Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Greenland Evolution Stage One

As I mentioned in my last post, this afternoon I headed over to James Manke's place to pick up some Joe O Paddles Greenland paddles to try out this weekend. James said to bring my drysuit which I did and it wasn't long before we got suited up and headed down to his lakefront to begin a rolling session.

One of the cool things was that I got to try my skills in Sterling Donalson's personal Ice Kap in combination with a Northern Light carbon Greenland paddle. The other cool thing was that James walked me through his proven rolling techniques with focus on using my legs (drive) more than my paddle. The great thing about this technique is that I learned it from Yves of Go Kayak so it was really natural to drive my legs throughout the rolling session today. 

My first roll was way too much paddle sweep which resulted in me almost ending back in the water (or did I James?) which proved that my leg drive is very effective. I soon found out that when using the paddle sweep in moderation with my leg drive the roll became almost effortless. Of course the Ice Kap also had a lot to do with that as it didn't have any stall points throughout the roll like my Delta has. This is not a knock on my Delta in any way as it just means that it handles different but still rolls very effectively. In fact I am glad that I learned to roll in my Delta as it made rolling the Ice Kap seem very easy.

Did I mention how cold the lake water was? Hell ya it was but I wasn't going to let James know that. :-) I just wanted to absorb as much as I could before it started getting dark. Not only did we work on my  Standard Greenland Roll but he worked me through the Butterfly Roll and Balance Bracing. James also used his GoPro to capture my performance and I am looking forward to analyzing the video clips to see how I can improve on today's efforts.

So, I now have in my possession James' Northern Light Paddlesports paddle that he used on his trip down the Grand Canyon as well as a couple of Joe O Paddles (one that Joe used to circumnavigate Vancouver Island as well as a Storm model). How cool is that!! Robyn and I are going to use them this weekend and no doubt I'll be showing her some of the new stuff I learned from James today.

Stoked??? Oh ya I am!!!

Thanks James for taking me under your paddle today!! :-)

Time to work on getting that play boat ;-)

2013 Paddle # 6 Langford Lake
Distance: Nada unless rolls can be tracked  :-)
YTD: 57.86 km


  1. Your right, to much paddle pressure and a killer leg drive and over you went for a second roll! You did very well today. Yves taught me how to roll and look what happened! Your NEXT! Keep up the stoke bro.

    1. Thanks James for the one on one. Dude,(LOL) I was totally blown away how the Ice Kap, GP, leg drive all worked together. Now I just want to roll more and more!!


  2. Greenland paddle, Mark? You're going to The Dark Side! :)

    1. Heck no John, I'm just expanding my skill set to get ready for Baynes and the Skook! :-)

  3. I am curious how the balance bracing went in your delta. I have a hard time balance bracing in mine.


    1. PO,

      I have done a balance brace in my Delta but I found that I really have to drive one knee down to keep it least 90 degrees to the water. The Ice Kap was far more responsive to the knee drive allowing me to rotate the kayak past the 90 degree angle. While in the Ice Kap, I didn't have my PFD on so I was not getting any floatation assistance. I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be able to balance brace the Delta without my PFD on.