Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Elusive Left Line

Ok so I did tell everyone that I would do my next blog post on South Silver but I got a request to do a post on the Elusive left line of Sunshine. So here it is. I've been running the left line for a few years now with many different variations of the line. I started in a long boat and then slowly moved into being more comfortable in a short boat running it. Now that the rapid has changed, at the lower levels its actually more comfortable to go left than right for me. There's days where you have really really good lines like the one above. And...There's sometimes lines like the one above that hurt a bit more and aren't nearly as pretty.

So heres the deal. The left line is more scary than being in a cage with a Great White shark. Yes, I'm watching Shark Week. Ok, its not that scary. But there could be some bodily harm done if the line is messed up bad enough. Running too far in the middle could be a back breaker and too far left could mean hitting the left rock and breaking ribs, flipping right into the rock in the middle and hitting your head really hard. Here's a photo of Sunshine from the left side of the river with no water. You can kind of see the landing area on the lower left side of the photo. Its tight. Between the rock on the left and on the rock on the right you have to land just right to have a good soft line. These photos are just from the other day. I am coming out of the river right staging eddy with a little bit of speed but just enough to make sure that I will make it all the way across the river.
As you can tell from these photos I am really only taking one stroke. Its a really big right stroke. Making sure to keep my core taught and being sure to not drift downstream too far too early.
At this level, this photo shows a really good spot for the lineup of the rapid. I really like to have my right hip just on top of the last amount of water coming off of the rock. My left hip would at that point be on wet rock still but barely. Lining up the landing. Keeping my bow pointed straight or even a little to the left taking a right stroke. And launching off of the sweet spot!

So, there it is. My breakdown on the elusive left line. Hope you all learned a little bit!! For real now, next up a sweet blog on South Silver!!

See ya'll on the river.