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

Tag: Rory Woods

IR Arch Rival Drysuit (2014 Edition, OX Fabric) – Review

I bought myself an IR (Immersion Research) Arch Rival drysuit for a trip to South America, and it got some pretty heavy use over the 6 months I was there as it’s not always as warm as it looks!

It’s had some long multi-days and endless hikes through forests full of spikes, been in strong sunlight pretty much the entire time and all the abuse you’d expect from a long paddling trip. I’d guess I used it around 3-4 times a week (as my cag had no neck seal) and the river water is usually really cold!

IR Arch Rival Drysuit Rio Cochamo

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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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