What is the the fastest way to get back into your kayak?? Answer ..... stay in it. Easier said than done for a lot of people but once the fundamental mechanical skills of rolling a kayak are learned it can greatly improve the experience of kayaking.
A few weeks back I contacted James Manke of All Things Qajaq about doing a one-on-one rolling session with Robyn to help her get through some of the obstacles she has been experiencing with her rolling technique using a euro paddle. Although she didn't know about the session when I started planning it with James, once I told her she was excited about working with him after following his teachings on Facebook and from what I learned from him last spring.
Yesterday afternoon we headed to Langford Lake where James started with an on shore demonstration on how to use the torso and legs together to get the kayak to roll while using minimal arm or paddle force. James also explained the proper stroke using a Greenland paddle which answered some of the issues we have been experiencing with ours. Although we brought Robyn's P&H Delphin with us to the session James let Robyn use his Greenland Tahe kayak as it is designed specifically for rolling and yes she would be using her Greenland paddle as well.
|Isn't she cute?|
Once suited up in a very special tulik Robyn started the on water portion of the session working through static bracing, butterfly roll, hand roll (no paddle) and finally a sweep roll.
Watching her from the water in my Delphin I was amazed how quickly she worked through each technique but more specifically how fluid she was able to make each look. I think she would probably agree that the skill that amazed her the most was the hand roll as she simply had to let go of the paddle and allow her body and kayak to become one to complete the roll. Talk about a leap of faith but boy did it look great and heck .... I haven't done one of those yet!
|Static brace or just hanging out relaxing on the water.|
|Letting go ..... no paddle hand roll.|
Although this session with James only scratched the surface of Greenland rolling techniques, the mechanical skills that Robyn learned was amazing. Does she want more? Hell ya!!! Sign her up James .... in fact sign us both up for more Greenland paddle rolling.
James Manke is the founder and visionary of All Things Qajaq. His passion for Greenland kayaking has spread worldwide and he travels around the world primarily teaching Greenland rolling and related skills. James is the Canadian ambassador for Northern Light Paddle Sports and sponsored by both Joe O’Paddles and Reed Chillcheater. James serves as an active member of The Hurricane Riders, an inspiring group of passionate sea kayakers on the West Coast of Canada on the pushing edge of the sport.
2013 Paddle #58 Greenland Rolling
Distance: Nada nm ( Nada km)
YTD: 328.35 nm ( 626.51 km)