Good video of what not to do creeking

I saw this video when looking for area water to paddle. When I first saw it I was shocked thinking I didn’t see what I did. Then watching it again I was rather surprised and shocked. At the 2:18 mark he knew he had a hazard, yet he made no attempt to do anything about it.

Am I off that he should have used power strokes to get speed up to make the attempt to move to one side or the other? At least get to one shore to portage? His friend got flipped and was on the bank safe. Now he has to rescue and try to get his boat.

I welcome feedback as I am watching a lot to learn and to improve, both for my enjoyment and safety, and those of others.

“Brush Creek” might be a clue .

“in flood” might be another…NM

Of note, when I lived back in that area and there were heavy rains, there was a public safety advisory not to make ANY skin contact with Scioto river water. So…mistakes were made, alright.

My guess

– Last Updated: Mar-22-16 12:35 PM EST –

My guess as to why he didn't appear to make an effort to get to shore and avoid the obstacle is because he probably didn't fully comprehend the risks or what exactly needed to be done.

I also think his boat was pretty badly flooded by this time and much of his effort was being spent trying to stay upright. As he hits the last few waves in the area where his buddy flipped it appears the boat lists badly to the side and is difficult for him to get back upright.


Based on his equipment (Pelican Rec boat), and outfitting (no skirt), I’m guessing the guy was not an experienced whitewater paddler and didn’t have a clue as to the danger he was in. That was a drowning story waiting to happen. Sad when you don’t know WHAT you don’t know.

Whitewater and faking it
Looking at this video… the very first thing I see is that the guy is not using a skirt and he has a boat with bungies on the front. In clearly some level of flood conditions unless the water is always that lovely shade of brown. Not a whitewater boat or a paddler tuned to whitewater.

It is hard to tell but I think his friend had a better suited boat.

Above is correct, the primary guy started taking on water well ahead of the tree and likely had little boat control by the time he was nearing it.

There are videos to be taken seriously, people in correct equipment whose actions can be looked at for a real lesson. This isn’t one of them. It is a guy who has gotten away with this in an unsuited boat with skills to equal, and this day did not. Happily he stayed calm and even enjoyed hitting into the tree well enough to get out of his boat before it went fully sideways.

I think I saw…
I think I saw his beer float away when he hit the tree…

Brown Water
If it brown don’t go down.

That was one of my earliest lessons kayaking (15+ years ago). On my first kayak trip I took an Old Town Otter or Loon down a mellow little stream, called the Wading River (when it was extremely flooded right after a week of heavy rains), and really got hung up in a strainer.

high water has its own hazards-

– Last Updated: Mar-22-16 10:06 PM EST –

strainers become more serious, everything speeds up, boat control becomes real important, planning way ahead to make moves, ability to catch micro shore eddies and ferry become essential skills as well as having a boat made to turn

paddling around wood can actually be fun once you have the skill set. One of the great things about creeks is the fact that they are often in flux (with level, wood, braided channels) and thus pose a challenge. You just need to be up for that challenge.

a few points
As Alan pointed out, with a rec kayak with a big open cockpit and no skirt he probably had taken on a good bit of water going through the standing waves and his ability to maneuver might have been severely compromised by the weight. Rec kayaks of that type often lack central foam pillars as well. The paddler is very fortunate that the kayak did not fold on his legs and entrap him when he hit the strainer.

The video was shot through a GoPro camera which tends to widen the view and distort the downstream image. I couldn’t tell if there was room to maneuver around the left side of the strainer from the video, even if the paddler had the ability to make the move, which seems unlikely.

With streams in flood where the water is still largely confined within the banks, the current velocity can be very fast. Things downstream come up much more quickly than might be expected and trying to “power” around obstacles can lead to disaster since it is easy to underestimate the time one has to make a move. If there was indeed a safe passage around the strainer, a back ferry would likely have been a better move since it would allow more time to move laterally across the stream.

That was a freshly fallen tree with green leaves still on it. On any stream in flood, one should anticipate freshly fallen trees since the high water and fast current tend to uproot trees at the bank. A basic rule is to expect to find a strainer around every blind corner even if the stream was paddled the day before and was clear.

If I had been so foolish as to paddle an open cockpit boat on a stream in flood (and I have in fact been equally foolish in the past) as soon as I saw the strainer downstream I would have pointed my stern at the nearest bank that provided a safe egress from the swift current (which looked to be the right bank) and vigorously back ferried over to it to get out of the current.

someone is lucky to be alive. Wonder if he had on a pfd? It does make me want to go out and buy a Pelican. I’m impressed how it held up to the water pressure!

now what ?

back ferry back ferry

– Last Updated: Mar-23-16 1:15 PM EST –

BACK FERRY .............. eeyyhahahhahaha.....


WHHHHAAAA that was a close one.......

paddling a Rendezvous n not a Grumman or Solstice sea kayak was is a real 'eye opener'

the Classic R video:

No longer do we call down to the engine room for reverse thrust on one prop nor call the crew to the downstream deck for fending off with long poles.

Before we had run maybe 5-6 strainers going over the moist submerged trunk with as much forward speed possible.

But not the tree video.

Its a GoPro !

the paddler has chosen a GoPro experience.

carefully placing paddle

displays rational organization

and video's the source of the problem*...the tree fell onto a short drop, an ancient dam where current goes under tree not thru tree.

Is the drop visible ?

I'll go back n look.

* beyond wearing a GoPro

Just "wow"
that there could be so much dumb in so little time. Everyone has pointed out the gear, skill, and common sense failures, but nobody mentioned that there was no scouting of the water, either. That snag seemed to cover the entire width of the stream and it probably wasn’t the only strainer in the path.

The guy in the blue boat capsized, but the dweeb with the camera left him in the water to fend for himself. Admittedly, he probably had taken on a goodly amount of water at that point, but from his narration, helping his buddy was the last thing on his mind.

Sometimes the ill-informed survive their mistakes when all odds seem to be against them. This video is certainly evidence of that.


The drunk redneck accent says it all…
…"y’all check this out, I’m a Darwin award winner.

This has been mentioned…

– Last Updated: Mar-23-16 5:18 PM EST –

... in one way or another, but right from the start, even on the calm flats above the swift section, the guy is just gleeful and giddy which tells me he obviously has no clue about what he might do to escape getting trapped, and probably not about anything else having to do with paddling. I saw two locations on that tree which he could have hit by accident, which quite likely would have ended up causing a very quick-but-scary death. I bet he had no idea about that aspect either.

Just as another example, he easily could have missed most of the big waves and kept his boat dry or mostly dry for the duration of that clip, but he just didn't know how.

I get the impression that there might have been room to backferry around the fallen tree on the left, but even at best I don't think a person with no skills could have made it through there. If I had been in that situation, I would have done what Pete suggested and backferried right, because the current looked slower along that bank. "Power strokes" in this situation, and in that boat (a slow-pivoting boat made even slower in that half-swamped condition) would have accomplished nothing of value.

He obviously is not an experienced
and/or trained kayaker. Many ‘cheap’ kayak buyers don’t have clue #1 nor think about any risks there may be while on the water.

BTW, what is the large/long white foam thing between his legs on the floor of the boat? I wonder if he unpacked all the packing material it may have been shipped with.

Whenever I have learned a new sport, I do a lot of research which has saved my body much harm.

It truly does take all kinds of folks to make up the world.

How do you get out of such a mess?
The tree looks like it extends to the shoreline, but would it be safe to crawl along it?

What do you do about your boat?

You break out your cell phone and yell
Most whitewater paddlers would toss a throw line to their friends on the bank and carefully enter down steam of the snag if not recirculating, and have them reel you in as fast as possible.