Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Just Rollin Along

December 2, 2012 .... pool session. Missed every roll that night!! So did Robyn

February 17, 2013 .... pool session. Boy, I hope that I remember how to roll!

It's funny how time works or should I say how your mind subconsciously knows what needs to be done and tells your memory to take a hike!!  Robyn and I took to the nice, warm, clear water of  the Crystal Pool on Sunday night with a number of paddlers from SISKA. A monthly event, Sunday's clinic was based around Greenland rolling but we only signed up for the extra drop in pool spaces to work on our not so consistent rolls. Our expectations weren't high so we just thought positively in that we would at least get to perfect our wet exits. See ..... taking the mind out of the equation!

We managed to get into our kayaks from the pool deck without completing a rainbow warrior and ending up in the pool so all was good. A few sweeping brace turns and sculling to get the shoulders working right and then Robyn and I sat there looking at each other. OK .... I'll go I said. Breathe, set up, relax, roll inverted, position paddle, sweep, keep head from popping up, roll onto back of deck and bingo.... first roll of the night completed.

Robyn's turn ..... same thing even though she popped her head she managed to power her way upright. It wasn't the most fluid of her rolls for the evening but like Yves of Go Kayak told us .... "just get yourself out of the water".

With all the Greenland paddlers around us, I watched how they were positioning their hands and thought "what if I grasp my Werner blade at the end and extend my other blade further"?  Why not??  I gave it a try and found that I almost propelled myself back into to the water after reaching the upright position. Lesson learned here? Better use of the leverage created by the extended paddle. But ..... could I do the same thing with a Greenland paddle?

So I paddled over to Joanne and smugly took her Greenland from her and after getting the feel of the twig in my hands, managed to complete a couple of rolls with it. Light bulb moment!!!!
These Greenland paddles do work and it's all about technique.

Robyn patiently was watching all this time and when I turned to her she said that she wanted to try the extended paddle method. So away she went completing not one, not two, not three but four consecutive rolls and every time she came back up her smile got bigger and bigger and bigger.

We left the pool with a really great feeling. I for once nailed (100%) all of my rolls with some really good and some "saved" by pure power. Robyn started out a little slow but by the end of the session she was very consistent finishing the night off with an over 50% success rate. Not bad for someone who has only a couple formal lessons and a couple pool sessions under her paddle so to speak ;-)

Note: I posted a note on Facebook last night to see if I could wrangle up a loaner Greenland Paddle for this coming weekend. Within seconds Joe of Joe O Paddles responded along with James Manke who is one of our local rising kayak stars and I have arranged to head over to James' place tomorrow to get fitted for a loaner Joe O Paddles Greenland. Funny though .... James said to bring my dry suit as the lake he lives on is cold at this time of year. Looks like I'm getting wet tomorrow!!

2013 Paddle # 5 In The Pool
Distance: Absolutely Zero .... OK, less than a km  :-)
YTD: 57.86 km


  1. outstanding success! Really happy for you. My only concern with the extended paddle roll - as a new roller - is that it teaches you to use the paddle. You would do better to rely on your hip snap. So many of those greenland rolls are with out a paddle, which reinforces good technique. You're right, so much of 'greenland' is technique, but there is nothing saying that lean towards technique con't continue into non-greenland rolling.

    Congrats again.


    1. Thanks PO,

      I agree totally! I'm a technique type of guy anyway that loves options. I actually found when I went back to my normal Werner set up, the roll was easier as I let the paddle do the work instead of me powering through it. Looking forward to today's lake rolling session in a Dubside Ice Kap with a Greenland paddle. Brrrrrrrr!