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Food for thought on chicken lines but the scariest part of that for me was the piled up line on the rock under their feet and the throw bag in the downstream current when they leveraged the raft off the rock (~6:10-6:35).
 

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I am not a fan of chicken lines in general either, but frankly that was one of the least concerning things I saw in the video. As much as I generally don’t like to judge a boaters skill level from a video, it was readily apparent to me that the guide here did not posses the skill set for that level of whitewater. At almost every step of the way you can tell that he’s playing catch up rather than anticipating what to do next. Very bad rope management here, even taking into account that they were in a tight crowded position.
 

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As much as I generally don’t like to judge a boaters skill level from a video, it was readily apparent to me that the guide here did not posses the skill set for that level of whitewater. At almost every step of the way you can tell that he’s playing catch up rather than anticipating what to do next. Very bad rope management here, even taking into account that they were in a tight crowded position.
I probably could have worded this a bit more diplomatically. Obviously shit can and does happen to all of us, and I mean no disrespect to anyone personally here. I am of the mindset that in class 5 water the standards of skill and judgement are a lot tighter. Even more so when rafting!

There were just too many lucky moments and close calls there in my opinion. I am very glad that everyone was ok in the end, but I hope they and anyone watching can draw some valuable lessons in river safety.
 

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I used to be adamantly against perimeter lines but now realize they are good to have on certain rivers at certain flows.

In Gore Canyon I probably wouldn't run one as I'd worry about a swimmer holding on to one and then getting crushed between the raft and a rock. I would promote rapid self rescue over just holding on to the perimeter line until getting pulled into the raft.

In this example the line did come in handy for pulling the raft off the rock.
 

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I always called them sissy straps... In that wrap someone could have just as easily become entrapped between the thwart and floor. This boatin hard water stuff is dangerous, I enjoy Gore but I'd never want a full boat (3 max, prefer 2 or even 1).
 

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In Gore Canyon I probably wouldn't run one as I'd worry about a swimmer holding on to one and then getting crushed between the raft and a rock. I would promote rapid self rescue over just holding on to the perimeter line until getting pulled into the raft
Interesting point... I always run a "box" over my thwarts and down the tubes instead of a perimeter line. This allows you to self rescue rather easily instead of floating along the boat like chum. Most rafters on the east coast run their lines this way, it seems much less common in the mtn west. I jokingly attribute this to cold water boaters never going on voluntary swims and needing to reenter an empty raft... What are your thoughts on the "box line" on small and medium paddle rafts vs the perimeter line? They both appear to add an element of risk...what makes one more popular than another?
 

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Interesting point... I always run a "box" over my thwarts and down the tubes instead of a perimeter line. This allows you to self rescue rather easily instead of floating along the boat like chum. Most rafters on the east coast run their lines this way, it seems much less common in the mtn west. I jokingly attribute this to cold water boaters never going on voluntary swims and needing to reenter an empty raft... What are your thoughts on the "box line" on small and medium paddle rafts vs the perimeter line? They both appear to add an element of risk...what makes one more popular than another?
Zach will disagree, but I think the box is the way to go. Mountainbuzz people lost their shit when I posted photos of my Max 12 last year. The straps are super tight, but they help me stay with the boat, and help others to climb back in. Much more valuable than risky, IMNSHO. Realistically, nobody is getting stuck in those little gaps - it's swims that kill rafters.

Bean bag Green Comfort Plant Purple
 

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Zach will disagree, but I think the box is the way to go. Mountainbuzz people lost their shit when I posted photos of my Max 12 last year. The straps are super tight, but they help me stay with the boat, and help others to climb back in. Much more valuable than risky, IMNSHO. Realistically, nobody is getting stuck in those little gaps - it's swims that kill rafters.

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I run a strap across my thwarts when there's a chance I might take a swim. We are always hedging our bets as boaters.

I don't think the question is, "Should we run a chicken line or not?"

I think the question is, "What do I think is going to keep me safest in the event something terrible happens."

How we answer the latter question is a matter of interpretation for each boater. I mean, if we want to get super anal about entrapments, our whole frame setup is an entrapment. We are always making choices.
 

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Zach will disagree, but I think the box is the way to go. Mountainbuzz people lost their shit when I posted photos of my Max 12 last year. The straps are super tight, but they help me stay with the boat, and help others to climb back in. Much more valuable than risky, IMNSHO. Realistically, nobody is getting stuck in those little gaps - it's swims that kill rafters.

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Just playing devils advocate here, but wouldn't a thwart handle be more effective in this situation? If I were paddling and my momentum changed and my body was thrown to the side and I was about to go over I can't imagine that I would have the grip strength to hold onto that strap without my hand slipping all the way down and eventually going for a swim. A thwart handle (which I currently use) would potentially stop that momentum with much less effort, and they are easier to grab on to.

I totally get that this works for you, and I am by no means trying to tell you that you are wrong. I really enjoy seeing how everyone else does things.
 

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Put your hands on top of the tube and pull up and/or use one hand on the tube and one on a handle. If you run a frame, it’s easy to use it to pull up on.
24" tubes and my frame has deckboards.

I could see how that might work in a small paddle raft, but no way could I do it on my rig. My fat ass can barely pull myself in as is.
 
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