Posted by: jimyaker on Jun-20-12 7:24 PM (EST)
In 3 years of whitewater paddling I've seen that the holes and pourovers that look "easy" are "smooth" are often the most retentave and sometimes outright dangerous. Many low head dams have that look.
I have a river-play boat and I'm pretty comfortable in my ability to get out of most things on Class II and Class III runs. Sweeping the paddle to rotate the boat and dropping the upstream edge at my stern almost always results in an ender or a quick flip that kicks me downstream. I also have a pretty darm good sculling brace on my strong side that lets me side surf for minutes at a time. Sometimes I can slowly work my way to the edges to find an exit.
I've been upside down a couple of times when it ddn't want to let me go right away. Rolled up onece into a side surf and then got out the first time. The other time, it was deep, so I paused and reached around with the paddle until I felt the current pulling me downstream and out of the hole -- then rolled up. Time slows down a little as long as you don't freak out too much.