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    Here is topic that is of great interest to myself (and usually others). Just curious how many people out there actually paddle alone from time to time.

    READ: I am in no way discouraging or promoting solo paddling. If you do it be extremely honest with yourself and your abilities and if you don’t, respect that others have a different view of things that can only be known to them!


    Hey all
    I’d just like to go off on a bit of a related tangent. when Dan says solo paddling i think like me you all visualize someone paddling alone with no one else around. i also see paddling alone as showing up somewhere where other people are paddling, but not wiht a partner/friend. if you are doing this, please take a few things into consideration;
    1) if you think you have a better than 90% chance of swimming, tell someone. otherwise people might not even notice when it happens
    2) make sure you have all the proper gear for this time of year.
    3) don’t paddle if there isn’t anyone else in the water. if you don’t have a 100% role, and I mean get trashed, go off a waterfall, get pinned, break your paddle and backband and STILL be able to roll, then you have no business being solo in the water.
    4)try and bring someone, just showing up and putting yourself in strangers hands gets the job done, but its not safe for you or relaxing for the other boaters.

    thats all i got

    Dan, you’re a beautiful man
    but don’t worry Sam, he’s all yours



    Good Advice…

    I voted “On Occassion”. If there is the odd time i show up somewhere and no one else is around, before I do it i ask myself these questions:

    -Would I be able to self rescue in case of an injury at this location?
    -In the unlikely event of a swim, will I be able to handle it alone (better then 90% of not happening though)?

    If the answer is no to either of these questions, then its simple, I don’t paddle. However the only time I really paddle by myself is at fairly common playspots. Just happens that no one may be around for a bit (such as champlain or parkhill). Some things are out of the question solo – like the gull at highwater (all of it).


    As far as I’m concerned, paddling WHITEWATER alone is pure stupidity!! Like Forest Gump said “**it happens”, doesn’t matter how good you are, when it goes bad who’s gonna help? But then I’ve seen people paddling whitewater with no helmets or lifejackets either. Oh well, if they drown, less idiots on the river.


    I paddle alone fairly often – mostly on the Gull, but I did do a solo run of Beaver creek once. Paddling solo is a unique experience – and one not to be taken lightly. I am actually much more aware of the risks of a run when paddling solo.

    There is some evidence that good paddlers are at their greatest risk when rescuing others, so the risk-thing is not completly one sided against solo paddling.

    A good argument could be made that [u:39mlqt6q]any[/u:39mlqt6q] voluntary assumption of serious risk, just for the sake of “recreation” is stupid – but not by me.


    The Dangers of Boating with Others

    [i:3797dvy8]by Raychel Moldover
    Editors note: This article was first published in the September 2001 issue of American Whitewater [/i:3797dvy8]

    A beginner died this year while paddling solo. There was the usual outcry of, “Never boat alone!” “Never boat alone!” An expert died while paddling with friends, but where was the outcry of, “Never boat with friends!?!”
    I think people need to realize the dangers of boating with other people.
    I mean, have you ever run a blind drop based on your friend’s instructions and then, realized that your dyslexic guide said RIGHT when he meant LEFT?
    Have you ever realized too late that when Joe said “a little left angle” what he MEANT was that you need to be driving hard left at top speed?
    Have you ever been worked in a hole along with your buddy?
    Along with your buddy’s boat?
    Have you ever approached a horizon line and found that the last micro eddy was full of boats?
    Have you ever jockeyed with your friends for the lead?
    On a run that you didn’t know?
    Have you ever had your friend paddle over a ledge and land on top of you?
    Ever been pitoned in the ribs? Whacked in the elbow?
    I’ll tell you what’s dangerous. Have you been to Skookumchuck lately?
    Did someone ever talk you into running something you were unsure about? “Hey man, don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it looks. You don’t want to do that portage, man, trust me.”
    Ever get yourself in trouble while chasing a swimmer or gear?
    Try to rescue someone from a hole and end up in it?
    Ever run a drop because someone is below with a rope… and then find out he can’t throw it very well?
    Ever had a boat dropped on your head?
    While you were standing on a cliff?
    Ended up paddling in the dark because someone was slow or late?
    Been T “rescued” while you were trying to roll?
    Have you ever taken that sketchy left side line instead of the tried and true right side line because the camera angle was better?
    Ever flashed a little rail grab or wave wheel for that Kodak moment? (Followed by a thrashing in the hole below)
    Have you ever, ah, ahem.. Done something stupid in an effort to impress a member of the opposite sex?

    Now you see, that never happens to me when I’m solo boating!
    Have you ever seen someone taken on a run that was above their skill level?
    “Um, sure, yeah, Joey can handle this run. I’m sure he’ll be, just, uh, fine. Anyway, dibs on his boat…”
    “Sure, my girlfriend can handle it..”
    Wounded ego? Embarrassed? Teased mercilessly? Never happens when solo boating!
    Ever been so busy chatting with a friend as you drifted along that you failed to notice what was coming up?
    Been so worried about the newbie that you forgot to pay attention to your own line?

    Oh sure, now theoretically none of this ever happens. You only take advice from people you know and trust. Even when you’re traveling. But honestly, when I think back on the times that I have gotten into trouble.
    I was trying to show off and look nonchalant.
    I figured that with TWO expert boaters below me, this was a good day to run this waterfall. Next thing I knew, I was standing on shore and there were two expert boaters swimming in the cave.
    I once broke a guy’s finger as we were trying to rescue a boat on a continuous and busy little river.
    I knew the guys would get impatient if I got out to scout.
    I ran the line I had been told to run… but the guy didn’t mention the piton rock that gets exposed at lower water.
    I was going to portage, but someone told me, “oh, this rapid is not so bad at this water level; not so pushy.” And I believed him.
    I was worried about the newbie and forgot to pay attention to my own line!
    I had the guy ready with a rope. Er, anyone can make a ten foot toss, right?

    Ironically, the guys that call me crazy for solo boating are usually the same ones that would never invite me along. (They don’t like the fact that I do things differently.) People tend to be hypocritical about risk. I know a guy who broke his back while ski jumping. Now as a paraplegic, he paddles class V. It’s very impressive. But when he questions my judgment for solo boating, I don’t think he has a leg to stand on.

    On a serious note, “never solo boat” is an important rule for beginners who are unaware of the risks. But for an expert boater it is a personal choice. Hopefully when you choose to take any risk, you consider your family and friends. As long as a boater is aware of the consequences, I try to respect anyone’s choice whether they choose to stay on class II, or drop hundred footers.

    Risks aside, it’s usually more fun to boat with other people and there are some rapids I won’t run without setting safety. Feel free to give me a ring. But before you call someone crazy for solo boating, take a look at yourself, and remember that boating with other people is dangerous!


    "Phitty":1gv20pql wrote:
    Ever had a boat dropped on your head?

    Hey Phitty,

    What about a boat dropped on your sideview mirror? :lol: :evil: :lol:

    As for paddling alone, I have been known to partake the odd time, but I have my critereia of what I consider safe. There has to be easy access, a river/playspot that I have paddled many many times before so there are no surprises on the river, and I only do it until I feel the least bit tired/ cold. Oh yeah, and always make sure there is someone who knows where you are and when you are expected back.

    That pretty much leaves me with Parkhill and the Gull for places I will paddle alone.

    I may add more later, but now I have to go to work.




    I maddle alone at champlain and I’ll paddle to McCoys and paddle a bit. These spots are usually busy and I am quite familiar with them. I wouldnt run the Ottawa without someone with me. I have a 99.999% roll and 80% handroll in any kind of water and I still wouldnt want to risk it.

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