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When in doubt, scout it out

There comes a time in our rowing careers where we find a groove. We’ve been there and rowed that many times over the course of 10 years or more.

That experience level may make us more proficient at rowing trickier water but it can also make us all a bit overconfident which can lead to costly mistakes.

That’s why it’s important to never feel the pressure of read and row without scouting first. When I have a raft loaded with camping gear, kids and dogs I almost always stop to scout any named rapid before putting my family and friends in harms way.

Red Creek Rapid at 1,800 cfs

No matter how you feel or how small the rapid may be, there’s no loss of pride in scouting first. After all, we are all here to have a good time and to get down river safely, right?

Last week we rowed down one of our favorite sections on the Green River below the Flaming Gorge dam. We stopped at the famous Red Creek Rapids to give it a look at 1,800 cfs. The usual line was the right choice but we wanted to make sure there were no new surprises.

Which leads me to the question: How would you run this rapid? Do you stop and scout or read and row?