Why do people still paddle a topo?

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Lancs_lad
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Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Lancs_lad »

The other weekend I saw a pair of paddlers both paddling a topo. The river was far from being a steep tight creek so that argument is out of the window straight away. As already discussed on here in several threads they are slow, not very voluminous and a pig to paddle. So why do people still paddle them? Do they refuse to accept all forms of technology that make life easier and more enjoyable?

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morsey
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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by morsey »

Lancs_lad wrote: Do they refuse to accept all forms of technology that make life easier and more enjoyable?
Yes, on a Venn they are the anomaly that is a non connected sub set!

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by PMB »

Because they're old school? Did they also have full face helmets and Schlegels?

If I had one, I'd paddle a Topo now and then for sh*ts and giggles.
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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Mark Dixon »

Our club have a Topo Duo and we had some fun at Treweryn about a month ago, was good watching 2 of our best young paddlers hitting some goood eddys, even had to roll at Miss Davies Bridge going for the eddy RL. Its very basic and old school but served its purpose getting a few scared paddlers a taste of grade 3

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by icklepaddler »

Maybe they only replace boats when they wear it out.


They probably bought it in 1985 and they are still trying to break it!

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Rdscott »

Because its not broken so they don't want to fix it.

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by clarky999 »

Topos are fun as f*** to paddle. Once in a while anyway. So ridiculous you'll find yourself giggling the whole way down the river. And getting comical beatings in stupid places. 'Old School Day' ftw.

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Lancs_lad
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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Lancs_lad »

PMB wrote:Because they're old school? Did they also have full face helmets and Schlegels?

If I had one, I'd paddle a Topo now and then for sh*ts and giggles.
Nope. I don't buy the old skool reason. Its like people who ride single speed/fixie because they think its a fashion statement!

It was a high water day, like taking a pair of really long old race skis out on a bluebird powder day.

As for topo duo, they have their place and there is only one other alternative so they are fine.

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Rdscott »

Maybe they kayak in there recreation time and dont have the funds to have multiple boats.

Maybe they havnt found a boat the enjoy paddling as much.

Is kayaking really about what gear you have or is it about getting out on the water by what ever means possible.

and as for the fixie/singlespeed, riding a fixie is a whole diferent ball game to anyother cycling, especaly if your a purist and have no brakes. For some its a fashion statment for others its a pure fitness, strength and training excersize i dont think it can be compared.

There are only 2 boats I never didnt enjoy paddling one was a topo the other a huka. always good fun.

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Topos can't be so very rubbish, they were used for many of the first descents all over the country. Sure the newer boats will be better in many respects but the Topo is still a good creeker.

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by twopigs »

Lancs_lad wrote:The other weekend I saw a pair of paddlers both paddling a topo. The river was far from being a steep tight creek so that argument is out of the window straight away. As already discussed on here in several threads they are slow, not very voluminous and a pig to paddle. So why do people still paddle them? Do they refuse to accept all forms of technology that make life easier and more enjoyable?
Perhaps to give people with disabilities the opportunity to paddle some white fluffy stuff? I remember 4 guys pulling a Topo Duo over a field because the paddler in the front could not walk..... We recently bought a Duo to help a guy with a rare condition which affected one of his arms and gave him a day out at Symonds Yat. There must be other cases.
Canoeing - bigger boat, broken paddle, more skill!

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by andy g »

Adrian Cooper wrote:We recently bought a Duo to help a guy with a rare condition which affected one of his arms and gave him a day out at Symonds Yat. There must be other cases.
Yes there are many indeed.

The centre where I work keeps one Duo for paddlers who are unable to cope solo. Last week I paddled in the rear , while a girl with cerebral palsey took the front seat. She was thoroughly enjoying just being able to join in with her peers, and tried to show some of the skills she had been taught over the previous weeks.

A couple of years ago Meridian Canoe Club took 3 visually impaired paddlers down the Legacy course at Lea Valley in the centre's Duos, as a fitting climax to a 1* course. All 3 were really thrilled with the experience. It did take 3 very experienced white water paddlers in the rear of each boat (all of whom had to do a new Legacy assessment in a Duo before LV would accept our plans)

Andy

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Jim »

Still struggling to get the hang of the burn, seriously considering bringing my topo out of retirement because it feels so much better.

There is very little a topo can't do, it just needs a different style of paddling which many people never got.

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Lancs_lad
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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Lancs_lad »

Just to clarify I wasn't on about the duo just the one man topo.

Still a 'good' creeker? What does it do better than the new boats?

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by lakesboy »

think your missing the point...

i have a topo and a burn and alternate between them when i feel i want too, down to the river grade or how much fun i want or not!

agree with the point of who cares what boat you paddle it should be about having fun? not following the crowd all the time.

yes they are old skool, so what? still good fun to paddle and it helps to improve your fun on certain runs..some of the first descents were done in these when you were still in nappies nobody complained then :)

think there can be too much of you must have a certain type of boat, kit etc these days, lets enjoy paddling for paddling i say! and if you can paddle a spud competently on all grades you want to then who cares! i took mine to the alps this year!

some uni clubs have topos as additional boats and some of the better paddlers prefer a go at times too, i know one uni group for sure that this happens at regular times! :)

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by GaryM »

Because it's the boat they want to paddle.
What does it do better than the new boats?
Turn this round, what to new boats do better than a Topo?

If you enjoy paddling what you have, why change it because someone who doesn't know you thinks it doesn't look as "cool" as his boat and kit?
When I started paddling, I went for 20 years, using GRP boats, shorty wetsuit, on rivers/White water/surf all year round, and only time anyone was "got at" was on a coaching course where someone turned up with what the instructor called a "plastic pig" - Dancer.
But, we were all made to paddle it just in case they caught on!
And where was this course, Conway from top A5 bridge down, and no-one damaged their GRP boats (we did portage the grade 5's though), nor go too near Conway Falls.
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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by DaveBland »

Paddling's about skill and technique*, not the equipment. [But modern equipment is way safer.]
Don't forget all the stuff being paddled today was first run in an assortment of bathtubs from topos to rotobats.
And look at what Walt Blackadder paddled in really old boats. That old B+W Alaska movie has some of the most amazing paddling anywhere, even by todays standards.

Also familiarity is really good with boats. A design you get on with and know inside-out, will be way preferable over a newer 'better' design you haven't sussed.

I'd run a mile from paddling a spud - never got on with them, but I'd love a go in a rotobat for old times sake.

*Pleas note I'm being a total hippo and spent ages fussing over boat choice.
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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by clarky999 »

Lancs_lad wrote:
Still a 'good' creeker? What does it do better than the new boats?
Nothing, they suck; slow, take years to resurface, get stuck in every hole you show them.

But they do make your home run a real giggle.

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by TonyM »

DaveBland wrote: Don't forget all the stuff being paddled today was first run in an assortment of bathtubs from topos to rotobats.
Or glassfibre or canvas!

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by quicky »

Do they refuse to accept all forms of technology that make life easier and more enjoyable?
Maybe they are not rich!

or want some fun

Still paddle canvas boats sometimes, why, because they are fun.

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Poke »

If you own one, are comfortable paddling it, why spend £900 on a new boat when you can rock out in a boat you already own.

Even if it's a high water day, you can still have just as much fun in a topo as a modern boat. The only exception is possibly taking a playboat down something as you'll be able to surf more stuff, but 90% of people nowadays are in "creekers" so how is a spud much different really?
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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by lakesboy »

another way to put it is in twenty years time will we all be saying that the stomper, recon, everest, raptor etc etc are old designs and why would you want to paddle them now with all the latest designs out!!!

the topo was good for its day, lets leave it at that! :)

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Adrian Cooper »

andy g wrote:
Adrian Cooper wrote:We recently bought a Duo to help a guy with a rare condition which affected one of his arms and gave him a day out at Symonds Yat. There must be other cases.
No I didn't, that was Paul

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by LocoDave »

I went from class 2 to class 5 in a rotabat and aspired to a topo, when I finally got one it was the ultimate creeking machine and put all the hard runs out there on the map that the major majority of paddlers are still nowhere capable of running......

There still cool as F###

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Jim »

Lancs_lad wrote:Still a 'good' creeker? What does it do better than the new boats?
It weighs half as much.

For me, that's a consideration if I am going to hike into a burn.
clarky999 wrote:Nothing, they suck; slow, take years to resurface, get stuck in every hole you show them.
Sorry but you haven't got a clue what you are talking about, when paddled properly neither of these last 2 statements are true. When paddled by someone who hasn't got the hang of them, the very last can be true. It's about the paddling not the boat.

Topos are slow, but they accelerate quickly so up to point you can compensate by applying power at the critical moment. I have to be honest, although the burn is clearly a bit faster, I find it harder to keep it pointing where I want it to go when paddling fast than I do in my topo - I'd usually rather arrive on line and a little slow, than off line at the correct speed.

Really, I can't think of anything I would run in the burn that I wouldn't run in the topo, so my question would be what do modern creek boats really do better? Speed is the only thing I can think of but I'm not sure it is a clear advantage?

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Neptune »

I normally paddle a Nomad 8.5 but also own a Topo, bought for £50 of the internet. I find that when I get back in the Nomad after paddling the 'spud' it has really sharpened me up.

Yes it is 'hole bait', yes it can be slow, yes its is dated in its design, yes its like paddling a large sauage, but its is as tough as old boots, can take a real hammering where new boats would split, dent or break and it is so much fun to paddle.

I am on my third Nomad, the first two having split, but the Topo just keeps going and has acted as a utility or back-up boat between my Nomad's.

The last I took it to HPP and the Washburn for some fun in the sun during the summer, I got to paddle it once! The rest of the day everyone and the cat were asking if they could have a go in it and I got it back at the end of the day. Everyone who had paddled it had a large grin on their face when they had finished paddling it and stated that they had had so much fun in it.

If you can paddle your modern design creek boat down grade 4 and 5 runs, then try it in a Topo to bench mark just how good your paddling skills really are? If you are good, then you should be able to do it in the 'spud' too, because as others have already stated, its not about all the latest boat design, if you are a good paddler, you should be able to adapt to the conditions and the boat you are paddling.

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by tomcrow99 »

Its hard to argue with this to be honest:


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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by Mark Gawler »

Neptune wrote:I normally paddle a Nomad 8.5 but also own a Topo, bought for £50 of the internet. I find that when I get back in the Nomad after paddling the 'spud' it has really sharpened me up.
I totally agree with this, I did much of my early paddling in a Spud. I think the skill I learnt digging it out oh holes, boding drops so I didn't get eaten made me a much better paddler. I can think of a couple of occasion where I dug my Nomad (loaded for a multi day trip) out of a big hole and was thankful for all the thrashings I'd had in a Spud.

My spud has stood unused in the garage for the last 10 years, I have has a couple of half hearted attempts to sell it, but I do wonder what it would feel like to paddle it again.
Mark Gawler

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by thustler »

There's people back looping Topo's in that video, how many modern creekers can you do that in?

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Re: Why do people still paddle a topo?

Post by MikeR »

Lancs_lad wrote:The other weekend I saw a pair of paddlers both paddling a topo. ..... So why do people still paddle them?
Probably because they enable their owners to get out on a river in the fresh air with their friends, have some fun and enjoy themselves. Unless I've missed something, that is the sole purpose of going boating?

Mike.

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