluminum frame has broken on 3 different welds multiple times and he has had it repaired over and over. There are others having issues also, I was wondering if you guys are making the frames or subbing that out to someone, might give them a heads up.
Your friend Darin can get ahold of me directly at [email protected] and I can price out the new framework for him if he chooses. Otherwise I can turn him on to our frame provider, Mad Catr, who may be able to permanently fix the existing frame. If shipping it over to tri-cities is an issue, I also know a guy locally here in Lake Stevens who does fantastic work and is a boater as well.

My home river is the Skykomish, including Boulder Drop and I have been a guide there for 10 years. I am surprised as I have never seen or heard of anyone running a CC on that river except for me and Abe and Chris. Would be thrilled to meet and go boating with another CC'er. Also, Tumwater is a kickass stretch. ;)

-B
 

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And just to keep the discussion realistic, does AIRE, MARAVIA, AVON or SOTAR concern themselves with where the customers that buy their boats put in to the river? I think not. As boat manufacturers we do not concern ourselves with the end user's decision on how to use our product. But I can tell you that as a team of professionals in the sport (Team Creature Craft) we care very deeply about people who choose to engage in the sport and always encourage risk assessment, proper planning, and informed decisions.
I see your point here but you guys aren't AIRE, MARAVIA, AVON, or SOTAR. When people get into a raft they don't want to get in over their heads as much because they are scared of flipping. Creature Crafts take out the fear of flipping.

I am glad to hear that you provide training with you boats. That makes me more comfortable with CC. You guys sound like a great company with your priorities set, I'm just trying to get the smaller details!
 

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Where do you put the cooler on a CC? And more importantly, should I drain the water or leave it in? (-:

Maybe its just me but the CC is the biggest ugliest thing floating the rivers these days and from my point of view has some serious vision obstructions. I also would hate to paddle that thing in the wind. But everyone is different and I'm sure a few people out there would love the CC. (-:
 

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One question for you, just moved to Washington from Boise a few months back and have been running with a guy named Darin who has a CC, he has done the boulder drop run frequently and the actual inflatable is Bomb Proof, however his aluminum frame has broken on 3 different welds multiple times and he has had it repaired over and over. There are others having issues also, I was wondering if you guys are making the frames or subbing that out to someone, might give them a heads up.
Once again, the mysterious orto11 weighs in with secret knowledge about somebody's bad welds, and dubious claims about people he boats with and places he boats.
 

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Do you think you're boats bring down the level / finesse of rafting. I've seen folk who need remedial classes in grade 2 running the middle 5 on the NFoP. Just getting worked I might add. Who needs skill when you got a pair. Wait there inflated and mounted about the raft.
 

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GoBro
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And just to keep the discussion realistic, does AIRE, MARAVIA, AVON or SOTAR concern themselves with where the customers that buy their boats put in to the river? I think not. As boat manufacturers we do not concern ourselves with the end user's decision on how to use our product. But I can tell you that as a team of professionals in the sport (Team Creature Craft) we care very deeply about people who choose to engage in the sport and always encourage risk assessment, proper planning, and informed decisions.
None of those other boats allow passengers to passively enter into extreme water and survive. I can't argue that the CC provides a safety net the likes of which have not been seen yet in whitewater short of the barrels that were run on the niagra. Not unlike the niagra barrels CC boats have the ability to take completely unskilled users to the very brink where they will either slip by unscathed or die. While many new comers to whitewater feel and even verbally express that is how whitewater is a life or death ordeal with no middle ground of suffering it simply is not the case. Most unskilled river users will experience lots of ego checks and a variety of injuries and scares prior to facing whitewater that poses significant threat to life. The CC boats allow a short-cut around all the bumps and bruises of learning directly into life or death whitewater.

I believe one of the things that brings the whitewater community so close is the shared experience of the beatdown and swim. Your boat has the ability to change a corner of the community and in my opinion not for the better. I would think you would approach it a little more consciously.
 

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Jared
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I think it's pretty obvious the design intent was not to replace a raft, like something you would buy to paddle down the middle fork or the Rogue. One would assume that they are more of a day boat, or rescue craft. I have only seen one CC in person, on the North Santiam being used by trained personnel to train others.
With the price and intended uses, I see people who already boat buying CC's. Maybe people who would like to push the envelope but didn't feel comfortable with class V in a regular boat.
There must be a lot of damn good boaters on Buzz. All kayakers, catarafters, and round boaters must have styled Jacob's ladder before the CC's came along.
:lol:
 

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Hey RiverDriver,

From what I can tell part of the complaint seems to be derived from a perception of nonchalance in marketing and then the type of videos that are making their rounds from Creature Craft users (I just discount the NIMBY folks that always show up when new technology and users show up). From what you have said CC as a company goes above and beyond what most other manufacturer's do for training and safety. That is admirable. Does the company see a larger problem with river community perception and/or a need to remedy that? Your taking the time here to answer questions and participate highlights a recognition of tension, wether rightful or from misunderstanding I can't say as I have never interacted with the craft and users on any river.

Obviously a company can only control so much of how people use their craft and then develop culture and image surrounding it. That said, it definitely seems like the perception of these craft and users is splitting the community in a way I have not seen before (granted, the internet does some unique things to dialog). Inquiring minds.

Phillip
 

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Old Guy in a PFD
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None of those other boats allow passengers to passively enter into extreme water and survive. I can't argue that the CC provides a safety net the likes of which have not been seen yet in whitewater short of the barrels that were run on the niagra. Not unlike the niagra barrels CC boats have the ability to take completely unskilled users to the very brink where they will either slip by unscathed or die. While many new comers to whitewater feel and even verbally express that is how whitewater is a life or death ordeal with no middle ground of suffering it simply is not the case. Most unskilled river users will experience lots of ego checks and a variety of injuries and scares prior to facing whitewater that poses significant threat to life. The CC boats allow a short-cut around all the bumps and bruises of learning directly into life or death whitewater.

I believe one of the things that brings the whitewater community so close is the shared experience of the beatdown and swim. Your boat has the ability to change a corner of the community and in my opinion not for the better. I would think you would approach it a little more consciously.
I learned early on that the river Gods are pleased to demonstrate to the overly confident how mortal and feeble they are.

It matters not at all what rig they were in or their experience.

Whether a cheap Udisco, an Avon, military surplus or a patched inner tube, the operator is the one who ultimately must push off and measure themselves against the elements. To suggest that the make or model of a boat is responsible for overly confident behavior is ...... unreasonable.

Sure, a CC is a hoot to watch in a maytag, and at times seems to be more of a Ping Pong ball than a serious white water raft rig, but it is proving it's mettle as a serious rig. I mean, when you survive class V consistently you can't demean the rig.

I am minded that this debate is sooo similar to the attitude many Northwest boaters had about Bayliner boats. The SeaRay and Chris Craft and Champion owners would turn their noses up when a Bayliner cruised in. I even witnessed an ugly incident where a Bayliner was refused dock space by a rabble of snooty boaters who didn't want the scow tied up next to their "serious" boats.

The debate turned into whimpers when they were all bought by Brunswick.
 

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RiverDriver,

I'd be making it a point to show numerous videos of solid, clean and skilled runs in CC's that aren't just the Maytag videos we laugh at. I know if I were to run something like the Stikine someday it would be in a CC but you can bet I'd be getting as much practice as possible.
 

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GoBro
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Whether a cheap Udisco, an Avon, military surplus or a patched inner tube, the operator is the one who ultimately must push off and measure themselves against the elements. To suggest that the make or model of a boat is responsible for overly confident behavior is ...... unreasonable.
My statements are less about making overly confident decisions (how would you even decide that) and more about having enough knowledge to make an informed decision.

Sure, a CC is a hoot to watch in a maytag, and at times seems to be more of a Ping Pong ball than a serious white water raft rig, but it is proving it's mettle as a serious rig. I mean, when you survive class V consistently you can't demean the rig.
Yes it's a fairly survivable boat just like a barrel is. It does not have a perfect track record though. The crux of the issue is surviving whitewater is a dangerous way to approach it, both for you and the people you share the river with.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Where do you put the cooler on a CC? And more importantly, should I drain the water or leave it in? (-:

Maybe its just me but the CC is the biggest ugliest thing floating the rivers these days and from my point of view has some serious vision obstructions. I also would hate to paddle that thing in the wind. But everyone is different and I'm sure a few people out there would love the CC. (-:
The cooler straps into the center of the boat, usually behind but sometimes in front of the driver. There's a ton of D-rings for rigging or you can mount it to the frame.

No doubt CC's are susceptible to problems from the wind. I once watched two CC's in Cross Mountain Gorge get turned sideways and flip over by the headwinds from a thundercloud that was moving up the canyon. It shoved me all the way over to shore and then beat the shit out of me with hail for a few minutes. I would say that any winds over 40mph can cause serious navigation concerns.

As for the vision obstructions, you do so much turning sideways and setting angles in the whitewater that it doesn't really affect you. In the tight, narrow super technical stuff sometimes this comes into play but by and large it is never really an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Do you think you're boats bring down the level / finesse of rafting. I've seen folk who need remedial classes in grade 2 running the middle 5 on the NFoP. Just getting worked I might add. Who needs skill when you got a pair. Wait there inflated and mounted about the raft.
So, I don't know how recent your information is, but CC hasn't built or sold a 'Ball Boat' in a very long time. Our design has surpassed those methods and we no longer use them.

And I also wonder when and who you are referring to with the 'remedial Grade 2 classes' comment. It certainly wasn't any time in the last four years while I have been in attendance on the NFoP guide school trips. Are you perhaps judging someones skill based on a beating that they took or...? Also, are you sure it was the middle? There's a big difference in the middle section and the upper section, we are a lot more open minded about taking people on the upper section than on the middle or bottom five.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
None of those other boats allow passengers to passively enter into extreme water and survive. I can't argue that the CC provides a safety net the likes of which have not been seen yet in whitewater short of the barrels that were run on the niagra. Not unlike the niagra barrels CC boats have the ability to take completely unskilled users to the very brink where they will either slip by unscathed or die. ... Most unskilled river users will experience lots of ego checks and a variety of injuries and scares prior to facing whitewater that poses significant threat to life. The CC boats allow a short-cut around all the bumps and bruises of learning directly into life or death whitewater.

While I instantly dislike the idea of comparing a CC to a barrel for a TON of reasons, your point is not lost on me. There is a different learning curve in a CC. Class 3 swims that you might otherwise experience as a beginner kayaker are a very remote possibility in a Creature. But I might point out to you that your rationale really only applies to people with little to no whitewater experience. Of the 26 different people who came out and ran the NFoP with us this year, the person with the least experience had been running whitewater for 4 years, 2 in a round boat and 2 in a CC. All of the Team Creature Craft people, for example, have a decade of experience or more in whitewater. If you don't believe me or whatever then I can offer you another way of viewing it; Of all the CC's to ever take a trip down the NFoP (a fair estimate would be around 1200 trips on the upper section) over the last ten years we have had 2 swimmers. That is one hell of a safety record for running challenging and technical class 5.


I believe one of the things that brings the whitewater community so close is the shared experience of the beatdown and swim. Your boat has the ability to change a corner of the community and in my opinion not for the better. I would think you would approach it a little more consciously.
Yes Glenn, we too believe we can change a little corner of the community too. We view it as a positive thing. This little Q&A is part of our company and small community trying to approach things more consciously.
 
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