I was thinking about this yesterday when running a twisty creek where the current was so slow it didn't matter.
But after all these years I realized I really don't know the answer to this question:
What is the fastest way to run (race) down a river with good current and lots of bends -- staying in the faster current on the outside of the bends, cutting through the shorter route in the slow water on the inside of the bends, or some sort of "split the baby" compromise route?
Kayak & Canoe Outriggers
Canoe / Kayak Anchors
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Posted by: kayamedic on Jun-03-13 9:35 AM (EST)
on the outside, sweepers can ruin your time..
depends on each bend|
Posted by: tetonjohn on Jun-03-13 9:43 AM (EST)
Forget dangers and obstructions|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Jun-03-13 9:44 AM (EST)
My question only relates to the fastest way to run the current over the course of the entire twisty race.
Theoretical rivers my have no dangers|
Posted by: tetonjohn on Jun-03-13 10:13 AM (EST)
Rule of Thirds|
Posted by: yknpdlr on Jun-03-13 10:30 AM (EST)
Understand current, deposition, sediment|
Posted by: willi_h2o on Jun-03-13 12:06 PM (EST)
Speed in bends|
Posted by: plaidpaddler on Jun-03-13 12:31 PM (EST)
There is a very complex set of variables involved here. And experience is still the most valuable asset.
I tend to hang on the outside bends|
Posted by: tdaniel on Jun-03-13 3:55 PM (EST)
It's all about the skill "River Reading"|
Posted by: suntan on Jun-03-13 4:14 PM (EST)
Experienced paddlers can just look and see the channels of faster moving water. Ferrying and back paddling are essential skills to move into the faster channels. It takes several seasons of practice to get it down, even so, nobody can tell what's around the next bend in the river.
Phyics answer for idealized river|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Jun-03-13 5:01 PM (EST)
Build it and we will all come to see it.|
Posted by: plaidpaddler on Jun-03-13 5:25 PM (EST)
Depends on the speed of the current|
Posted by: Kocho on Jun-03-13 5:36 PM (EST)
That makes sense|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Jun-03-13 5:47 PM (EST)
On a really, really slow stream like the swamp I was in yesterday, it seems obvious to me that I can reduce my time by cutting corners. The current differential between the outside and inside currents is more negligible than the distance differential.
Catch the Eddie Line|
Posted by: dougd on Jun-03-13 6:27 PM (EST)
It's that fine line between the outside current and the eddie. That is what I do. Always successful? No but many time yes.
Posted by: rblturtle on Jun-03-13 7:24 PM (EST)
I don't race,but have tryed many methods on the Osswagochie for making the sharp turns the easiest. I found that with a boat that will carve a turn well(flashfire,Echo),going upstream ,I could steer around corners mostly by heeling the boat,staying app in the middle. I needed little paddle correction. After making that great "discovery",my joy was shattered by finding it didn't work at all going downstream. I still havn't found an easy way to do that and keep much speed.
Posted by: rambler on Jun-03-13 8:44 PM (EST)
Out of curiosity, why would you expect the cork to follow the fastest line of the river?
A corking good question|
Posted by: Glenn_MacGrady on Jun-03-13 9:28 PM (EST)
I don't know that all corks would follow the line of fastest current. That may depend on where they were initially dropped in the river.
Corks might be smarter than sticks|
Posted by: guideboatguy on Jun-03-13 9:30 PM (EST)
On a typically narrow twisty river. ..|
Posted by: Jackl on Jun-03-13 8:59 PM (EST)
the way we do it is to cut the corner, but before you get around it follow the current out toward the middle and then try to stay in the center of the "V".
Posted by: yknpdlr on Jun-03-13 11:17 PM (EST)
As bow paddler for many years in a voyageur canoe during the 90, Browns Tract is always something to look forward to. Browns is so narrow with turns so frequent that eddies are of little problem on most turns, or nonexistent. Any eddies that exist are smaller than the length of a voyageur anyway. The few relatively short straight runs will have strongest current in the center, flanked by thick lily pads on either side. Unless the water happens to be high, cutting most turns too tight may result in paddling in energy absorbing shallow muck and thick lily pads.