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Thread: School a JONG

  1. #1
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    School a JONG

    So I wanna get into kajaking and I might even have Cheif Quacking Duck and even Regular Dave interested. It looks like fun. Plus it'd be a rad thing to do when it's 90 degrees plus like it is now. But I don't know anybody who does it and I don't even think there's anyplace remotely near where I can learn, so it looks like once again it's gonna be the school of hard knocks.

    What should I look for in equipment? Suggestions for not drowning? The places I'd like to go are Shotgun Eddy's and the Narrows on the Wolf and Pier's Gorge on the Menominee.

  2. #2
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    I have no idea where those places are or what kind of water but lessons are a good place to start either thru a club or a commercial outfit cuz the hard knocks in WW can be ... way too hard

    If you don't think there are any local resources you could make a vaca of it and do a week at a commercial outfitter who would provide you with lesson & all the gear

    there are lots of used boats out there the boat is actualy the cheaper & most easily bought & sold part of the equation its all the other gear that you tend to stick with stick with that costs the $$ depending on how cold it is where you paddle

    try asking the same question at boater talk for a more local info resource
    http://boatertalk.com/forum/BoaterTalk

  3. #3
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    Buy a copy of Northwoods Whitewater by Jim Rada. It's a great guidebook and will get you excited about paddling when you’ve got a solid roll and you’re ready for whitewater

    I agree with xxx-er, used is the way to go, especially at the beginning. I’ve purchased from craigslist and boatertalk. As long as you’re smart about what you’re buying and who you’re dealing with, you can definitely get a good deal on a nice used equipment. Equipment you’ll need: boat, paddle, PFD, helmet, skirt… are the necessities. There are many more gear options depending on the conditions.

    Also, there are a few freaks out there that take to bracing and rolling relatively quickly. But, if you’re like most people, learning to roll is difficult, especially if you don’t have an experienced person to mentor you along. In absence of an experienced person showing you the ropes, classes or video would have to do. Keep at it.

    Good luck and be safe!

  4. #4
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    Really the rolling thing is the only thing I'm worried about. I catch on to stuff pretty quickly. When I was learning to windsurf I just got a little high-wind board and went out when it was blowing < 5.5. It was either learn to waterstart really fast or end up 5 miles downshore.

    I'll check out the book.

    Thanks for the advice guys.

  5. #5
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    Jer, good luck and have fun. Be ready to be afraid.

    That is 1/2 the fun as well as the biggest hurdle. Unlike skiing, the river doesn't stop.
    Mister Man! Mister Man! Mister Man. They left this card.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunion View Post
    Unlike skiing, the river doesn't stop.
    yeah you can't just stop skiing or drop the sail its like a roller coaster ride with no on-off switch,there are other things to learn like river safety,river rescue how to do a paddle stroke properly (most newbie don't ) different paddle strokes, moving water and how rivers work

    its a high skill sport with a steep learning curve, some consequences even on easy water and it seems to require a lot of initiative to do cuz IME if you get 2 newbies who go on to be real kayakers out of a club or rec center class of 8 ... it was a really good class

    but good luck with it, this is a good book on rolling and more,good pictures I like the way dutky deals with the how/why things work

    http://www.amazon.com/Bombproof-Roll...1871653&sr=1-1
    Last edited by XXX-er; 07-28-2011 at 11:24 AM.

  7. #7
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    Kayak - few year old river runner
    Paddle - cheapest fiberglass one you can find. You will probably break or lose your first one
    PFd - Whatever you can find. You will want something different a year in
    Skirt - buy a good bungee cord skirt. Something from IR like the Shockwave. - Bungee is easier to get on and off.

    Don't worry too much about the roll. People get focused on that and end up not enjoying it because they are so worried about swimming. Resign your self to swimming and know how to do it safely and you will have much more fun. Remember feet down stream and up when you are swiming

    If you don't learn to roll that will slow your progression but not really a concern for a ways into learning.

    Take a class. You don't want to pick up bad habits that will be harder to break later. And it will make things much easier.

    If you post on boatertalk.com there are probably people near where you are that would be willing to go out and give you some pointers.

    Not sue where you are exactly but this might be helpful.

    Have fun!!

  8. #8
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    You will be stoked to be a kayaker. Best sport ever. Buy a full used setup $600 for everything and get a couple friends to get setups as well. Then you guys can learn together. Other kayakers are happy to take you along though.

  9. #9
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    1. Buy used - the older and more out-of-date, the better. Kayaks under 10' shouldn't be on your radar as they are too easy to paddle. Preferably invest in a brand that starts with "P" and doesn't sport a logo of a fish. Perception and Prijon are good choices. Double points for Perception, since they don't even make boats anymore.
    Learn how to roll.

    2. Do NOT paint your paddle anything fluorescent or "hi-viz". This only makes it obvious that you intend to swim and lose your paddle. Kayakers will be wary. It is better to invest in a black paddle and a black boat - it should give you more incentive to.....
    ...Learn how to roll. Better yet - dress in all black as well.

    3. Stay away from "clubs" - they usually swim a lot and like to talk about how they've "lost their roll" or how their roll isn't "quite there yet" even though they've been paddling for "almost 10 years now". These, of course, are just excuses for not enough time spent learning. Avoid these clubs on the river at all costs, as they will probably end up screwing up your line or needing you to rescue one or more of their members. They're easy enough to spot, as their groups are usually dangerously large and they gawk a lot when you don't get out and scout. If you are hungry, though - they usually have some food to share with you. You may get within arms-length of them at this time. Grab a bite, wish them luck, and get the hell out of there.
    Learn how to roll.

    4. Avoid taking a class, unless its sole purpose is to teach you how to roll and the instructor is both female and buxom and insists on a "hands-on" approach to teaching. Most books on the subject are completely and utterly useless. The instructor should have no need for a pfd, paddle, kayak, or anything kayaking related. The importance of these factors will soon become evident.
    Learn how to roll.

    5. Start paddling on easy moving or flatwater.
    Practice your roll.

    6. Once the water starts flowing - learn how to read water, recognize the omnipotent eddy, and rely on it. Contrary to popular belief - you can stop in the middle of a rapid.
    Practice your roll.

    7. As the gradient or volume picks up - learn how to recognize danger spots and death traps, but focus on where you need to be and how to get there efficiently.

    8. Take a swiftwater rescue class or read the book by Charlie Walbridge - twice. Practice. Then read it again - twice.

    9. Progress through easier water up to wherever you can handle the pucker-factor.

    10. Recognize that fear is healthy and use it to your advantage, rather than your disadvantage. Read William Nealy's "KAYAK".


    If you've learned how to roll - congratulations you are a KAYAKER! If not, you are still a JONG. Refer to #4 above and try to pay attention this time.

    By #6, the roll practice should be coming in the form of rolling under pressure. If you aren't flipping in rapids very often - make yourself flip over. Sure this is counter-intuitive, but you know what else is? Being upside down in a fucking kayak! Just because you're upright doesn't make you good at rolling, does it? Make a game out of it or something.


    As you can see - you need to learn how to roll. Swimming is always bad form, and can easily be the difference between dead and alive - on any river and at any time. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise, or that swimming is "all part of the experience" is either a JONG or a raft guide in disguise. There is nothing that says "I am a badass kayaker" to those who know nothing about kayaking, than being able to roll. Do tourists ask you to swim out of your boat? No. All they want to see is you roll. Ask yourself, "what is going to get me laid?" Is it swimming like a fish hopped-up on meth, or is it a smooth and effortless roll? You don't even have to run the rapid to get laid - that's really not very impressive - hell, water moves downhill and everybody knows this. If I threw a big fucking log in the river it would go over the falls, too. Whoop-de-fucking-do. Any knucklehead can paddle over the lip. It's the roll at the bottom of the rapid after you fuck up your line that impresses the chicks.

    Swimmers are the easiest JONG's to ID on easy water and the most scared out of their fucking minds on more difficult and/or dangerous water. Don't be a JONG. Seriously, if you live - you'll just end up looking stupid. The best way to avoid looking stupid is to learn how to roll early and often.

    A solid roll will take a lot out of the "learning curve" and will give you confidence on the river. Notice I didn't say "balls". Confidence does not equal balls. If they are synonymous in your mind - promptly find the biggest waterfall around and paddle over the lip. If you survive, quit now while you're ahead.

    As soon as you become complacent - your days are numbered...it is only a matter of time before you quit, die, or come to your senses and realize that you are being an idiot - hopefully this epiphany will come at an opportune time and not at a time where death is imminent.

    Be smart about it and have fun. Stupid stuff will always happen even if you have everything dialed. Hopefully it gives the chance to learn from the situation.

    Invest in a good helmet - not made out of plastic and without a fucking faceguard. Helmets that are plastic are not helmets, and having a faceguard will only let you believe that you are safer and will allow you to dismiss fear and paddle rapids well beyond your actual ability. Don't do this. The threat of having your face bashed in by the riverbed will help you stay true to the form of your foward-tucking bomber roll. It will also help you see how ridiculous the back deck roll is. If this isn't already obvious - buy a playboat. Of course, this will render you useless as a kayaker, but it might land you a job as a raft guide. The only time a full-face helmet is acceptable in kayaking is when balls = confidence. Remember this, and the laughter you hear behind you can only be in regards to something other than your helmet.

    It's as simple as learning how to roll, really. Good luck.

    Edit: and stay away from Boatertalk - almost everyone over there is either a JONG or a raft guide in disguise. Or both. You've been warned.
    Last edited by NlytendOne; 08-03-2011 at 11:32 AM.
    Collectively enlightened since 2008.
    Eddie would go.

  10. #10
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    NlytendOne that is probably the best (more or less) advice for a Kayak JONG ever.
    I don't work and I don't save, desperate women pay my way.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NlytendOne View Post
    Contrary to popular belief - you can stop in the middle of a rapid.
    .
    sieves /strainers/holes don't count, surfing a standing wave or catching a micro eddy does

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by XXX-er View Post
    sieves /strainers/holes don't count, surfing a standing wave or catching a micro eddy does
    Good addition to the list. Wasn't really trying to pick on anyone's post there - it just fit the "somewhat" satirical mood...
    Collectively enlightened since 2008.
    Eddie would go.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by NlytendOne View Post
    Good addition to the list. Wasn't really trying to pick on anyone's post there - it just fit the "somewhat" satirical mood...
    well there has to be as many ways to learn to kayak as there are kayakers

    nobody has mentioned you need a big bag of weed and beer ... lots of beer

    Down there I understand the swimming newbies drink beer out of their booties, up here we boat "molson rules" whereby a rescue will cost the newb a beer to his rescuer ... personaly I would rather drink a newbies beer than watch him drink it out of a bootie

    In the area of relationships paddling is one of them lifestyle sports where in short order you become a river god and just don't have time to do anything else including date SO if you wana get laid you need to get a paddling GF/BF, this may look good at 1st glance but when you split up she/he ends up screwing one of your paddling buds ... go swimming in a different gene pool

  14. #14
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    Yeah, that bootie beer crap is total insanity. Just buy a 12 pack or a round at the bar and its good.


    Kayaking is one of the most dynamic sports out there. Find a local club and make friends, good beer comes in handy here.



    Edit: and stay away from Boatertalk - almost everyone over there is either a JONG or a raft guide in disguise. Or both. You've been warned.

    Had to laugh at that one. There are good and bad folks on the internet just like TGR.
    watch out for snakes

  15. #15
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    So - rolling is what I should concentrate on.

    I already know how to recongnise eddies and such as well as swim. I do that kind of stuff now - put on a helmet and "swim" down rapids.

    Don't drink or smoke weed. Plus, I'm married so getting laid is out of the picture.

    Thanks for the continued advice.

  16. #16
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    I would counter that learning to roll is what you should work on.

    Get comfortable enough that you can go to a safe play spot and get knocked over repeatedly and then roll. Rolling in a pool or lake is a very different skill than rolling when you are a bit out of breath, stuck on your side and moving downstream.

    One of the best kayakers I know and can say I helped to learn, really learned by going to a spot on the Gallatin called the endo spot. He would try and do endos (archaic kayak stunt) and roll 20-30 times in a session. He developed a bombproof roll and has gone on to run C5 in Asia.

    Here's to ya Ethan.
    Mister Man! Mister Man! Mister Man. They left this card.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jer View Post
    So - rolling is what I should concentrate on.

    I'm married so getting laid is out of the picture.
    Yes get a roll.

    You have a pretty bleak out look on marriage if you are already giving up on getting laid.

    Also learn how to paddle. A good front stroke is essential. I get out with JONGs a fair bit every season and it blows me away that half (at least) won't put the whole blade in the water or put in a full stroke. Paddling like a humming bird will help you get rolling but does little else.
    I don't work and I don't save, desperate women pay my way.

  18. #18
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    Rolling is important but I rate on rapid running skills higher. Things like knowing how to recognize eddies(even the smallest) and use them to your advantage. Or how to see a pour over from above so you do not float sideways into it.

    Learning not to panic in a bad situation is also important.
    watch out for snakes

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jer View Post

    Don't drink or smoke weed. Plus, I'm married so getting laid is out of the picture.
    That is your problem right there.
    watch out for snakes

  20. #20
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    You didn't mention if you have kids, that phase is usually when you quit getting laid and its normal ... so don't worry

    If you're not into smokin the left hand lettuce mushrooms really make white water look cool

  21. #21
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    3. Stay away from "clubs" - they usually swim a lot and like to talk about how they've "lost their roll" or how their roll isn't "quite there yet" even though they've been paddling for "almost 10 years now". These, of course, are just excuses for not enough time spent learning. Avoid these clubs on the river at all costs, as they will probably end up screwing up your line or needing you to rescue one or more of their members. They're easy enough to spot, as their groups are usually dangerously large and they gawk a lot when you don't get out and scout. If you are hungry, though - they usually have some food to share with you. You may get within arms-length of them at this time. Grab a bite, wish them luck, and get the hell out of there.
    Learn how to roll.

    Spot on and hilarious...And if you are from the east coast the worst "club" of them all is the AMC. If you go on three trips you can be a trip leader...HAHAHAHAH....ahahhahahahahh

  22. #22
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    I'm in the same boat (pun intended) as the OP. This is good info, I very much appreciate it..

  23. #23
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    Based on the above...don't paddle with NlytendOne and you should be good.

  24. #24
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    Club boating is awesome.


  25. #25
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    Step one, take an introductory class that includes rolling. If you don't walk away rolling after this class, don't sweat it. however you should leave this class knowing how to wear a boat (knees/thighs, hips, and feet all with full contact), and knowing how to put on all your gear and do wet exits underwater, and be able to hip snap with support, and be able to set up for a roll when upside down. The paddling part (strokes and stuff) really is separate from rolling, but classes that touch on paddling technique would be a bonus. Lots of shit has to come together to hit your roll, very mental, it takes time and practice on flatwater.

    Step two, find a class 2 wave or hole with calm water downstream. search american whitewater stream listings by state, looking for IIs or easy IIIs or specifically 'park and play' spots. go there (always with a buddy) and then paddle up into that bitch and try to front and side surf, this will not only give you great edging skills you'll need to run most streams, but also you'll be flipping a lot in a relatively safe place and getting combat roll practice in swirls and eddies. This way you don't have to run rapids using your fucking head as a rudder like most newbs who head straight down the local milk run after taking a pool class.

    step 3, start running easy sections of whitewater. start with class 2 and then do a 2 run with an easy three, then do an easy three run, then III+ but don't go beyond three, even if you think your ready, even if you want to see what's in that canyon that the guidebooks call III-IV. Now that you're running rivers, NEVER go solo (you're not ready) and this is a good point to find a mentor or tag along with more skilled boaters. Keep your paddle in the water, stroking is stability, and look where you want to go. Stay on class II and III whitewater (pool drop is ideal) building up your skills for a couple of years before doing harder runs. You should be bored on class three and be able to run a class three every way possible, forwards/backwards, slaloming and squirting, charging and zigzagging or not paddling at all, before you move up to true III-IV runs (which I define as runs that have enough IVs so that portaging every IV isn't realistic). This way you're not as likely to drown, and I mean that for real.

    P.S. > don't ever stand up in a rapid, this is the most common newbie ww mistake and it fucking kills people ALL THE TIME!

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