swimmingEven if your roll is 100% bombproof, take time to practice aggressive swimming techniques. Even the best boaters swim occasionally (although not very often). Knowing how to swim in powerful water can save your life. Short sprints of very aggressive swimming can also enable you to reach a pin victim very rapidly.

Although everyone strives for that perfect roll, sooner or later most of us swim (although it may be years in between those swims). In addition, many rescues require getting someone out to the victim in a big hurry. This is especially true for entrapment and some unstable pins. Getting to the victim may require some boating, wading, and judicious swimming. Really good boaters can pretty much swim any rapid up to class IV (and some class V rapids as well). Two broad categories of swimming techniques are defensive (save your energy) and aggressive (get to a safe location ASAP!). Knowing how to properly swim in whitewater can not only help you save others, it may save your life some day. Here is a very humorous introduction to this subject: Revised Rapid Ratings Swim Scale.