Downtime on the tuna

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Hi Folks I am trying to collect some info on serious down time at the main waterfall on the Kaituna, after a friend of mine had a good 40 seconds in the green room after getting the line oh so slightly wrong at 200's. The info I am after is.... is this common at this flow? Does it happen at other flows? Are they all associated with ending up running down the tongue? Plus any other contributing info welcome, cheers matt

Cameron S's picture

Ran it at 3 gates @ 500 the other week for my first time, No problems,
Thou helped heaps that i had a great paddler to show me the lines!

Ryan Hunt's picture

Was 500's yesterday, and it'll work you at any flow, just depends if its hungry.

liam's picture

ran tuna for first time yesterday was at 600 lucky me i didnt get worked at all even with my bad line over tutea. from what ive heard even thou rest of rivers hard at high flow tutea gets easyer its not as high and wont work you quite as much

elise's picture

probably the fastest way to learn...thats a good effort Damian!

damo's picture

Yup it takes about that long to hit the bottom, i hit it with my face, knuckles and chest one time. If you are youthful, keen and paddling it under 100's in a play boat, half full of water this is what will happen. Incase you missed it, it takes about that long to hit the bottom, Best way to learn eh Elise?

elise's picture

yeah....boof is boof is not so fun.

uncle's picture

depends where it puts you, came out of the raft today and got slammed in the platter pretty hard, tried to swim but realised i could stand up which was all good, but yea what ryan was sayying depends on the flow, just boof it

Ryan Hunt's picture

Well it would vary greatly with the flow.

elise's picture

anyone know how deep it is under tutea?

Jake C's picture

Yeah but you suck Regan

JeremyW's picture

I've hit the bottom off Tutea @ 200's, down centre, no boof, small boat. Just a scrape though. I have also melted @ 300's down the centre intentionally and not even touched down in the Jefe.

I think DC's comment on runner #238, while not very scientific, has merit. I reckon in the ~100 times down there I've done almost everything wrong off Tutea in little and big boats but, touch wood, have only had to roll.

regan0's picture

i got a popped deck on the tuna my very 1st time.
and a semi beatdown!
everything after that time has been sweet as.

boaterboy888's picture

it does seem the landing at the bottom is a bit harder at 200. i have tired to do a half @!#$ free wheel straight off the middle it at 300 and got small beat down. 10 to 15 sec. got a bang on my elbow and back of the helmet. i think it all comes down to how well you can breath water. becarfully and have fun

Ryan Hunt's picture

You can get beat down at pretty well any flow if you dont boof or if it just decides it wants to eat you. A mate of mine got destroyed at 400s and I have heard of people being held at the bottom for decent periods of time at open gates but havnt seen too much carnage.

ChristinaB's picture

200 does seem to be the danger flow (though not always I'm sure). A mate snapped his leg at 200 from hitting the bottom of Tutea a few years ago.
Did it a couple of weekends ago at 500 with a lousy boof and questionable line but without issue.
The lower the flow, the better the boof!
Have fun!

kayakshop's picture

envBOP have put a new gauge at the put in of the Kaituna river.
It is a good thing for kayakers as there have been ongoing issues with the setting of the gates and the building of the Rotoiti diversion wall has just begun. It is at this stage unknown how this will affect the river levels as an ongoing thing.
The obeject of the control gates has never been to control the river levels but rather the lake levels so gauge readings have been vauge at best.
The new gauge is just down stream of the gates on river right, so it will give the exact level of the river not the gate settings.
At this stage the river is on 3x300 on the gates and that relates to just above 8 (8.2) on the gauge.
We will get a full range of readings as the levels change over the next few months.

greg's picture

Longest I have heard of is up near 15 minutes. A guy a few summers got spanked and came out of his boat and then sat scared behind the curtain in the cave while his friends outside freaked out that he was stuck to the bottom of the river. There is a bit of room back there and you could sit there all day at some flows but you can't see it from the outside world. Just jump back in to the back of the curtain if you are there and you should pop back up in the pool. A whistle would have helped that guy who sat there...just to let his mates that could not see him know he was alive.

mjo's picture

Me too. Running at just 200. Wrong line; slightly too left, slow and lazy. Hit the bottom hard, flexed the boat, deck popped, bent the foot plate and twisted left knee and ankle. Not too long underwater though. Only 15-20 seconds max.
Mind you, I blame the boat, low vol and pointy. Excellent at diving.
There is not much difference between a good line and a swim.
I think Tutea deserves respect.

nikki.kear's picture

I've had a beating at 200s too. Maybe 10-15 seconds of downtime. Of the people I know who have had a run-in with the falls, most of the time it has been at lower flows. Boof, man, boof...

cole3's picture

i got spanked into the bottom of the river at 200 i just boofed late as it was my first time rolled up with my deck off half paddled half swum onto the rock emptyed my boat then did it twice more that day no problems
happy days

johann's picture

running the tongue is ok if you mean to. I have seen it done with dry hair. Try floating striaght off the middle, you need to fall down the middle so start a bit left of centre. and lean only a little bit back.'s picture

4th down from the fall 3rd up from the Bottom hole.

harwood's picture

How many drops past Tutea is the Abyss?'s picture

If you are No. #238 Tutea will get you no matter what your line!
But Yes it definately happens more at that flow than any other but it can and does happen at all flows - you do need to put it into perspective, the river is generally at that flow from Dec - May (6 months) over that time the river has an increased seasonal usage of quite a huge amount also the standard of paddlers also drops during that time simply due to the volume of paddlers that only paddle over summer.
So if you went off stats of high vs low flows and where paddlers get the best beatings on average, I think you would find that more paddlers have bad swims and bad experiences in the Abyss at 3x800 or above, than at any flow on the waterfall..... There is a simple soloution to the problem don't run the tounge! Boof right is the prefered line if you can't make that go left. Hold your breath and respect it, don't forget it is a waterfall with nearly 30 cumecs (30 tonnes a second) landing on your head even at 3x200!

Jamiegarrod's picture

yeah iv had a bit of downtime at 500 there and have heard a few other stories of it happening to others. but 40sec is a long time. people get slapped on the bottom but i was bounced around behind the curtain. it was my first time and i just stuffed up, wrong line, no speed, no boof = bad news