How To End Up A Dory Convert

Aug 23, 2012

How To End Up A Dory Convert

Those hooked on whitewater rafting often think it can’t get any better.

It can, friends. Oh, it can, and it does.

You might be an aficionado of brightly colored Hypalon rubber — how the waves lapping against it turn it into a drum, how it feels cushy on your bum.

(Yeah, that was supposed to rhyme. Sorry.)

But, there is an entirely different world, my river running people.

Open your mind, your heart, and be converted to the fandom of the dory.

What’s a dory? Well, first of all, fun with a capital “F.”

Even if you’ve experienced whitewater rapids from a perch in an inflatable raft, you should consider taking a river trip in a dory.

It’s a bucking bronco in the rapids. In the flatwater, it’s sleek and graceful.

Consider these common questions:

What is a dory?

It’s a hard-hulled boat, usually about 17 feet long. It gives you the authentic feel of an explorer from days of yore.

How many people does it hold?

Usually 4 passengers, plus the guide who rows from the center of the dory.

 

 A breakdown of the glory of the whitewater dory.

 

Is it comfortable?

Even though it’s hard-hulled, there’s a pad in a cut-out seat for each crew person.

Why this design?

Dories are based on the traditional wooden boats that explorer John Wesley Powell first took down the Grand Canyon. Fun, and history.

How’s the ride?

Did I mention fun? Dories give you a serious roller coaster ride. And this is a participatory deal: You’ll be challenged with helping the dory punch through waves by shifting your body weight.

Kids love riding in dories. If you’re really after a “classic” river experience, this is the way to go — the complete antithesis of a motorized boat. A lot of folks who try out dories never go back to their rubber cousins.

If this sounds intriguing, you should know dory trips can be had on almost every O.A.R.S. trip in Idaho and some in Cataract Canyon, in addition to the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

 

Have you had the pleasure of a dory ride? Tell these folks about it in the comments below.

 

Reid Williams
Reid has guided whitewater and taught swiftwater rescue in the U.S. and Central America on 13 different rivers, after brief turns as a chemistry teacher and a newspaper journalist. These days, he tries to turn people on to active, outdoor lifestyles as an executive at WELD.