Professor Paddle: Transition to Playboat
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Mr.Grinch
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  Quote Mr.Grinch Replybullet Posted: 19 Dec 2011 at 7:50pm
I'm another person who likes my playboat more. Remember, that's the initial topic of this thread. Aaron, when pool sessions at UPS start up again, feel free to hop into my Fuse 56. Might be a little large for you, but not a lot. I've also got a smaller boat with slicy ends you can flip around as well. Al with the yellow Jackson Fun will probably let you hop in that for a few minutes after he's done and is getting ready to leave. He let me paddle it. Also, if they're available, the student club has some Dagger Kingpins which are excellent.

Play is where you find it and what you make of it. I'm not aiming at doing crazy aireal manouvers, either, but if my skills take me there, that's fine. For now, the boat I paddle most on rivers (and flatwater play/workout) is the Fuse. I've had a smaller playboat and a larger play/runner and this boat suits my style best at the moment. Surfs great, forgiving, easy to roll, still gets vertical, and is a new enough design that it is still in production. I think a boat like it (LL Freeride, JK Fun, Dagger RX, etc) might be what you'd like. They aren't as hard core as Stars and Projects, but they'll play enough (surfing, spinning, wave wheels, even loops) and not be so tricky at first. Whoever posted about the longer slicy boats brings a point I also enjoy: letting the river do some of that play work for you, like on eddylines for stern squirts and cartwheels. Sure, it isn't throwing Phonics Monkeys, but I'd doesn't sound like that's your intention at this point in time. Basically, I like to surf anything along my way down a river. I like playing eddylines and splatting rocks. I like throwing wave wheels and just screwing around in the currents. I love a good wave with a nice foam pile for spins and blunts, especially when there's eddy service. I have looped, but I'm terrible at it. What puts a smile on my face at this point in time is getting the most out of every disturbance in the river flow that I can.

I don't own a creeker, though I hope to get into it in the next few years.
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water wacko
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  Quote water wacko Replybullet Posted: 19 Dec 2011 at 8:05pm
The Sky has a ton of playboating at all kinds of levels and I should exlain what I'm saying when I say 'playboat'. When I was first starting out playboats were the thing. Loops and cartwheels were what we were all doing. River running in a playboat, to me, is 'playboating'. Additionally, catching as many waves on the way down the river as possible is all part of it. It taught me a lot and that is my suggestion. And yes, like Tiziak said, it's freakin' COLD in the winter! Another way to 'challenge' yourself sometimes. Also, please take my post with a grain of salt (or two). I'm not trying to talk myself up like I'm some badass or whatever. I was just sharing my experience through my years on the water and how 'playboating' I feel turned out to be a very complimentary paddling style, to creek boating. That's all. We're all between swims and it's never a good feeling when someone swims. Most of my postings are just ramblings as if I'm blathering on. Keep the good stuff and throw out the rest.

Aaron, there are a lot of good comments here to mull over. JP is definitely stoked to share his plethora of experience on the water and can teach you a lot.
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman
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jP
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 19 Dec 2011 at 10:00pm
I still got a lot to learn, too. And I have been influenced by modern playboaters: I used to scoff at the backdeck roll, no matter how much James used to extoll its virtues. But I started practicing it. One day above Lava Dam Falls (Farmlands Stretch of the White Salmon) I flipped. I noticed that a lot of times what causes me to flip is being too much in the back seat, but off balanced onto my left edge. I flopped over right into the set up for the back deck roll.

I don't know what concerned me more: being above the falls heading for it upside down, or having a crowd on the rock watching me anyway I busted that roll out and have been sold on it ever since. Kinda embarassing since nowadays all sorts of first year boaters got back deck rolls, but still- with paddling, old dogs can learn new tricks if they want, and that's cool. Now if I flip that way, I roll up that way and its much quicker than setting up for my standard roll.

Also, watching Rob should convince anyone of playboating's applications to creek'n: he can bumble down all kinds of gnar backwards, spinning around, upsidedown, whatever- seemingly "cool as a cucmber in a bowl of hot sauce" cuz he gots his X,Y, and Z axis all figured out. I'm cool with X and Y, but I try not to get too extravagant on the Z axis other than a standard boof, or the occasional tailstand or bowstall. I like being pointed toward where I want to go with a dry head.



Edited by jP - 19 Dec 2011 at 10:04pm
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Courtney
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  Quote Courtney Replybullet Posted: 20 Dec 2011 at 8:53am

Aaron,

It sounds to me like you would be really happy in a play boat but not a full on play boat.  They are great to do all sorts of play moves except the highly advanced one's and they are also great at running rivers up to class IV depending on the river and volumn.  Since you're going to be new to play boating it's going to take you some time to get the moves down not to mention just getting used to the feel in the rapids.  Once you are feeling great doing all of these things and taking the hard lines in rapids then you can think about buying another boat - more playfull or not.  What skill level are you at now with rapid classification and what kind of play are you presently doing?  I know you mentioned that you're mainly running the easier lines right now but I missed what class rapids you said you're running.  Also, did you say that you're selling your other boat or keeping it when you get your new one?  If you're selling it, definitely don't go with a full on playboat because that would hold you back on the harder runs IMO.  If you're keeping it I still think a moderate playboat would be right for you. 

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AaronS
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  Quote AaronS Replybullet Posted: 20 Dec 2011 at 10:30am
I run the Upper Green and Middle Middle a lot.  I typically have not done many of the big boofs on either, though more so lately.  I will try to surf a few of the waves, but my GT pearls easily and my Nomad washes out given my current skill level.  I have run BD on the Sky a few times at levels of 1200 to 2400, mostly through the Needle.  I have spent almost no time in holes and in fact have avoided them like the plague.  However, I seem to have turned a corner lately in my ability to brace and use my body more (I believe I have been paddling with my arms only for the past two years) to drive onto, over, and through features (like someone said earlier), so I am becoming less afraid of holes.  One of the turning points for me was at Maytag on the White Salmon.  I spent some time with a friend talking about active paddling and how to use my hips and head at the first drop.  Running that rapid opened up a new understanding of what I had not been doing.
 
I think, after trying to digest the input on this forum, I'm going to try a few things before selling or buying anything.  I'm definitely going to step up my lines on the Green, MM, and Sky.  But I'd also like to try a river/play boat (as the new Kayak Session Gear Guide calls them) as well.
If you're not prepared to be wrong you'll never come up with anything new.
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jP
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  Quote jP Replybullet Posted: 20 Dec 2011 at 11:06pm
Dude- hit me up sometime and we'll run the Upper Green. (If enough water accumulates behind HH so that they'll release some! #@$*% civilization! the nerve of these people to develope such infrastructure as water supply! Civilization is ruining my contemporary wilderness experience!----don't mind my absurd sense of humor)

Anyway, another thing to do is just keep alternating between the boats you have- sometime when the Green is running above 1500 you should follow me through the rapid called "Three Boofs" (Papa Boof, Mama Boof and Baby Boof). Three boulders in succession that form pour overs at the right flow. These are good places to work on timing your boof stroke.
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AaronS
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  Quote AaronS Replybullet Posted: 21 Dec 2011 at 6:51am
I will be getting in touch for sure. And the semi-satirical societal commentaries are always fun to read! Dan is loaning me his EZG 50, so I want to get out in that to see what that's like (if the HH communists ever figure out what's really important .
If you're not prepared to be wrong you'll never come up with anything new.
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Courtney
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  Quote Courtney Replybullet Posted: 21 Dec 2011 at 9:19am

Aaron,

To stop the boat pearling when you're front surfing you have to carve it from side to side and lift the knee on the higher side up to pop your boat back up to the surface.  Also, if you can, staying back more on the pile will help.  You can do this with any boat.  I learned "back in the prehistoric days" (like JC said) and my first boat was a long fiberglass boat 1970's thing.  My next boat was a Corsica S and then they kept getting smaller and smaller from there.  It's all technique and time learning it and the boat.

Courtney   

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mokelumnekid
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  Quote mokelumnekid Replybullet Posted: 26 Dec 2011 at 11:22pm
Is there some way to archive these posts for more than a year or so? I found this one to be especially illuminating, as I have had some of the same thoughts as Aaron, tho he is further along in his skill level than I am. You all make really great points! On posts like this PP really rocks.

I have two boats in my noob arsenal- a 2010 Mamba 8.0 with the creek (Nomad) outfitting and a new Liquid Logic Freeride 57 which is their new river-play model (like the Fun, Varun and Fuse). I love both these boats. The Freeride is especially comfy for folks with a longer in-seam and is amazingly stable. I've been in all four (Fun, Varun, Fuse, Freeride) and the Freeride was the one for me. But of course it is a bit more river and a little less play than say, the Fuse.

WA-boater, would like to hear your impressions of the 2012 Mamba compared with the old model, when it arrives.

My big challenge now is that after two weeks in Fiji- that cold water and gray skies just don't look as fun as they used to...imagine that!
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BrianP
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  Quote BrianP Replybullet Posted: 21 Jan 2012 at 10:09pm
So, I recently acquired a creek boat (DR mafia) and have realized a few things. When I first started paddling, a bunch of runs were in a Mamba, it got me down the river without really having to worry about edges, just keep it pointed downstream and paddle mindset. When I moved into a JK Fun, I got my ass kicked because I'd not been paying attention to that. I've been paddling that for about four years and thought I'd progressed really well in a lot of ways. I can put it most anywhere I need to at the last minute with minimal effort.
Now that I've been running the creeker, I see how much more I could have been learning by starting in a longer boat. Sure, I learned to mind my edges, and how to maneuver it well, but the simplest thing like an easy ferry or catching a wave with great eddy service is a completely different beast in the creeker. With the creek boat I have to pay a LOT more attention to my ferry angle to avoid being washed out. Same goes for last minute lateral moves. The play boat I can turn and paddle and it will carve a line to where I want to go, the creeker forces me think a lot further ahead because while I can turn it easily it may not want to drive that direction without a lot more effort.
I've seen jP talk more than once about "driving" a creeker and I think I'm starting to see what he means. Hopefully I'll start catching on to that and applying it more.
So I guess what I was trying to say is this: The playboat taught me about edge control, and how to deal with "funny" water where a creek boat might just skip over the top (I'll call this the "micro" aspect of boat control). The creeker is currently teaching me about the "macro" aspects of boat control.
That being said, I'm still learning a lot about how to drive this thing so if I see any of you on the river, I'd be glad to have some unsolicited advice!
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