To Smash or Stay Dry that is the Question

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FullGnarlzOC
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To Smash or Stay Dry that is the Question

Post by FullGnarlzOC » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:07 pm

Thought this might make for a good discussion...

When I paddle, I spend the majority of the time, analyzing every water feature, and planning the 'dryest' line possible. While this can be very good, and help a lot... I have also noticed the 'obsession' to stay dry, has effected me in negative ways.

Sometimes, there is a hole, or water feature, where staying dry...just isn't possible. Or better yet, and hole or water feature that is upstream of a 'very serious/very stout' drop... Sometimes, it is important to stay dry for said 'drop'...but somtimes, it doesn't really matter, yet I focus my energy on staying dry...as opposed to just 'wrecking' through the thing.

Point being... sometimes this goal of staying dry gets in the way of my paddling cleanly, if that even makes sense(since dry is usually considered clean). I believe the answer is finding a happy medium between staying dry, and just running what needs to be run. But still lurks the obsession of staying dry... Please help. break this obsession Drs. Unless it needs not be broken... and by obsessing over it... I will one day achieve...total dryness. what do you think
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FullGnarlzOC
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Post by FullGnarlzOC » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:12 pm

by the way...if anyone says switch to c1... as far as i am concerned, that's no different than one of the brilliant 'gov. bailouts'.... it just masks the problem, does not fix it.

problem i am talking about is... the obsession to stay dry. While C1ing would keep me dry... its not how I want to do it. I want to use my skill to stay dry. So I don't beleive this would fix my obsession, would definitely mask it.
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Post by jscottl67 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:14 pm

Cold weather scuba gear?

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Post by RodeoClown » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:18 pm

I think sometimes dry is important, but sometimes it's over-rated. I remember when we were running the Gauley last week, someone accused Craig of running the "decked boat" line. His response was something along the lines of "yeah, but it was really fun." Plus I think it's important to know what you can (or can't) do when the boat is full of water- because it happens.
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Post by jscottl67 » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:23 pm

In seriousness, I think it really doesn't matter whether you run wet or dry lines, only that you run the line you picked as the measure of success. I'd say run both so you know what your boat feels like wet and dry.

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Post by FullGnarlzOC » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:44 pm

Jeremy, you are definitely right. Alot of times the wet line is way more fun. Wet was all I did my first summer of paddling. You couldn't get me to take a dry line, and as far as I was concerned at that point, the dry line was the 'cheat' line. It was all about smashing the gnarlz. Which is exactly how the term was derived... smashing the gnarliest stuff we could find. Of course, we (jtaka aka justin) were only paddling Class III at the time, so gnarlz then were different from what they are now.

But somewhere along the way(my first Upper Yough/Savage weekend), I realized...dry is the name of the game. If you can paddle dry what others cannot, you have more possibilities on the next stuff. More so than that... it absolutely does matter if you stay dry or not on tons of rapids that are out there; to the point where many skilled/experienced OBers will look at certain rapid, and many will portage because of the inability to stay dry for the final 'pop' of the rapid.

but is it obsession worthy? Will obsessing over it hold me back in the long run, or grant me powers most open boaters wish they had? I know short run, this 'obsession' has caused me some carnage.
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Post by TNbound » Tue Sep 28, 2010 7:57 pm

I think the level obsession dry line hunting deserves is dependent on the river/drop you are paddling. If I'm running my local class III/IV drop/pool section of river with mild to no consequences of swamping by taking a wet line, it is all about what looks like more fun to me. If it is a complex, long, nasty rapid, I would of course be more inclined to run a more conservative dry line.

In terms of progression, I think running dry will always be what you want to do when you're paddling at your limit. I don't see how obsessing over it would hold you back, unless you decide not to run rapids you think you will swamp on. However, seeing how you paddle, I doubt that will happen. :lol:
-Anthony

"I'm gonna run this one river left I think.... So far river left, that I'm gonna be on the bank. With my boat on my shoulder."

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Post by FullGnarlzOC » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:07 pm

TNbound... the part of the problem is... is the obsession carries over into that local Class III/IV creek. It goes hand and hand with progression... if I spend all my time on the water 'practicing' staying dry... I'm getting the most out of it. As opposed to trying to stay dry some of the time.

The good news is... i'm at the point now where a wet line last summer, is now either a dry line now.... or a 'training' to stay dry line.

I don't know... i've just really been thinking about this lately, as I do catch myself trying to stay dry on a water feature of a rapid, and flipping... instead of just keeping it simple and getting past it. To clarify, I don't mind it if what I am doing is 'putting money in the bank' for later.
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Post by milkman » Tue Sep 28, 2010 8:39 pm

I think the real key here is learning to read water so finely that even running the wet line you can stay relatively dry.

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relative

Post by mattm » Tue Sep 28, 2010 9:58 pm

All I can think is the whole picture. Paddle nothing like your video shows, but sometimes you got to get wet to stay dry. Example I'm thinking of, local run up here was real real high. Usual line is to avoid first wave (rock), and catch the holes. At high level, holes were keepers left and right, so punching the wave was neccesary.
Doing what you do, I'd stay obsessed with dryness, you're gonna' get wet anyways.
so glad for Krylon, ABS and acetone.Squirt, sail, paddle and pole.

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Post by Jim Michaud » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:33 am

A couple of decades ago I gave up the C-1 in favor of an OC-1 for the additional challenge. It's been a real hoot finessing all those rapids and ending up at the bottom with hardly any water in the boat. I consider it so much fun that when scouting a rapid I'm looking at how to run the rapid dry instead of just how to bomb down it.

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Post by PAC » Wed Sep 29, 2010 1:41 am

I agree Jim... I sort of got away from OC for a while... now I'm back! Huge fun running a dry line by boat placement through the water. Not just the line but by using ones hips to roll the freeboard to block waves and setting up angles to slip through features.
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Post by mr ray » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:01 am

I haven't been doing this very long so maybe its the noob in me, but my personal philosophy when running rivers is to look for the line through the rapid that looks like the most fun. If the most fun-looking line is a kamikaze wet guarantee then great! As long as there is nothing menacing at the bottom to worry about. Sure, I think its great practice to try to get your boat to do what you want it to when its swamped. But for me that's secondary. Its just fun to bomb through stuff sometimes--as long as you know what's downstream! On the Lower Gauley a couple weeks ago I got myself into trouble with this. I was thinking I heard someone say that Stairstep was all wavetrains and no holes. Well, I was having a blast seeking out the biggest waves all the way through when...oops...a big hole...punched through barely but I was totally swamped and stalled. 5 feet later I landed helplessly in a REALLY BIG hole which effortlessly snatched me and my boat and slammed me head-first into the river bed so hard and so fast I was stunned and went for a nice long swim.

Obviously in that case I should have been thinking a little more about staying dry. But there are plenty of places where there is just no reason to stay dry. Perfect example in my book is Double Trouble on the Ocoee. There is nothing but moving flatwater below it! Why wouldn't you run straight through those fun waves?

Just as often, though, the dry line is more challenging, technical, etc, and thus more fun.

I think a good paddler should be doing both, but either way, one should respect the power of the river and be able to read water well enough to know the potential dangers involved in your "plan".

Ray

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Post by Sir Adam » Wed Sep 29, 2010 2:08 am

I started open boating... moved to C1 but still OC2 sometimes, dabbling in Cquirting, but will no doubt circle back around to open boating for some of the reasons you mention.

I think you are ALL right. Sometimes it IS fun to smash on through and run the "wet" line. Others it's fun to try the technical route and see how dry you can run it. For me it all depends on the day, but I like to change things up all the time (including boats :roll: ).

So for "normal" paddling I don't think there is a "right" way.

For extreme paddling there may be a "right" way, it is the "safe" (I didn't say easiest) way... of which there may be a few if you are lucky. As such it is good to be proficient at both, and anything else you can think of (though going to whilst conversing with the fish in those situations is not generally recommended :lol: ).
Keep the C!
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Post by 2opnboat1 » Wed Sep 29, 2010 8:47 pm

This is the first thread that I have seen in weeks that is fun to read

I agree with everyone on this one. Sometimes it is fun to get wet other not so much. For a long time I wouldn't run a rapid that I thought I couldn't do dry Not so much anymore some of this comes from the new designs. ( it is alot easier to push a full 9' boat than it is to push a 12 footer full of water). Tommy I like you thinking and your style keep it up
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