Stuck on top of a pourover/hole?

So I’ve been packrafting for a couple of years now. Mostly local Class ii-iii local rivers with pool drop style rapids.

I’ve taken a swiftwater rescue course, so feel pretty confident once I get dumped into the water on how to rescue myself.

Yesterday we went for our final run of the fall (snow is already on the ground here). Water levels were quite low, and the river was barely runnable. Which made some of the classs II rapids much trickier than normal, things that we would normally shoot over, all of a sudden had holes forming on rock pourovers. For the first time I found myself really stuck on top of a couple of holes/pourovers. Still in the boat and very much in control but unable to move out of the flow. The first time I was able to fight my way out the side after a minute or so. The second time I ended up doing a full 360 on top of the water before one of my sides gut tucked under the pourover and I went under (and easily swam out with my boat).

Any tips on how to paddle out of a these sticky situations, quite literally?


To Not Get Stuck in a Hole:
-Come into it with speed
-as you enter it, make use of the current with a paddle blade to tow you through/out of the hole. This might mean placing a blade deep if there is moving current beneath a shallow hole, or placing a blade in moving current behind or to the side of a hole
-Right before you hit the hole take a powerful stroke - the purpose of this is to lift your bow upwards to avoid plugging your bow into the hole. This helps you maintain momentum.

Once you are stuck in a hole, getting surfed
-Lean hard down river while sticking a paddle blade deep. The blade may be enough to tow you out of the hole, and the lean prevents you from flipping in the manner you described in the mean time
-Try to use a stroke/draw to move yourself to the side of a hole

If you’re getting stuck in a hydraulic at the bottom of a drop, perform a long stroke directly over the lip of the drop to help stabilize your boat before the fall and provide the forward moving momentum needed to get out. Once you’re stuck you’ll have to rely on the reverse current to propel yourself out – i.e. using the paddle method mentioned above.