How to Read and Run a River


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by A.J.(Jib) McMasters

There are two aspects to the art of river boating. One is knowing how to handle your boat. But being a good boatman involves more than just being a good boat handler when you’re on moving water. So No. 2 is being able to recognize the changing characteristics of the water itself. Fluency in reading water encompasses several basics. You need to be able to distinguish the course of a river’s current, its speed, the lay of obstacles and how to tell which of several possible routes is easiest. While the emphasis here is on fast water, the principles involved apply to all river boating. Fast water simply exaggerates the forces at work.

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