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Date Posted:09/30/2017 04:01:34Copy HTML

I'm now in my 3rd year of owning and regularly using my two paddle boards.  These provide a great deal of freedom to see, explore, and at the same time get a decent workout.  Ironically, I spend far less time wearing a thong than before, but far more wearing those 1" side speedo briefs openly.  I paddle board roughly twice a week, which includes some weekends.  I follow all the written and unwritten rules of boating etiquette, with the realization that roughly 80% of the onus of it is on the motor boaters and the rest on me.  By that, I mean that I generally stay near the shore and out of the path of oncoming motor boats and I never approach anyone.  I would say that I've had no issues with 99% of the motor boats I've encountered.

However, I do have three recent and disturbing exceptions to that:  (1) Several months ago, a lone male motor boater just came up behind me slowly and quietly.  At first, I become very nervous, so I sat down and switched over to my kayak paddle thinking he would pass.  It turned out, he just started idly shooting the breeze.  He didn't make any overt sexual advances, but I suspect he was looking for an opportunity just because no motor boater I've ever seen approaches strangers in that way.  No harm came of that, but it was a bit strange.

(2) Several weeks ago, I was paddling along a shoreline up the Clinch River, and had this boat with two fishermen stop a few hundred yards ahead of me to fish.  I veered away from them just a little and never even glanced towards them and nothing was said by either of us.  This happened twice with the same boat.  While they didn't put me in danger, it was a clear breech of etiquette quite possibly seeking a confrontation.  At that time, I was wearing not a speedo, but one of those multi-colored 2xist briefs with the external drawstring that I'd bought on sale from amazon.  Although it covers more than the minimal speedo, I think it was a mistake to wear in the TN lakes because it looks too designer.

(3) Today, while out on the same river, I had a small fishing boat containing a man, his wife/girlfriend, and possibly a child pass several hundred yards from me and start yelling things I could barely understand at me.  I was in the middle of the lake and when I saw the boat approach, I paddled towards the weedy part just in case.  I never even looked at them up close, just heard them as I was paddling away.  First the child and/or woman yelled, and then the man.  The only understandable word I heard from any of them was the word "speedo".  The rest was babbling that I couldn't understand and man sounded angry.  Thankfully, they keep away and did not circle back or anything.

I've been out there most of this summer and those past with few or no incidents like this and I think part of the problem may be the season change bringing out a different group of boaters.  I'm sure most of them have seen me out there many times.  However, there are enough of these wackos out there to ruin things.  I fear it's just a matter of time before one attempts to physically harass me with his motor boat.  For that reason, I'm now considering several things to mitigate that risk, including an extra GoPro (so I can have one mounted in front and back facing everything that I see and everything that follows me), pepper spray, and a concealed carry permit.  That said, I'd have to limit the concealed carry approach to weekends because I go places during the work day where no guns are legally permitted.  The other issue is how to effectively carry on a paddle board while wearing a speedo.  I'd need some kind container that floats and is waterproof and if I'd have to just keep it hidden, but readily accessible during those situations in which there is potential for a hostile encounter.  If they leave me alone, they'll never know what I'm carrying.

In none of those past 3 cases would I have needed such a level of defense, but it is now hunting season in TN and people do hunt from boats, which means I'm potentially sharing the water with armed red necks for the few remaining weeks of warm weather we have.  During this time of year, I generally avoid those areas where hunting is legal.  Despite that, the number of wackos in the other areas is still a problem.
leo40 #1

Re:Confrontations with motor boats on TN lakes

Date Posted:09/30/2017 12:47:42Copy HTML

I canoe in very brief swimwear, sometimes in a clip-on similar to today's c-strings but more covering in front, about like a jockstrap, and having loose fabric covering the rear spring that goes up to the small of my back (secure and comfortable).  I'm fully covered except for some cheek, but I once encountered such an angry and loud boater that I now pack heat canoeing.  That clip-on suit is now very worn and I now more often canoe in a Sporti Euro brief, also well accepted at the Y' pool, and still pack heat.
nospam_TN1 #2

Re:Confrontations with motor boats on TN lakes

Date Posted:09/30/2017 05:02:06Copy HTML

 Leo40, I have one of those Sporti Euro suits also.  They look great standing and posing while dry, but don't stay on very well.  I've worn it a time or two on my paddle board, but I wouldn't trust it for lap swimming, water slides, etc.

As far as concealed carry on boats goes, it's complicated.  I think one would want to avoid all TVA boat ramps while doing that and instead used TWRA boat ramps or those of local parks.  Then, there's the issue of keeping it dry and secured, but still accessible.  If some jackass in a motor boat is circling and stalking me, I need to be able to get to it fairly quickly.  That's also the reason for the duel GoPros -- they would provide both a deterrent to such behavior, and in the event that I'm forced to exercise my right to self defense, evidence of the menacing behavior that made it necessary.  Probably best to mount both GoPros on the front of the board, one facing backwards towards me, and one facing forwards.  Even if they're not on all the time, not everyone knows that.
JM_Runs #3

Re:Confrontations with motor boats on TN lakes

Date Posted:10/03/2017 05:40:39Copy HTML

The incidents described by NoSpam don't seem threatening, or at all unusual to me.  Boaters regularly go up to other boaters to check them, or their boats out.  This seems to be a bit of nervousness about what might happen, rather than anything really worrying.  When paddle boarding or windsurfing in a thong I would expect visits from boats checking me out. Happens all the time. 

Coming up and approaching slowly, to have a chat, is rather normal. At least they are coming in at idle speed, not rushing up and dumping a big wake as they suddenly stop.  

The fishing boat stopping a couple of hundred yards ahead of you, to fish, probably was not seeking a confrontation.  If they did not like what you were wearing they would have gone elsewhere, or you would have heard something about it.

More likely the boat driver is trying to get a conversation about thongs started with his passenger, by putting the boat where you would pass by.  Trust me, if they had a problem with your thong, you would know, either by them shouting something rude, or coming by at high speed, throwing a wake and rocking you off. 

The family in the boat probably does not realize that although they need to shout over the engine noise to hear each other, everyone else around can hear them clearly.  Again I think this was more a case of people just driving around to see what was out on the lake, and maybe to get a reaction from one of the passengers. 

Having spent many years boating, I can assure you it is very common to hear snaches of conversation from boats under power, when the people on board don't think they are shouting or being overheard. They were not shouting at you, but between themselves.  If they had wanted you to hear what they said they would have slowed right down and come over to you, like the coast guard did with us Sunday night. 

As to packing heat on a paddleboard or kayak is a really silly idea. Not only is it a logistical, and jurisdictional nightmare, but neither of them provides a firm platform for shooting. On land it is easy to brace against the ground, a float the recoil from the first shot is likely to capsize you. Your brain keeps the world appearing steady as your eyeballs bounce along while walking.  This trick works when out boating too. However it does not work to stabilize guns.

Put a pair of high power binoculars up to your eyes while afloat. If the boat is not dead still you are going to find it difficult to keep anything in view, let alone keep it in the center. Trust me on this: Marksman ship when afloat is almost impossible, unless you are on a very ship, or the water is dead still and you are at point blank range. 

There are better options. If you are so scared you feel you must have something for protection, carry a maine flare gun. Waterproof, with waterproof flares. Does a lot of damage at short range. Perfectly legal everywhere on the water. Might save you life, by attracting attention if in distress, or marking your position if a large boat is heading your way and you don't think they have seen you.  Red for distress, White for location or illumination.
Mineralguy #4

Re:Confrontations with motor boats on TN lakes

Date Posted:10/03/2017 06:21:37Copy HTML

 It is interesting about the Sporti Euro Suits. That is the primary suit i wear for swimming. I by five every March and use them throughout the year.
I am usually at the pool five or times a week. Working on Freestyle, Butterfly, back an breast.  They hold up really well. I put them through a beating
nospam_TN1 #5

Re:Confrontations with motor boats on TN lakes

Date Posted:10/05/2017 01:23:47Copy HTML

 JM:  thanks for the info, particularly the flare gun thing.  While the first two I mentioned were not hostile, the 3rd was, at least verbally.  I could tell from the tone.  Thankfully, I've not had any close encounters with those who choose to use their motors and close proximity as a means to display their hostility.  But trust me, there is still plenty of hostility out there, although they are in a minority.  The other thing that I'm fully aware of is that the expectation of personal space is much larger here than in more urban areas, such as south Florida.  On the lakes here at this time of year, you can go out on a weekday afternoon and find places where you cannot see another human being -- not always, but when I paddle for 3 miles up and back as I often do, it's very common to be in that situation.  The fishermen, while they may not care for my choice of swimwear, generally follow these rules of etiquette, not scaring each other's fish or encroaching on another person's secret fishing hole while they are using it.  The fishermen's expectation of personal space seems to be at least 100 meters. 

The other point is that thongs are illegal here and the only way I can safely wear one of mine is to stop in some unoccupied cove if I have the patience and time, which I usually don't since I'd rather be paddling than just laying.  I've have pulled off some open water paddling in thongs in both Ormond beach and also on the west coast of Florida near Tarpon Springs, but never here, or never for very far anyway.  What I'm wearing most of the time here is the 1" side speedo briefs.

As for the self defense issue, I certainly wouldn't ever be in a situation in which any marskmanship would be required.  I'm just considering the potential that I find myself out in the middle of a large and otherwise unoccupied river somewhere with a motor boater aggressively circling and menacing me.  Hasn't happened yet, but when one considers the total number of motor boats in the world and the total number of ass holes, it's statistically inevitable.  Here, I have no delusions about where I stand, so I generally don't approach anyone and just keep my head down.  Due to this large expectation of personal space, it's fairly easy to tell whether an approaching boat is likely to be a problem -- just look at its trajectory.  If it's headed right towards me at a high speed, I will at least sit down and paddle with the kayak paddle.  That puts me in a more stable position. 
JM_Runs #6

Re:Confrontations with motor boats on TN lakes

Date Posted:10/05/2017 01:00:34Copy HTML

Go-Ppro camera. A Go-Pro captures both video and sound.
Many cyclists who have been harassed by car drivers for years, are now managing to get the car driver prosecuted because they caught it on video.  

To your advantage, boats have clear registration numbers. If you have a go-pro on a little stick mounted at one end of your board it would record your trip and capture any near by boats. 

Having a camera visible also makes people less likely to act out because they know, or think they might be, on video. 

The sort of fake church people who want to shame others, are the same who would hate to be shamed on the intertubes. 

You might catch some jumping fish, necking lovers, or spectacular sunsets. Everything looks more dramatic shot 12" off the water. 
nospam_TN1 #7

Re:Confrontations with motor boats on TN lakes

Date Posted:10/07/2017 01:42:24Copy HTML

 I actually have two different camera devices to mount on the board, but both are malfunctioning in some way right now.  One's the basic gopro Hero, but the clip is broken.  The other is a waterproof fuji cam.  Problem with it is that the device that it's supposed to mount on has the thread stripped (cheaply made junk from China).  That said, I did paddle around for several hours both today and yesterday with it just kind of precariously sitting on the front of the board, and didn't have anyone harrass me.  I did notice a couple of boats slow just a bit as they passed for some unknown reason, but that did not approach.  Not sure if I'm just having better luck or the visible camera is deterring bad behavior, even though it's not even on most of the time.  I've got the replacement parts on order, and I may consider a second GoPro, as it would be nice to be able to mount two of them back to back on the front of the board.

Most boats out there now are just fishermen, an occasional jet-ski, or just people out sight seeing.  The jet skiers are almost never a problem unless they're in a pack.  Reason being that they only hold one or two people and you NEVER see two guys on one, courtesy of the no nuts to butts rule that carries over from motorcycling.  The lake is way less crowded this time of year, which is good, but the downside is that anyone wearing an actual swimsuit now is very much an anomaly, even though it's 75? or 80?F and the water is almost as warm.  This time of year, I paddle more during the middle of the day or early afternoon than late because there just isn't very much sun anymore.
JM_Runs #8

Re:Confrontations with motor boats on TN lakes

Date Posted:10/07/2017 03:18:52Copy HTML

Regarding boats that "slow just a bit as they passed".  This is so as not to throw a wake. They are being polite and respectful.

It is not "for some unknown reason" at all.  This is normal boating protocol.
nospam_TN1 #9

Re:Confrontations with motor boats on TN lakes

Date Posted:10/09/2017 02:12:36Copy HTML

 JM:  not to imply they were doing anything wrong, but I don't think that was the case.  I think they were just curious and looking. 

Reason being that to make a smaller wake, motor boats have to slow to something like a human walking pace of 4 mph.  The largest wakes actually occur at speeds just before they plane out.  Good example of that is the very tiny motorboats often used by rowing coaches.  They simply cannot keep up with their rowers without making a wake.  They're typically doing about 8 mph, which is a very awkward speed for a boat because it's pointing up about 45? from horizontal.  If they travel at a no-wake pace of ~4 mph, they'd be left behind by the rowers.  Good thing for the rowers is that they never experience their coach's wake because the coach is behind them and they are facing the coach.  If they plane out, they will pass their rowers.


Thonglover377 #10

Re:Confrontations with motor boats on TN lakes

Date Posted:01/01/2019 10:53:33Copy HTML

I had no idea other people in Tennessee loved wearing skimpy swimwear!
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