Should I Huck That?

488058_10200537248253624_942488746_nOne of the things I get asked a lot by new paddlers is how to make decisions about what to paddle and what to walk. It’s actually a process I’ve thought a lot about and always try to get better at. My rough process is outlined below. It works well for snowboarding as well and with some adaptation can be applied to traditional climbing. So for your pleasure; Should I Huck That? There are basically three things you should be asking yourself at the top of a rapid or line.

  1. What are the moves I have to make, where do I need to be?
  2. Can I make those moves?
  3. What will happen to me if I don’t make those moves?

Really the number two needs some closer examination.

  1. Am I SURE I can make each move?
  2. What is the percentage chance I will each move?

Once you have decided to ride a line/run a rapid it’s important to look for markers to let you know where you want to be at every point during the line/rapid. Its important to realize what is influencing you decision to run a rapid. The level of safety that is there shouldn’t push you to run something, but it could mean you shouldn’t be running it. Seeing someone else make a line look easy shouldn’t mean you should run it either. Some times paddlers can make a complex line look easy, and sometimes other people just get lucky.


One thought on “Should I Huck That?

  1. Wise words, James! I like your logic. I am currently making a doccie on a beginner kayaker, who has never held a paddle before in her life. In her own way she started considering consequence when making the decision: “what is the worst that can happen when I miss the line?”

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