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  more pries
  Posted by: pblanc on Mar-14-13 8:34 AM (EST)

I haven't used bow pries/jams/wedges in whitewater or shallow streams for the reasons already mentioned.

I have never gotten the elusive "righting pry" to work for me (well, maybe once). Tom Foster could do it pretty well and tried to teach me years back, but I guess it didn't take. I once saw Don Bodley save himself with a beautiful righting pry on an overnight trip on upper Clear Creek TN paddling a loaded tandem boat solo, no less. With his offside gunwale underwater he was able to gumby his torso around the high side, drive his paddle down in the water, and lever his boat back upright.

I find the static stern pry or static stern pry/stern draw combo (which some might prefer to call a stern rudder) very useful on upstream ferries to my off-side, or for bow surfing. A forward stroke with the blade feathered at the hip and carried back to a stern pry position works well when crossing a strong eddy line to the off-side for a forward ferry. In this situation my cross-forward stroke is not always strong enough to keep the bow from getting blown downstream.

Nothing wrong with feathering the blade at the hip and carrying it back to a stern pry for relaxed flat water paddling which I have heard some refer to as a thumbs-up J stroke. I would generally prefer to do that rather than an extended J stroke.

A situation in which I find a sculling pry useful is as a landing drill to approach a sloping concrete boat ramp abeam. You can't use a sculling cross draw because the water gets too shallow. By raising the side of opposition and using a sculling pry on the deeper side of the boat, it is possible to gently nestle the hull bottom on the ramp and step out without getting your feet wet.

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