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Discussion Starter #1
I have noticed that whitewater playpark class III rapids are easier than natural class III rapids.

Do you agree?

Should playpark III's have a special rating like 'PPIII' ?

It's a little deceiving when someone learning to master a class III, practices at a playpark and then goes into the real world and gets clobbered.

It doesn't seem like the rating system is totally universal.
 

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Not all Class 3's or 4's or what ever are equal in difficulty. Even in nature. Some are easier than others. From the vids I've seen, playparks tend to look very low on technicality and more straight forward than many natural rapids.
 

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I have done the Durango park a couple of times. I agree that the rapids are more forgiving, but I guess you have to look at each feature and break it down. Even though they are easier to navigate (I assume they do this on purpose for safety reasons), I defiantly wouldn't down grade them. The size of the waves and holes are bigger than class ll in my opinion. Besides I figure it is better to overestimate the rapid than underestimate it.

The class system is not exact. Each rapid changes with flow, and every boater has there own idea of what they would rate the same rapid. I also think adding more exceptions will just make things more confusing.
 

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I look at play parks as freestyle features not whitewater parks, unless they have a slalom course or good gradient...but really class 3 varies significantly between drainage size and location. I could take you on a half dozen class 3 runs in this region, all with noticeably different character.
 

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How about DIII = Durango Class III?

I don't really get the original question. If it's less than class III, why not rate it II, II+, whatever. I think you're just coming back to the classic debate about difficulty of move vs. consequence which gets conflated in the standard rating system. Playparks tend to be sanitized so there's less consequence. First swiftwater class I took w/ Mike Mathers - he was saying that people are learning bad rescue habits in the PPs: standing up, etc.
 

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Seriously though, it all comes down to the fact that whitewater ratings are pretty useless. We take several subjective variables like pushiness, technicality, hazards and commitment, all of which can change based on weather, water level and wood, and try to cram them into a system of 5 numbers. I would worry less about what class a river is, and pay more attention to getting a reliable description before deciding if a new run is for you.

And you are all welcome to come experience our Class IV playpark. Its a pretty good time when the water is up.
 

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jmack i got on the town run this year when it was at 4200cfs, the park as a whole is definitely a class 4 during high water. cant wait to get on it next year, hopefully it doesn't peak while im down the grand.
 

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It definitely is a big hole, but the point that was made with the original post stands well with that hole as well. It is low consequence, which also exists on natural stretches of water, just not as concentrated as they are at play parks from what I've seen in videos (we have no real play parks in California). Awesome carnage video btw.
 

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what makes the town run class 4 during high water? fucking huge waves, big munchie holes, and cold ass water. the sneak is a easy move but who likes that junk.
 

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Schutzie always thought ratings were important for doing a first run through a section; you know, kind of a what to expect thing.

But on something like a play park, where you play all the time, you either know it or you don't. The rating really wouldn't mean much if you already knew what was there.

Schutzie doesn't get the fuss over the rating level of a play park; you either got it or you don't, and when you get there the first time expecting lets say a 2, and discover a 4, then at least you aren't forced to run the damn thing, or be all disappointed you spent all this time and money to get there and then chicken out, or get all disappointed you didn't find the carnage you were expecting cause, again, how determined did you have to be to get there in the first place?
 
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