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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
I think Numbers is definitely a bit about my skill level right now... maybe Fractions though. Just makes me nervous boating a new, unfamiliar run in the winter. Not good at rolling, but good at swimming :)
 

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I think Numbers is definitely a bit about my skill level right now... maybe Fractions though. Just makes me nervous boating a new, unfamiliar run in the winter. Not good at rolling, but good at swimming :)
That's smart. Do you paddle the Elk? Have yet to paddle it and was thinking road trip this spring with camping at Strawberry Hot Springs.
 

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Many decades of kayaking.

Tons of money looking for the ideal spray skirt.

I don't think there is such a thing especially since most kayaks need a specific spay skirt for a good fit.

I have had rand and shock corded skirts that were really hard to put on / off.

I had one of the large cockpit Jackson creekers and happened by CKS in BV. Had a dry but super tight rand spray skirt at the time. End of season sale and CKS had Snapdragon shock cord used skirts from their rental program on sale. Took one outside and it fit like a glove, neoprene was a bit thinner than most and even tho it was super easy to stretch as I put it on, it did not leak. Bottom line, don't give up the search as one of these days you might get lucky like I did. This skirt has lasted and no doubt will continue to do so.

The older I got and the more low back pain the harder it got to get the spray skirts on long kayak cockpits.

Here is a method that worked well for me.

One. put the spay skirt on a large cockpit and leave it on between trips. I would push down the stern ends of the spray skirt, hook up a pull rope from the front loop to the spray skirt grab loop and finally get these tight spray skirts on a kayak and leave them on some times for weeks.

Two. some times wetting down the spray skirt makes it easier to stretch out to big kayak cockpits when you are inside the kayak. (you can wet down the spray skirt in the water before putting it on, or some may have other options)

Three. I used this procedure (after stretching out a spray skirt). Get in the kayak. lean back and get the back of the skirt pushed down into the cockpit rim channel, kind of pull it forward toward the bow and hold the sides in place with both elbows down on top of the cockpit rim.

Then roll the front lip of the skirt up a bit, put both thumbs together right in the front of the spray skirt.

All this takes some amount of practice. Then keeping the elbows down, rock body forward with arms acting like a lever to get that skirt front lip forward and over the front cockpit rim. Soon as the spray skirt lip fits into the kayak cockpit channel, use the hands to push the front sides of the skirt down into the cockpit channel.

Sounds a little complicated and I hope you can experiment a bit. Using the elbows to hold down the back of the skirt into the channels, rocking forward using the leverage of your body and arms to get the front of the skirt over the front cockpit lip and into the kayak cockpit channel seemed to help me.

Hope this gives you some ideas and ends up helping getting that spray skirt on a little bit easier.

Nice rant and interesting thread. Boated with a lot of lady kayakers over the years and this is the first good rant on this topic. Listened to a bunch of complaints over difficulty during the pee process in a tight wet suit. Less when womens dry suits with zippers came along.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
We've done a short trip on the Elk. We did the Mad Creek section, considered the lower. Super pretty and fun, very mellow, we definitely plan on doing some more this Spring, like from Hinman bridge down to Mad Creek. Above that, the Box is beautiful but way too much for me! By the time I was ready to take it on this summer, the water was too low to do the middle section. If you're going to make a trip over, consider camping elsewhere. Strawberry Park Hot Springs is cool to visit, and cheap if you want to rent a cabin or whatever, but it's about an hour from there to where you put in for the Elk. You can do free camping, pretty much right on the Elk River, on County Road 64 and 64A. Do Strawberry Park just for the sake of the soak, the cabins there are decent if you want to pay $60. Then you can do the town run and Fish Creek too if you're up for that.

Give us a holler if you do come up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Many decades of kayaking.

...

Hope this gives you some ideas and ends up helping getting that spray skirt on a little bit easier.

Nice rant and interesting thread. Boated with a lot of lady kayakers over the years and this is the first good rant on this topic. Listened to a bunch of complaints over difficulty during the pee process in a tight wet suit. Less when womens dry suits with zippers came along.
Thanks for all that! I didn't really start this thread because I was having difficulty finding a skirt to fit my needs, more just to bitch because I'm offended that gear designers think women can't handle the stronger skirts. Not even particularly offended just questioning their logic.
I'll definitely try your tricks of trade on the new one I got, though!
 

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We've done a short trip on the Elk. We did the Mad Creek section, considered the lower. Super pretty and fun, very mellow, we definitely plan on doing some more this Spring, like from Hinman bridge down to Mad Creek. Above that, the Box is beautiful but way too much for me! By the time I was ready to take it on this summer, the water was too low to do the middle section. If you're going to make a trip over, consider camping elsewhere. Strawberry Park Hot Springs is cool to visit, and cheap if you want to rent a cabin or whatever, but it's about an hour from there to where you put in for the Elk. You can do free camping, pretty much right on the Elk River, on County Road 64 and 64A. Do Strawberry Park just for the sake of the soak, the cabins there are decent if you want to pay $60. Then you can do the town run and Fish Creek too if you're up for that.

Give us a holler if you do come up!
Yeah, visited the hot springs for the first time early this winter with my boater gfriend and came up with the idea of combining the springs and a boating trip. Probably wouldn't be looking to paddle the class 5 drops but would consider paddling from there all the way to the confluence with the Yampa. Do people do that bottom section?
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I think most people just get out at Mad Creek. My understanding (don't quote me) is that the whitewater isn't worth the complaints from the land owners (Maribou, I think, those rich mother fuckers) any lower than that. I know it definitely slows down a lot and I don't think there's many rapids. But I haven't done it and it may be something we're interested in doing just for the sake of exploration. We did see a group of yakkers by the highway, which is where it meets the Yampa.
If you're set on doing the hot springs/boating trip my suggestion would be to pair the hot springs with a town run on the Yampa. Then on another night camp by Seedhouse/Hinman to do the Elk. Everything below Hinman bridge (County Rd 64A) is considered a III.
 

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Back when I lived there I boated the stretch from mad creek down a lot. My family owned land downstream of Marabou so I actually had a legal way to take out without going all the way to the Yampa. Never saw or heard of anyone else doing it due to the takeout issues. Here's a rundown if you're curious though.

Put in at the Christina public fishing access about a mile up from mad creek. Gradient picks up just above mad creek and has fun wave trains for a half mile-ish. Below that, fishing improvements made by the most recent owners of the may ranch made some good small play. Below that it is super mellow, but Marabou's fishing improvements have made some good play waves, a few of which get really good above 5000 cfs. There are occasionally barbed wire fences and tons of downed cottonwoods throughout. Overall, the run isn't worth it below 2500-3000.

As far as issues with landowners, the Marabou people only ever waved at me and once even let me hike back up at one of their waves. However, there was always a guy who lived in a log house right on 129 about a mile or 2 below mad creek who would yell, harass, and threaten me every time I went past, once with a shotgun. And this guy wasn't some rancher either. He owned maybe a half an acre of river bottom at most. Don't know if he's still there though.
 
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