Isn't this the truth. I broke my tailbone in the Poudre many years ago when I hit a big rock in a pour over with the lowest part of my body while in the "perfect" downstream position.I think most of us know by now that feet first for more than the initial few moments of a swim is totally outdated. Thank you Kent Ford and others for bringing this up years ago in the journals.
Spot on right there....I don't think this is mentioned enough. I am, by no means, a pillar of physical fitness, but I try to stay in decent shape. My awakening to the importance of this came a few years ago when I got stuffed against the wall behind the falls on OBJ. Mayyyybe 20 seconds until I got a breath?? It absolutely wiped me out.I am going to throw this one out there: fitness. very undervalued by the rafting community especially. cardio and strength training are both super important. I am not the strongest or fastest but I workout almost every day. rg5 asks me to lunch and I tell him we should go to the gym instead. lucky him, he doesn't need it as much as me.
Alex, yes, it is. But if you only tell them the defensive position then they're not likely to flip over and swim to safety when necessary. Of course, "when necessary" may not be even obvious to neophytes. It's still important to attain the defensive swim position but once there, it's more important to get yourself out of the water as quickly as possible. In many cases that is more difficult in the defensive position than in "freestyle position."I don't get it. In my safety speech I tell all my newbies if you HAVE to swim a rapid and all options are exhausted (no boat near by, water too swift to make it to shore fast and no throw rope coming your way) I tell them to put their feet down current and up to the top of water, hands out and keep your head out of water. Is that wrong?
If you have to swim a rapid and there is no other way, what's the best way to swim?
I disagree with most people above. In my experience as a person who has (swam? swum? swimmed?) more than most I always think active swimming is the answer.I tell them to put their feet down current and up to the top of water, hands out and keep your head out of water. Is that wrong?
I like your intensity though "you wil not get entrapped if you are on the top" is not at all accurate. Panic, no matter the level of skill, can render you incapacitated. Newbies, who can't even identify an eddy while in the boat are hardly going to be able to identify a tree strainer if they're looking and trying to swim up stream, in a rapid, against the current. An expert, who isn't looking down stream can get entrapped so while I get what you're saying (swim like hell), swim like hell when appropriate is the difficult part.Seriously guys! Starfishing KILLS people. If you are in the river you can drown! Tell everyone to get the hell out! You won't drown on shore. Pushing off rocks is good info, I agree with that. You will not get entrapped if you are on the top swimming actively for shore.