Yeah I tried entering the kayaker contest/race but the pontoon boat just can't thread some of the lines to hit the gates that they can LOL
The Tamihi rapids are fairly famous, not just locally, amongst the whitewater kayaking community. I know they have various championships there every few years at least. I drifted through them yesterday and the gates definitely need some work though, some were missing pipes, some were hanging lower than they should be, etc. - I seem to recall reading something that they were going to have some kind of national or international kayaking championship there in the near future? Anyways, they are pretty fun, challenging, and rewarding to run. Not to be taken lightly though and you gotta be on your game to get through. Fairly technical water for sure.
I like your idea of tying a rope between the pontoons at the front, that you can see in your first video. Do you secure it with knots at both ends?
I've got a similar pontoon as yours, but the 10' model, with mini-mag oars. There are times when I get out to fish in a moderate current, and the rope would be nice to hold the pontoon around your waist while you fish.
I think I might secure one end of the rope with some type of a quick release clip to make it easy to release one end to exit the pontoon.
I took two basic carabiners and knotted a section of rope onto the carabiners and then used the carabiners as a quick release to hook it onto each D-ring at the front of the 'toons. It is something I learned last year that works really good for handling the boat while beaching or launching in a bit of current so it doesn't take off on you as you figured. It has been noted to me by a very knowledgeable whitewater god (you know who you are LOL) that this rope is a potential safety hazard and entrapment point and so I'm going to discontinue it's use when I'm drifting gnarlier rivers Class 2+ but for more flat water trout streams (Class 1 with a minor amount of class 2) I think I'll still use it as it makes handling the boat nice in shore, etc.
Nice Run Ray! (that is you right?) - and yeah, after you hit the monster reversal - what happened after that LOL?
The 13' Aire Wave Destroyer has been one boat I have definitely been eye balling. With an NRS frame that can be configured for one or two people, and if I can afford it built with their Urethane fabric!
Yeah. It was me. The river was about 5.5' on the bridge gauge. That monster reversal was Lochsa Falls, and I was half a boat width too far left with not enough left angle. It washed me out and I recovered the oars within a few seconds. Here's another run from later that year with a bit lower water in a paddle boat. Lots of fun. At 2:02 it gets really interesting....
I've seen some memorial weekend videos from previous years of the Lochsa falls rapids and it's funny how guys just park their lawn chair beside there and film guys shooting the rapid in everything from rafts, and catarafts to pool toys LOL. The thing I took from it though is it seems like at certain water levels there is almost no one going through that first reversal without being flipped. It's a wicked piece of water!