Paddling tips, tricks, news and gear reviews from an Unsponsored point of view

Day: 22 February 2012

The Addison River Grading System

I have often thought about the rigidity and inconsistencies of the river grading system. Many of the rivers I have paddled have had similar grades but posed different amounts of risk. Anyway Mr. Addison has had a few thoughts of his own. See what you think.

Corran Addisons appraisal of the current river grading system – Addison’s Scale (The examination of a static rating system in a dynamic sport by Corran Addison)

The problems lie in the very foundation of the system. With one number, we have attempted to describe the difficulty, element of danger and exposure. Combine this with the fact that the latest breakthroughs in equipment and techniques have allowed us to push the limits of the possible, and that the system has a cap, and we find that the last digit of class five has as wide a range of rapid difficulties as all the proceeding numbers combined.

What the system fails to see, is that the elements of danger and difficulty (the principal concerns) are not the same thing. A rapid can be dangerous, but easy to run (a wave train requiring no boat skills, but with an undercut off to one side). Another can be technically difficult, but with very little danger (a series of waterfalls into deep pools). The third and seemingly less important, though it is not, is exposure: if things go bad, how long will it take to get help? An hour; a day; a week?

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Slovenia – Soca Valley

This is my first review and hopefully not my last, for Phil and all at unsponsored, but my aim is to get straight to the point and make sure everybody knows what my reviews are about, in other words I dont intend to waffle on, I was taught KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid.

The Soca valley is the jewel of Slovenia, with its crystal clear waters and awesome scenery, you’ll be glad you made the trip. The Soca consists of all grades, even up to 6, which your given plenty of warning for on the river so as not to rush. The paddle its self is out of this world, the mountains, the clear water and lush vegitation make it one of the most outstanding rivers around, and when its nice and warm after a rain storm, you get a nice mist on the river which restricts your visability to about 10 ft, which can be scarey, but fun, as you can hear the rapids approaching but you cant see them. Continue reading

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