Staying in the current or not?
Posted by: Shadofe1 on Aug-18-13 7:18 PM (EST) Category: Kayaking Technique
This seems like a really silly question to ask but it is one of the things my tandem partner and I disagree on. He is under the impression that we need to stay in the current basically at all times to include going under very low trees. I, on the other hand feel it is better to leave the current and go around low hanging trees then get back in the current when clear. I am worried about damaging the boat or getting hurt by low branches and do not see much advantage with staying in the current rather than leave and re-enter later. What do y'all think?
For the record I just started paddling a couple of months ago and my partner has been paddling for years.
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I'd say it depends|
Posted by: pblanc on Aug-18-13 7:25 PM (EST)
Posted by: Shadofe1 on Aug-18-13 8:55 PM (EST)
Thanks, that was really what I was thinking.
When faced with a newly downed tree|
Posted by: ezwater on Aug-18-13 9:52 PM (EST)
full of leaves and branches, if I can't get under the middle of the trunk, I go to the "top" end which is near the bank, where current is weak. Then I try to bull my way through the branches. They're typically thin and limber, and can be shoved back of me by ones and twos. There's no risk of getting pinned there, by contrast with trying to parallel park along the trunk with the current trying to push the boat under.
I see no advantage to staying in current|
Posted by: Guideboatguy on Aug-19-13 1:25 AM (EST)
Use your own judgement|
Posted by: llwjrw03 on Aug-19-13 1:57 AM (EST)
I've had a water moccasin drop out of a cypress tree into the boat when I was younger because my brother and I bumped the limbs and I've had the low limb actually snag on gear. Then that was two out of the probably over a hundred times I've been under low hanging limbs. So use your head, if its safe go for it, if its not safe sacrifice the few seconds it takes you to go around it.
You are playing it safer than.|
Posted by: JackL on Aug-19-13 6:32 AM (EST)
Posted by: mintjulep on Aug-19-13 7:30 AM (EST)
You both need to learn judgement and how to read the situation and assess potential hazards and act accordingly as required by each specific situation.
Here's a Few More Reasons |
Posted by: wildernesswebb on Aug-19-13 10:38 AM (EST)
Going with the flow...............|
Posted by: thebob.com on Aug-19-13 1:12 PM (EST)
The slow water|
Posted by: mrmannerz on Aug-19-13 5:31 PM (EST)
And if you are going around blind bends, particularly where there are cut banks and downed trees in quick water, stay in the slow water on the inside of the bend until you can see that the route is clear.
I think your partner enjoys the |
Posted by: tdaniel on Aug-19-13 7:17 PM (EST)
challenge of paddling under the limbs. I'm guessing he or she is in the stern and does most of the decision making when it comes to routes down the river. So I don't think ultimately it is about efficiency- staying in the current or not. I personally like threading between overhanging tree limbs but the hazards are real- snakes, fish hooks, entanglement of clothes/pfd or boat or cargo, a lost hat, getting poked in the eye, leaning away from the obstruction and flipping. All that stuff could happen but then again think about how much practice you are getting. At some future point in time you might not have a choice and the only path down the river is under limbs. I think your partner is enjoying the challenge they have created. You are a bit less adventurous and your comfort zone is different than theirs. My advice: talk to your paddling partner tell them your concerns but also understand his or her need for a little adventure and challenge.
is your paddling friend listed in your|
Posted by: bigspencer on Aug-20-13 7:25 AM (EST)
read the water|
Posted by: paddletothesea on Aug-20-13 4:21 PM (EST)
Its not or never about speed or current. Its totally about "reading" the water. Know what and why a river does from 200 yards upstream is something to strive for. Look at the banks, the shallows, the ripple warks, the different coloration of water which determines different depths. When the wind blows look for opposing ripples that show the current etc. I never just stay in the current. Its NOT faster because if that is all you are doing, and not reading the water then you end up doing a lot o corrective strokes or other paddling to get away, avoiding trees, strainers, weird currents, eddy lines, sweepers. Those things are what you need to look for. You dont want to get up hitting something or flipping in that mess. I guarantee that if an experienced river runner, one who knows how to read water will be much faster, less tired, and stronger at the end of the day.