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

Day: January 2, 2014

A Bad Swim – A Reflection

On the 2nd Jan 2014 Rory Woods ran Cauldron Snout on the River Tees (UK) and ended up taking a bad swim. Having successfully tackled the class V+ Cauldron Snout on several previous occasions Rory broke out of the top eddy and ran the Snout. Here are Rory’s unedited thoughts on what happened when it all went wrong.

A Bad Swim
Photo: Ben Johnson. Paddler: Rory Woods.

For context, the level is a bit higher than Sam (click to view video) ran it, with overspill on the dam as well as both pipes. I’ve run it a few times before, but always lower. It shook me a bit, and I hope I will learn from it. I’ve always believed in safety coming from the certainty that you will get the moves right, irrespective of the consequences. Of course, if the consequences are bad enough, you need to leave some margin in your level of certainty. Over lots of years of very gradually paddling harder and harder stuff, I really thought that my judgement of what I could definitely do was pretty accurate. I’ve always been a bit proud of my ability to get on and get pressure moves right without headgames getting in the way once I’d made a decision. It shocked me to go back and look at the rapid and think that maybe I’ve been fooling myself for a while in my desire to run stuff.

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Pin Kit – Oetz

What would you do in a situation like this pin on the Oetz?

Pin Kit - Oetz

Do you have a pin/rescue kit that can handle the emergency? Do you know how to use it safely and effectively?

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Freestyle Move – Space Godzilla

Space Godzilla1 from Jez Jez on Vimeo.

Kayak Safety Features

Kayak design has moved on so much since I started to paddle. The level or difficulty at which people paddle is owed in some part to the change in kayak design over the years.

Kayak Safety Features

I currently paddle a Recon 93 and despite it being used for pretty much the same stuff as my first plastic kayak – an Ace Swing, yet the technology and features are simply worlds apart.

So if you are looking for a kayak packed full of safety features what are you actually looking for?

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