I’ve observed a paddling buddy take a different line than I do in a common situation: the river narrows substantially, and at the place where it narrows, the water on the “merging lane” pushes sideways and has created an eroded bank with strainers. Here’s a diagram:
The big arrows indicate the direction of the current. There’s a gravel beach on river right where the river narrows and the current pushes to the left, right into a strainer on the left bank.
The dashed line indicates my course. I stay as far as I can on the shallow right. Then, as I enter the side current, turn the boat sharp toward the right bank and power forward across/against the side current to just barely miss the strainer.
My buddy takes the solid line. She goes to river left well before the strainer, then turns her boat towards the right bank just before the strainer and powers forward, enough to clear it.
Which is generally the better approach?