Hi, my name is Dave and

We could keep this going by discussing other safety devices like seat belts, car seats, condoms, masks, etc
Pros and cons of each.

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Read an article a while back about repairing a kayak with a condom…does that count?

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Is this longer than the FOB thread yet?

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I have no hard feelings. It would be a waste of time and only hurt me to carry anger against people I only know through the internet.

I don’t think we’re really that far apart. Although, I’m not sure what you mean by owning it. I said what I did and do, to make a point not to apologize.

I live and paddle in eastern North Carolina, but do travel and paddle in other areas. This year, I spent 3 days on the Rio Grande in Texas, 3 days in BWCA, and going again in September, and 4 days in St Regis Canoe area in New York.

Should I let everyone know I only wear a bicycle helmet when riding MTB trails? :wink:

Not yet – ten to go.

The longest thread that I remember is the Functional Freestyle thread started by Marc Onstein back in 2014 at 411 posts. If you paddle a canoe you really should read through this thread. Marc is awesome, and some really talented paddlers contributed ideas.


I’ll bet there are longer threads than that. I went back to look for String’s post in the archive but I couldn’t find it.

I will admit that is nice to see a thread on a paddling topic that got some emotion going. Glad davbart has a thick skin. He picked a topic that he knew would get some push back, but it is still an interesting discussion.


Yes. I have always supported it and a couple of times have been able to write a letter advocating same, when such a measure was before a state legislature.

The second part of your post is frankly foolish. PFD requirements are in keeping with a couple of decades of recommendations from the Coast Guard and a few boating organizations, and are merely an extension of decades old laws that do require PFD’s for minors and in the winter.

The likelihood that anybody would post a law against paddling alone, let alone a fine for it, is never would happen hyperbole.

You have up to now been more reasonable than this.

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I don’t think it is that unreasonable. As I pointed out in my OP and repeated in other posts, those USCG and other boating organizations’ recommendations include “don’t boat alone” right along with “wear your PFD”. So if you’re saying PFD laws would just be “in keeping” with those recommendations it isn’t unreasonable that “in keeping” with those recommendations there’d be a law to not boat alone.

That said, in addition to my aversion of “there outta be a law” we seem to love in this country, I look to a previous post of yours for another objection. You mentioned enforcement, and the difficulty if not the impossibility of enforcement. Why have an unenforceable law? Not to mention, why would we want to create more possible confrontations between law enforcement and citizens?

There is a significant difference between enforcement being difficult across all situations and it being impossible. I have been stopped by the Coast Guard in coastal waters and looked over as have others here. It is rare but I appreciate it because it means that they might also catch people who are being foolish.

Laws also recommend correct behavior. Apparently you find this hard to understand. I don’t.

Up to now there has been some wiggle room. But if you are going to insist on chasing a ridiculous concept down a rabbit hole I am not going to continue to follow this.

Which concept do you find ridiculous? The comparison and linking of PFD and paddling alone or objection to PFD law related to enforcement?

I am more reasonable than this and if you read the majority of the post I made to this thread you would see my position.

I may be one of the few that saw @davbart position on this and basically a PFD is to keep your head out of the water and to prevent drowning, paddling alone or doing any dangerous activity alone is a more complex situation. It might have nothing to do with drowning it might be a broken leg or a eye injury or a heart attack or equipment failure or any of a million things that could leave you stranded.

His point is canoeing in 2’ of water in a very remote area you may have a higher risk factor being alone than not having a PFD on. The reason in general safety discussions they are often mentioned together.

Now if I wanted to play Devils Advocate I would say davbart and @eckilson are against paddling safety and PFD and paddling in groups because they see no need for a law to make people do something and you are in favor of some safety measures such as PFD but reject that there is safety in numbers as you would like a law for one and not for the other. Of course that is preposterous because I also think we don’t need laws in a free country to make us understand what is common sense. I put a seatbelt on when I drive and the fact that there is a law saying I have to is ridicules just like there is a warning on a pack of cigarettes that they are bad for your health.

In short many things can improve our safety when paddling having a cell phone or two way radio maybe outweighs every safety device we can think of when it comes to saving life. I remember when I was 16 I came upon a car crash and had to call for help. It was in the days before 911 and cell phones and I franticly went up the road banging on doors and it took a good 15 minutes before I ever got thru. Now you can call and do first aid at the same time and first responders are on the way in a minute.

I don’t think we need a law that that says everyone needs to have a cell phone when paddling as well, but it can’t hurt.

GPS is another great safety feature of phones it will pinpoint a person in trouble within a couple feet.

I carry an assisted reentry device I have been working on and it requires another boat to help. So there is one reason for me traveling on the water with a partner could be a huge safety plus.

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Well said.

I think sometimes it is hard for people to hear contrary ideas particularly contrary to long held beliefs. Part of the reason, I started this thread was to challenge others’ beliefs, but also my own.

To quote John Stuart Mill, “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons of the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground preferring either opinion…”

This is so true. Critical thinking requires one to put themselves into a position of viewing all sides of any issue. There is a wide belief that there is one truth to any issue and that is not always true when the issues become complex.

I’m retired now but had a lifetime of problem solving. I can’t count how many times I was certain of a truth or a solution to a problem, but as part of my process forced myself to take all viewpoints of a problem and in the end my selected solution was 180 degrees from what I first felt to be truth.

It is hard to do and looking at the overall divide in our country is a good example how our vantage point forms our perspective.

Yep, and we struggle to do it just about how we recreate. It is no wonder more weighty issues are more contentious and seemingly irreconcilable.

When I started in industry close to 50 years ago I took company sponsored classes for things like critical thinking and creative thinking by the time I was ready to retire they were sending me to classes on sensitivity training. In the beginning I was taught to view a problem from all points of view at the end I was being taught all problems need to be viewed form a select point of view.

What a difference half a century makes. :upside_down_face:

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Dave, total agreement. NC is a great place. Most of my travel is in a beat up 14.5 touring boat on the Upper Chesapeake and the Jame River. I think I already pointed out that I just joined the forum. My purpose was to get info about a faster boat. During the last three weeks, I read as many posts as I could find. I was comfortable with my paddle and paddle style, because I believed I could get as much speed out of the boat as was possible. Instead, I found so much info on the paddle threads that I’m focusing my attention on paddles. One member critiqued the paddle I love and trashed it. Ironically. The things he didn’t like were the points that I favored. When I looked back over his post, I noticed he didn’t like how it performed in high waves. Hot dang! I have the same problem, so I went back to find what he prefers for high waves. I now plan to keep the boat because I’m intimately familiar with the characteristics and the performance parameters. I have a head start on comparing the paddles.

When I say “own it”, that doesn’t mean its a mistake. “I” mean that it’s my right to make a decision and “I” accept the results if it doesn’t go thevway I planned. If someone warns we that my boat can’t possibly go faster, and I think it will, then I say, OK, you were right andvI was wrong. What the heck. I has fun trying. That’s why we’re all here. We get to pick and choose the advice. Looking forward to interacting with you and everybody else. It’s been a great experience. The longedt and greatest thread is the picture posts. That’s what this is about.

I saw that thread, and didn’t respond because it has been years since I paddled a kayak. I grew up canoeing, so despite years of trying, I never could get as comfortable in a kayak. I will say this about paddle choice, and I think it applies across canoes and kayaks, I’d rather paddle a poor boat than paddle with a poor paddle.

I definitely own paddling sans PFD or alone.

All laws are enforceable if they want to.

How many resources are wasted looking for people with no PFD? Many days go by.

They usually find you fast if you have one on.

In theoretical terms yes, but in practical terms not so much. Not to mention, how willing are you to enforce said law? Specifically, do we really want the application of government force to ensure people are wearing a PFD?