Can "playboating" make you a better paddler?

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I go into "playable" holes with my canoe...

Poll ended at Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:38 pm

quite often.
28
78%
sometimes on rare occasions.
5
14%
hardly ever if at all.
3
8%
 
Total votes: 36

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Craig Smerda
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Can "playboating" make you a better paddler?

Post by Craig Smerda » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:38 pm

Can "playboating" make you a better paddler?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QWISe5xu2MU

In the video you'll see Bryan Kirk who is by all accounts a very good paddler and excellent playboater get stuck in an ugly hole. Then you'll see another paddler get pistol whipped in the same hole. Bryan is able to control the boat and paddle out... the second fellow... well... not exactly.

Personally speaking I feel the best thing I ever did for my overall paddling skills and the one thing that gave me more confidence to run harder rivers was spending a lot of time playboating... especially in holes. First of all it teaches you a lot about the harmony of balance in your boat when combined with the rivers hydraulics. Secondly it teaches you how to exit a hole or hydraulic when you want to. Lastly... if you play in enough holes you will learn to roll.

Playboating doesn't make you any better at running over waterfalls or speeding through slalom gates but in time on most any river or creek at some point we all encounter holes that we end up in no matter if it's by choice or by preference. Knowing what to do when that happens is from my perspective another important skill to have in your toolbox... and one that might save you from a bad swim or something even worse.

So... in closing... yes... I strongly feel that playboating can make you a better "overall" paddler.

Fire away... :lol:
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Smurfwarrior
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Post by Smurfwarrior » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:43 pm

Agreed!

OC1er
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Post by OC1er » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:47 pm

Totally agree. Best way to get your roll dialed - get chundered, roll up, repeat!
Its not about the approach. Its about control in the hole.

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Shep
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Post by Shep » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:48 pm

Wow, this is a well-timed post to make me feel less guilty about the unplanned purchase of a CUFly on wednesday. :)

Thanks!

Larry Horne
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Post by Larry Horne » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:52 pm

you hit that nail on the head. Gotta keep up on it too!
i've not been playboating much lately and am definately loosing some skills and (most importantly)confidence.
Larry

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Todhunter
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Post by Todhunter » Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:53 pm

I said "sometimes" because I don't get into really churny holes, but I do like to get in ones I think I can surf. Still don't have that roll...
Matt Todhunter
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Mr.DeadLegs
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Post by Mr.DeadLegs » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:19 pm

HAHAHAA That video is halarious. Wistle Wistle Tweet Tweet TWeet Rope Rope Rope hahah
"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to slide in sideways totally worn out, shouting "Holy large steaming pile of dog doo what a Ride" " Nolan Whitesell

Einar
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Good timing

Post by Einar » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:40 pm

Good Timing on your post & winter project
Yesterday I just finished tricking out an OC hull with bigger bags, more foam and a new pump to take hole hunting. Been to the pool 5 times this winter to tune up and expand the roll, going agin Friday, then just waiting for some local park and play water.
You don't have to be a glory paddler to work on your defense game, just find some easy 3 recirc and drive in there... and stay a while. Then go back in.

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Craig Smerda
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Post by Craig Smerda » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:54 pm

One other noteworthy thing to mention is that after you've learned to get comfortable in a hole on your on-side... is that we're really most vulernable on our off-side. If you have a hole you are comfortable moving back and forth in the next step is to start working on paddling forwards and backwards out of the hole on your wierd-side.

An important thing that I was taught is that you are most likely to get upstream edge flipped when you get into a hole and just park the boat... as long as you are moving backwards or forwards (left to right) you are less likely to get locked in where the hydraulic can latch on to your edges and give you a toss.

Signing off for now...
Captain Shuvit

:lol:
Last edited by Craig Smerda on Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lappie
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Post by Lappie » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:54 pm

+1 on the yes playboating help my paddling overall!!

Paddle Power
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Post by Paddle Power » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:00 pm

Great stuff. I concur.
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the great gonzo
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Post by the great gonzo » Thu Jan 27, 2011 6:56 pm

Craig's rigft, playboating really helps getting comfy in holes.
When practicing in holes work also on what I call 'alternative escape tactics' if paddling out laterally doesn't work.
These include filling up the boat intentionally to get out (had to do that just the other day when I intentionally hit a hole in the Grand Canyon for a siode surf that in the end was a bit bigger than what it had looked like from shore... :roll: ) or trying to ender out of holes (last time I used it on the Ottawa after ending up surfing Sattlers out of stupidity it did not work 100%, I endered out of the hole, but ended up swimming anyway as the pressure of the water ripped the front airbag right out of my boat and I found out that a Prelude without front air bag is just about impossible to keep upright... :roll: :( ).
The key thing is to stay cool when stuck in a hole and keep thinking and try something different.
TGG!
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Re: Can "playboating" make you a better paddler?

Post by RodeoClown » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:01 pm

Craig Smerda wrote:
Playboating doesn't make you any better at running over waterfalls or speeding through slalom gates
I disagree. Obviously, running slalom gates is a much better way to get good at running slalom gates, but if you don't have the opportunity to run waterfalls or gates, I'd say going for a play session or stopping to surf waves on you way downstream would make you better at those things. Playboating will improve you boat control, balance, edge control, confidence, general fitness, understanding of how water flows, etc, better than NOT playboating.

I put this video together a couple of years ago. It's geared toward kayaks, but the concepts are all the same for C-1 and OC. "Remedial Hole Surfing"
http://www.vimeo.com/4287708
Jeremy Laucks
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Smurfwarrior
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Post by Smurfwarrior » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:08 pm

Excellent vid! You should do that for advanced OC1 playboating.. :)

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Craig Smerda
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Post by Craig Smerda » Thu Jan 27, 2011 7:57 pm

Smurfwarrior wrote:Excellent vid! You should do that for advanced OC1 playboating.. :)
Ditto...

I forgot you did that video Jeremy.

A little POV camera on the bow/stern would also help show folks body angles as well as blade/shaft positions during the transitions one makes from side surfing to moving forward and backward in and out of the hole.

Chapter #2 could show the same on the offside
Chapter #3 simple spins and discusses edging and techniques
Chapter #4 HARD CORE FULL GNARLZ DEATH HOLE PLAYBOATING

:lol:

Where your eyes go... the boat goes... usually
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