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Has anyone seen or used the creature crafts in CO? I've seen a lot of vids on these in the Northwest, but haven't seen them in CO. It would be cool to give one a go if they exist in CO for rent or otherwise.
Thanks.
-Murky
 

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Curse of the Creature Crafts

Coloradoans are blessed not to have their rivers infested with these creatures . . . yet.

I was in Banks, Idaho last week doing some laps on the North Fork of the Payette and met Darren and Shaggy, who were running a creature craft demo clinic. Darren and Shaggy were great guys, and were very professional, but many of the people demoing the creature crafts were class II-III rafters, with some even having no rafting experience. These people were taking the creature crafts on rapids such as Nutcracker, Jacob's Ladder, and Golf Course. Luckily no one was hurt, but I did see some horrific hole rides, where the people and creature crafts were doing barrel rolls and all types of aerial acrobatics.

But that's not the part that bothered me. These people are adults and can make their own decisions about risking life and limb; however, there were literally a dozen creature crafts on the river. These crafts really don't have any control when running steep, class V rapids, and numerous times the creature crafts were in rapids with us kayakers. Both our group of kayakers and the group of creature crafters were courteous and tried to put some space between each other, but I could see the potential for very dangerous situations developing.

This experience made me think that in the future there might need to be rules enacted regulating the use of certain inflatable watercraft on certain waterways.
 

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Coloradoans are blessed not to have their rivers infested with these creatures . . . yet.

I was in Banks, Idaho last week doing some laps on the North Fork of the Payette and met Darren and Shaggy, who were running a creature craft demo clinic. Darren and Shaggy were great guys, and were very professional, but many of the people demoing the creature crafts were class II-III rafters, with some even having no rafting experience. These people were taking the creature crafts on rapids such as Nutcracker, Jacob's Ladder, and Golf Course. Luckily no one was hurt, but I did see some horrific hole rides, where the people and creature crafts were doing barrel rolls and all types of aerial acrobatics.

But that's not the part that bothered me. These people are adults and can make their own decisions about risking life and limb; however, there were literally a dozen creature crafts on the river. These crafts really don't have any control when running steep, class V rapids, and numerous times the creature crafts were in rapids with us kayakers. Both our group of kayakers and the group of creature crafters were courteous and tried to put some space between each other, but I could see the potential for very dangerous situations developing.

This experience made me think that in the future there might need to be rules enacted regulating the use of certain inflatable watercraft on certain waterways.
No more laws!!! That is what your river knife is for. Keep the break clean of Creature. Surfstyle enforcement brah.
 

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Oh- if only we had a larger government and more damned rules..... (!?)

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CCs in holes

Theres a great vid of a CC in a huge hole on the Payette on NPMB.com in the general boating section. Kudos to the guy for sticking it out that long.
 

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I used to guide with shaggy in TN. small world. ... my buddy is selling a creature craft he is based out of canon city. I think it would be a very good deal. message me if you want his contact info. ...

in Colorado id rather have a mini max then a CC. not enough water here to really justify IMHO.
 

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The CC sure does give you a much larger margin in terms of room for error. That video where the guys are stuck in the hole on the North Fork Payette linked - most guys on rafts or catarafts would have been taking a nasty swim on that one, if they hit that hole. It's certainly no substitute for experience, knowledge, or training but....

I originally in my head said "no way" when I saw the CC but it is growing on me a bit to the point I can certainly accept, respect, and understand the guys who run them. The thing that I'm wondering is are we going to see raft manufacturers make add ons for their boats for this reason? (some type of inflatable enclosure that doesn't let you completely flip over, etc.). I mean I know AIRE has the Cataroller which makes righting your boat easier in theory, but what about some type inflatable enclosure that you latch onto your frame somehow, or that integrates with your regular raft or cataraft tubes for enhanced safety in this regard?

It says on the CC website that one of the benefits of their craft is it lets you run water that might normally be outside of your comfort range to see what you can and can't get through (in other words). In a sense to build confidence if it's fair to say. Interesting point to say the least I guess....again no substitute for experience, knowledge, or training, but if it gets more people boating and keeps them safer then all the power to them!
 

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Or just ban kayakers?

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Iho,

Banning kayaks is a great idea!

Here's the plan. You'll need to begin by contacting the representatives for the native tribes throughout the world that have used kayaks for their way of life. However, you'll have to create some kind of cover up to mask the racist aspects of the ban.

Next, you should get hold of someone from the Olympic committee to remove kayaking as an event. You should also gather all of the Olympic kayak medals won throughout history and melt these down. The metal from these medals could be used to create a giant sculpture of a creature craft.

After that, start calling all of the kayak manufacturers around the world to tell them their businesses need to be closed; including Jackson, Dagger, Liquid Logic, Fluid, Murky Waters, and Old Town (to name just a few). Of course this will also involve shutting down any businesses that manufacture kayaking gear, such as drysuits, paddles, and lifejackets.

You'll also need to organize a kayak repossession squad to gather the privately owned kayaks around the world. Much like Montag did with books in Fahrenheit 451, you can hold public kayak burnings. Such events always bring a crowd.

Of course, this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg in your plan to ban kayaks, and there will be much more work involved. Good luck!
 

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More Laws?

Hey Streetdoctor, Carvedog, and Osseous,

I totally agree with you that adding more laws is not the answer. But sometimes a better law does improve the quality of life of a majority of people. Here's a story that illustrates an example that's related to the topic at hand.

A few years ago I was surfing Smelter rapid on the Animas River in my kayak. (Smelter is in the town section of the Animas.) As I was surfing I heard a loud noise moving towards me from downstream. Looking in that direction I was shocked. Moving towards me was a Jetski. My first thought was "Wow! That looks really fun." My second thought, a split second later, was "Wow! That guy is going to run over me." I avoided that fate when the Jetskier pulled into the eddy next to me.

I pulled into the eddy also, and we started talking. He said he brought his Jetski out when the water was high enough, and there weren't a lot of people floating the river. While we were talking, a cop on a bike stopped and started asking the Jetskier questions.

To make a long story short, the cop questioned the legality of having a Jetski on the Animas River. I was interested in the issue, and kept in touch with the Jetskier. In turns out there were no laws about motorized vehicles on the town section of the Animas River. However, within a few years, the city passed a law banning motors on this section.

The city council felt that allowing motorized vehicles on the town run was an issue of safety for people using the river. In this case the safety of the majority caused the rights of a few (one Jetskier?) to be removed.

So, is this a good law? Is it a just law? Have injuries been prevented, and possibly lives saved? These are the questions that have to be addressed when considering, passing, and enforcing new laws. It's not a question of just adding more laws. It's a matter of providing answers to problems with better laws.
 

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Except...the entire premise is based on one experience in which CC was running a "guide school" which likely meant it was permitted by relevant agencies. I mean how often do 12 CCs go floating down whitewater runs together? As well, you rather flippantly dismissed the control and ability of those using these crafts. Having watched a few videos I think its fair to say they do lose a lot of control in big water but when I watch videos of kayakers running big water I see similar issues of fighting the force of the current.

Its seems an overblown reaction to a relatively rare situation on western rivers. I think my own response to your observation is that you have skipped several intermediate solutions and gone straight to regulation/laws/banning. I guess I would expect like-minded individuals not to immediately segregate themselves and seek legal distinctions as a primary solution. Why not work with CC folks to better understand the objective and subjective hazards they may provide to other river users and come up with a community based solution to mitigate them? Escalating the conversation to legal recourse seems harmful to everyone. Not to mention the lasting consequences we begin to see when we segregate a relatively homogenous group of stakeholders into competing factions. I mean do we really want to embrace that mentality? I know I for one have no interest in seeing the vast majority of the river community develop a schism comparable to what we see in the motorized vs. non-motorized outdoor communities.

Phillip
 

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Hell yeah!!!

You forgot to mention the safety aspect though. Apparently you can get the current govt on board easily with the "keep us safe" tactic. The loss of rafter beer, the drowning risk and danger of a poorly strapped kayak sliding off of a van rack is putting the whole country at risk!!

Since the buzz has been taken over by rafters anyway we can get rid of the kayak forums. Maybe you can get a free ad on the buzz to support the new organization. CRAK (Citizens and Rafters Against Kayaks). Talk to the NSA, anyone that has ever admitted to being a kayaker should be banned from the site and reported to the authorities for immediate confiscation of gear. They should probably be quarantined in camps as well to reduce the spread of disease. Everyone will be free to talk about draining coolers, bugs and whether to use posilockers, pins and clips or (gasp!!) open oar locks without ridicule from kayakers.

For extra funding contact Bloomberg and maybe you can focus his attention and bankroll to support your cause instead. Title your email to him "kayaks kill innocent citizens". Get his billions on board and you will be on the way.

Bring in the military, it needs to be a mass grab or there may be some guerilla brown claw crew that sneaks off and poaches yellowstone.
 

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Ban the cars too. They are the most dangerous part of life.

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