Access Special Backpacker.com Features, Register Now!

The Manual: Learn How To Paddle Whitewater

Learn how to ride rapids, and you'll open up a new way to explore the outdoors.
whitewater kayakingMaster the low brace whitewater kayaking move. (Supercorn)

5. RUN THE RAPIDS
Follow the “tongue” created by the main channel. From boater’s vantage, it looks like an inverted V and is often obvious in easy-to-moderate rapids; it will push you in the desired direction. When in doubt, paddle hard to move faster than the current, which will help you maintain control.
6. STAY SAFE
>> Practice self-rescue, such as escaping a flipped boat and righting it. Also rehearse group-rescue skills, like using ropes to reach a trapped victim.
>> When swiming, keep near the boat.  It makes you visible. But stay upstream of it, lest it slam you.
>> If you get tossed, float on your back— feet up and pointing downstream with legs bent, ready to absorb impact and push off objects. Swim ashore.
>> If you can’t avoid  a strainer, crawl-stroke aggressively to it and launch over it.
>> Signal for help with three long whistle blasts.

Page 3 of 3123

Leave a Reply