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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm looking for some good advice on how to get out of a hole when stuck in a side surf. I know hanging out in the play park if the best thing (and I know I should go more), but the holes I play in at the park are NEVER as sticky as ones that I've been stuck in on the river. I've actually had very few hole rides but had 1 last year and 1 this year that did.

"The hand" got me last year, at low water. I felt like I could have managed that on it's own, but my paddle buddy came it for the rescue, to knock me out, and then I can't remember if I was upside down when she came in to knock me out, but I got all discombobulated and pulled my skirt like a tool without truly assessing the situation.

This year I got worked in a hole on Lawson at high water (after ledges...series of 3 large holes....I think I got caught in the second one?) I thought I remembered being able to boof it at high water last year, but I must have gotten a crappy boof stroke and got CREAMED in it this year. I was stuck in a left side brace so perpendicular to the water that my face and blade were on the same plane. I was able to get a few breaths before I went over. I remember wanting to try to dig my way out , but if I moved my blade even a smidge, I was going to lose my brace - which happened anyway. When I rolled up, I was stuck on my right brace , same situation. I'm right side dominant but still couldn't manage to do anything but hang on. I felt pretty cemented in the hole so when I went over again, I pulled.

What else should I have done? Some people talk about reaching deep with their paddle...I find this hard from an upside down position)...another person recently talked about sculling with their blade...I've tried this recently in flat water and can see the benefit here...but takes some getting used to...

I got stuck in a hole down on the numbers recently and was able to hang out, get a stoke or two, shift my body weight, roll, and eventually get out of the hole.

Like I already mentioned, I know the play park offers the best simulation....

Thanks,

Beth
 

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Try paddling forwards. Try backwards. Move to the sides. Drive to the chundery middle part. Enders, cartwheels, loop attempts. If you get flipped hang out for a second maybe your body can provide some surface area to pull you out.

Play parks usually have features that are way to friendly to simulate anything tricky. Most rivers have good features to mess around on. They just aren't the standard quality playspots always.
 

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Generally, if you are really stuck in a side surf, you are not getting out by pulling directly downstream. Try to turn the downstream brace into a forward or back stroke and move sideways. Very few holes in nature are really uniform, so if you can move one way or another, you may be able to find a weaker spot in the hydraulic. Often, all you need is a small jet of water that is pushing through the backwash. If you are able to get out of the side-surf, there is no substitute for paddling hard downstream!

Intentionally flipping is often another pretty effective strategy. A lot of holes that will hold you right side up will not hold you upside down. This strategy is less effective in steep pour-overs and less appealing in shallow holes...
 

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This year I got worked in a hole on Lawson at high water (after ledges...series of 3 large holes....I think I got caught in the second one?) I thought I remembered being able to boof it at high water last year, but I must have gotten a crappy boof stroke and got CREAMED in it this year. I was stuck in a left side brace so perpendicular to the water that my face and blade were on the same plane. I was able to get a few breaths before I went over. I remember wanting to try to dig my way out , but if I moved my blade even a smidge, I was going to lose my brace - which happened anyway. When I rolled up, I was stuck on my right brace , same situation. I'm right side dominant but still couldn't manage to do anything but hang on. I felt pretty cemented in the hole so when I went over again, I pulled.

What else should I have done? Some people talk about reaching deep with their paddle...I find this hard from an upside down position)...another person recently talked about sculling with their blade...I've tried this recently in flat water and can see the benefit here...but takes some getting used to...

I got stuck in a hole down on the numbers recently and was able to hang out, get a stoke or two, shift my body weight, roll, and eventually get out of the hole.

Like I already mentioned, I know the play park offers the best simulation....

Thanks,

Beth
The same hole on Lawson got me at about 900cfs this year. I screwed my line in the top hole and dropped into the second one with no speed on the river left side. It pulled me in backwards to the center with a left boat angle. I ended up digging deep (right shoulder in the water) and ended up getting released backwards. Coincidentally I think I started to rotate to face upstream a bit before it let go. It held me in a surf like that for a good 20 seconds though, wish I could say I knew what I was doing but I just kept clawing downriver.
 

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On something like The Hand, where there's current on one side, Plan A is going to be to surf to that side to see if you can grab that current. If you can't get there, try rocking back and forth. Dig deep. If you feel downstream current, pull on it. Get a bow or stern in the pourover and throw some ends. Even if these don't work, you'll likely flip trying, so you can test that upside down theory. Different things work for different holes.

The most important thing is to not just hang out on a side surf, because that will tire you out quickly. Keep moving and trying new things.
 

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... but if I moved my blade even a smidge, I was going to lose my brace - which happened anyway. When I rolled up, I was stuck on my right brace , same situation.
This sounds like you may be leaning too far out/ away from your boat, such that a lot of weight is on the paddle. When this happens, you generally can not move the paddle from its brace position without promply seeing fishies.

Instead, you'd ideally want your weight to remain over the boat, which is leaned on its downstream edge. Engage those knees and hips; hold a bit more J position with your body. This way, you have some ability to maneuver with your paddle, which is no longer devoting all of its power to being a crutch. Then, as other posters mention, you can use said paddle to look for weaker spots/ paddle to the edge/ do sweet ender pirouettes, etc.

Those easier holes, though they might not give the full stuck in a hole experience, are a good place to practice side surfing without your paddle; that way next time one of the big meanies get you, you can use that paddle and go to town on it.

Or, the ol' flip over and reach for the bottom; a bit unnerving, but highly effective in my experience; best not used in shallow places though.
 

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Second the try everything method.

First would be to pull some forward or back strokes to see if you can pull yourself to the side and out of the hole.

Second would be to angle the boat so you do an ender or cartwheel

Third is if you so go over to reach out you paddle to try to grab the current at the bottom (don't reach to hard or far out so you protect the shoulders). I actually usually get out this way if I have exhausted my other options. Most of the time I will either get pulled out or the hole will flip me back up and it is round two or three.

Four would be know when to hold them and know when to fold them. Pulling is a last resort, but pulling when you have no air and are beat is even worse.

That is what hoes through my head any ways and obviously doesn't always work, but that is probably more me.


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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the advice. The most important thing I think I need to remember is that swimming is a last resort....knowing when to "hold em....fold em... All that jazz....that video was great for observing technique (and funny too:).

I will really work on relying less in my paddle to brace because as someone up there mentioned ~ when i use it versus my body weight shift and play with edge I have very little room to take strokes...(that's a little paraphrased).



Kevin, you shouldn't let hoes run through your head (reread your post:))

Thanks buzzards.



Beth
 

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If I can attempt to rephrase the question:
"I know what I need to do to get better at dealing with an unexpected hole surf, but it involves work and time that I don't feel like doing. Is there a magic pill I can take instead?"

Do I understand correctly?
 

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Thanks for all the advice. The most important thing I think I need to remember is that swimming is a last resort....knowing when to "hold em....fold em... All that jazz....
I've seen a few holes that are very difficult to paddle out of due to their high eddy lines but easy to swim out of. You have to remember when rolling (i.e., being upside down without air for a longer period of time), surfing deep etc...that you should save enough energy to swim because it might be the best option.
 

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Again Kevin gets straight to the point. The prophylactic angle to this story is having a well timed boof stroke thus avoiding uninentended hole rides. I tend to treat it like a play featurd avoiding the doomy side surf at all costs ( even when the side surf seems like the least terrifying option).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If I can attempt to rephrase the question:
"I know what I need to do to get better at dealing with an unexpected hole surf, but it involves work and time that I don't feel like doing. Is there a magic pill I can take instead?"

Do I understand correctly?

Yes, Kevin it seems as though you have a good grasp of the question I'm asking. However, I'm not interested in one of the pills you may have taken the resulted in a hole being named after you. If you know anyone that has a prescription grade manic pill, I'm interested.


Beth
 

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There's a lot of good advice here. For what it's worth, a lot of the suggested (in boat) maneuvers can be hard to set up when you're deep in the trough, like you mentioned. Borrowed from the play boating realm, if you are stuck in the perpetual side-surf, you can dip your upstream edge and sometimes get a little pop and release from the depth of the hydraulic. In this moment of release you can do any number of things, adjust your angle, travel up the pile (downstream), or give your boat some directional speed (you choose the direction). Of course, this tempts the windowshade gods, but in that case you can just use any of the other upside down/swimming techniques mentioned above. Sometimes, in fact, you can aerial windowshadewheel out of the hole. This works better in some boats than others, and with practice. This does not work very effectively in my Mega rocker, and is kind of like riding a huge log in a low head dam. Don't get surfed, and enjoy it if you do.:p
 

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When you find it, let me know. ;) I tend to find that some holes, like toilet bowl, are just doomed to all but the most lucky combos of boat, weight, flip, fish swimming bellow... It's the quieter ones that sneak up and trash us on some unnamed seam we weren't thinking of. I tend to find that the lean angle is the key. Too much downstream results in the rodeo ride, too much up results in the window shade. Trying to find that unobtainable sweet spot lets you maneuver to a potential exit. The next is to get pointed the right way. One side is typically better than the other. Figuring that out while getting chundered is rather challenging. Sometimes the best is to hold on until someone can render swim assistance. And float bags. For the love of all things, have float bags so we can save your boat while you drift, exhausted and alone, downstream. :p


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Discussion Starter #17
I've seen this before! So impresisve... Maybe if I pretend like there's an 80 footer below me I'll realize swimming isn't an option!! That and of course always ask myself....WWKSCD?


Beth
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I've seen this before! So impresisve... Maybe if I pretend like there's an 80 footer below me I'll realize swimming isn't an option!! That and of course always ask myself....WWKSCD?


Beth
 

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