Whitewater safety concerns

Hey guys,

I recently noticed a few videos of people running whitewater in Alpackas with spray skirts that were not wearing any helmets. I don’t believe some people realize how incredibly dangerous this is. Even a tiny capsize can knock you unconcious & drown you in seconds, even in class II rapids. My helmet has saved my life at least a dozen times, and helmets should always be worn any time a spray skirt is involved (trapping you in the boat at least for a split second when you flip). If pack rafters are to be taken seriously, then helmets must be taken seriously. Just a small thought to anyone not using one or bringing one just some of the time.

I hadn’t noticed this, but probably for lack of attention. Anyway, for anybody out there thinking of going commando, from a “Joe Average” perspective, I can attest to Timmy’s sentiments. The scratch marks on my helmet remind me of how quickly things can go south, as can watching some of my videos. One second upright, next, not so much. And seeing somebody of Timmy’s expertise in his videos with full safety gear at the ready even for runs that are well within “easy” for him should show the rest of us that nobody is above the ability to have a bad day.

On a related note, I do notice a lot of people using bicycle helmets, and I may have done same on some bike-n-raft runs. Does anybody know if there are any disadvantages to bike helmets compared to kayak/whitewater ones? My ww helmet covers the back of my head just about down to the neck, and just feels more suitable than my bike helmet. But I don’t know. Thoughts?

I was once a proponent of bike helmets until witnessing head hits with them in the water. They do not offer sufficient side protection, in most folks opinion.

Whitewater helmets are going to be the best for whitewater, as they have been designing them for, what, 40 years now.

I hit my head today, in fact, and if I hadn’t had a whitewater helmet wouldn’t be typing this.

Roman, You hit your head cause you are out running things that don’t have any water in them anymore this time of year, all rocks, instead of putting your rafts away for the winter like sane people. :wink:

Actually, we’ve had some nice days lately and wish I was out there too, damn work place expects me to show up for a paycheck. Where were you at today (yesterday)? Bird?

Agree with you on the helmets. I feel silly sometimes on the bike/raft things biking while wearing a bike helmet and carrying a ww helmet, but beats feeling vulnerable when on the water.