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TOPIC: Pads on River

Pads on River 4 years 1 month ago #33334

  • tknight
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I wanted to see what people thought about where the line was on personal protective equipement on rivers was? We can all probably agree on helmet, PFD, footwear, and to some degree on leashes. What about pads? Ankle? Shin? Knee? Butt/Hip? Elbow? Forearm?

If you need X amount of padding maybe you should not be on so difficult of whitewater on a SUP?

If you are wearing a ton of pads, what are they made of? How easy is it to swim with all the pads? You fall of your board and are protected against rocks but is the weight of all that water logged padding a liability more than an asset?
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Re: Pads on River 4 years 3 weeks ago #33398

  • buyspeakers
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I never use much of those pads or anything that could pin you in river situations. My SUP is soft so I just fall on the SUP and have a couple handles to hang on. I swim back to the SUP just like when I paddle an IK. The more you wear , the harder it is to swim. I guide rafts and have done that for 30 years. As a general rule , what can happen will happen in time. I stay well in my comfort zone when I paddle the SUP on class 3 or 4 whitewater. I did the Kaweah River this year and that is a short steep California run just below Sequoia Nat Park. I wear only kayak gear like helmut and life jacket. Shoes are a must have. I never hit rocks because I try to float on the surface like a leaf. FLAT!! This is what we tell the guests on the river. Do not stand up, look down stream to see what is coming your way and avoid anything that might hold you in place like logs , brush and rock piles. Paddlers that push limits tend to get hurt so stay in your comfort zone and that comfort zone will expand in time to let you do harder runs. If you panic then you pushed your limits. Back off and take your time to learn to be safe on the river.
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Re: Pads on River 4 years 3 weeks ago #33400

  • corran
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There are a few things that I think are a MUST - FULL FACE helmet (you fall FAST and from HIGH on a SUP), a lifejacket that covers your kidneys and spine (kayak style vest is NOT OK), supportive shoes and shin/ankle guards. The rest is optional - elbow guards... skateboard hip/ass protective pants and so on.

A WAIST leash is also a must. The safest place you can be is ON your board and NOT swimming after it... or swimming rapids as a whole. But ANKLE leashes will kill you - it is criticval that it be a waist leash with multiple quick release points.

Here is a copy of Stand Up Paddleworlds article on WW SUP.


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Re: Pads on River 4 years 3 weeks ago #33401

  • buyspeakers
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I would agree that new SUP paddlers need that kind of gear as they have little or no river experience. As a 30 class V paddler, I never want to be tied to anything and I swim class V for fun. It comes down to muscle memory and training. I hate face helmets in skiing, kayaking or any sport as they can hang up and break your neck. What can happen, will happen, given enough time. Do not have gear on that will cause accidents. Just take time to train yourself to react to what can or will happen. Swimming back to the raft is what we tell our guests on our rafts trips. We do not put them in full face gear or pad their body to the extent they swim poorly. We never tie the guests to the raft. These SUP guy's think they are reinventing the wheel. No one but a few run class 3 to 5 rivers. It may be good for them to have this huge amount of gear on but I do not see advantages in it, just problems with sticks , logs and unseen dangers. Just learn how rivers work and stay well in your comfort zones. Do not take chances. Give yourself a chance to understand the dangers and avoid them.
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Re: Pads on River 4 years 3 weeks ago #33402

  • corran
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I can't agree. I've been running class 5/6 for 35 years. I've sum, unfortunately, several class 5 rapids and I've been lucky. Many have not been. You can have all the muscle memory you want in class 3 or 4 rivers, but you're at the mercy of the river - you have a semblance of control, but ultimately you're at the mercy of the variances of a fluid medium with all the exposure that comes with it.

The no1 killer of rafting customers is foot entrapment.

The safest place is ON your board. Always. It is NEVER in the water. Being in the water is a fact of life while SUP paddling, but getting out of the water quickly is key. A well designed SAFE leash is the solution to being back onto your board quickly. Safety is on board - not off board, and when you fall it is rare that you maintain contact with the board. -usually its out of reach quickly and your exposure is increased.

As for helmets, your argument against full face helmets is the same as those that argue against seat belts or full face motorcycle helmets. That argument was disproved firmly 40 years ago. A full face is ALWAYS better than a bucket style helmet. A well designed helmet allows for the correct ability to breath and see (and a poorly designed helmet is a poor design no matter which style it is.

In the late 60's and early 70's we heard all those same arguments from paddlers about life jackets and helmets... It's nonsense.

Your argument of less protection over more protection is right in there with "not wearing my seatbelt will allow me to be thrown from the car in an accident" which is an old wives tale.

Whether you're a beginner or an expert, you should be wearing the correct safety equipment, and this includes a full face helmet, a quick release waist leash, a life jacket that covers your entire spine and kidneys, and then if you want to avoid general pain, supportive boots and shin guards.

You say do not take chances. SUP paddling without this gear is like having unprotected sex with hookers saying "whats going to happen will eventually happen" or "learn to spot the dangers" (like an STD can be "spotted" somehow). It's the same here... you need to do all the tings you say - be smart, think, be safe, don't take changes, AND then add the necessary gear as the final back up insurance.

After loosing many many friends over the years, that's my educated opinion.

Corran




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Re: Pads on River 4 years 3 weeks ago #33403

  • buyspeakers
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All the guides I talk to that have my same thoughts. Why would tie yourself to anything in the river. As ski coaches , we never let the kids wear full face helmets in any event but slalom skiing. No one ties to anything in river situations and not one of my friends have ever died so I am not sure these are good ideas.
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Re: Pads on River 4 years 3 weeks ago #33404

  • corran
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SUP and raft are not the same - you can go an entire year without never coming out of a raft. You cant go 1 mile without coming off your board - its simply not the same thing at all.

The key is HOW you leash yourself.... use the wrong leash and its deadly. Us the right one and it'll save your life.

As for full face helmets - well I think the stance is silly. In EVERY sport where REAL TESTING has been done, its proven to be safer. ALWAYS. Your objection to full face helmets is based on a knee-jerk gut reaction. The fact is that you swan dive off a SUP all the time, and a full face helmet will one day save your face. Its really that simple.

But hey, I know PLENTY of people who refuse to wear condoms... ever. That doesn't make it smart, it just makes THEM short sighted and silly no matter how much reasoning they throw my way.

Corran

Full Face helmets really suck!
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Re: Pads on River 3 years 10 months ago #33451

  • HarmonyDawn
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I agree with Corran and why even compare a raft to SUP? I think SUP is much more dangerous.
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Re: Pads on River 3 years 10 months ago #33468

  • DanGavere
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I am also a 30 year kayaker with plenty of class 5 experience :lol:
On a SUP Not having a leash can be more dangerous when you loose your board and then are subject to long and more dangerous swims. Also your gear is then going downstream leaving you stranded and your friends will chase it down possibly subjecting them to more danger trying to catch it. I also recommend full face helmets to people with less river experience who can't read the water like a pro. They are the ones that tend to hit rocks and fly face first into the river. Experienced river folks can anticipate a rock hit and know to fall to their knees before going super man into their board or a shallow rock. No thats not to say that there are situations where a leash or a full face might be or might not be a good idea. Thats why making all encompassing statements like "leashes are bad on the river" or "full face helmets are bad for SUP" is not the best advice IMO.
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