> learning to roll
Learning to roll
Video clip of rolling in the MedVideo clip of rolling in Plas y Brenin pool (poor phone quality)
Basic method for rolling
- The basic method is to learn the roll backwards - starting with recovery from a well supported (head out of water) position
- Paddlers with no concept of a hip-flick will first need to practice the idea of rotating the kayak with their hips, although there is no requirement for an actual hip-flick as such
- The trick is to concentrate on improving the sweep of the paddle
- Once the student can complete a roll in the supported position, the instructor gradually lowers the starting point for a 3/4 roll and later a 7/8 roll
- The student needs to use a face mask or nose clip once the starting position is below the surface of the water
- Problems are normally easy to spot (head up too early, diving paddle, etc) and, nearly always, going back a stage or two enables easy correction
- At all stages in the learning process, the instructor ensures that the roll is completed, with more or less assistance depending on the student's ability
- Once the roll is no longer supported and the student is completely submerged, the instructor positions himself at the bow, so that the instructor can ensure that the roll 'works' by rotating the kayak, even when everything has gone wrong for the student.
|Concentrate on improving the paddle sweep||This roll worked in spite of the paddler|
|However, it cannot quite save you from a 'happy head' - this roll gave the instructor some work|
Is the roll any good?
- No doubt white-water purists would hate this style of roll but it serves the number one basic purpose of rolling - you get to breathe again
- The technique is surprisingly effective even with a diving paddle or poor rotation
How long does it take to learn?
- This method is so effective that the first unassisted roll can be seen even at the end of a 15 minute session
- After three 15 minute sessions, many learners can manage three unaided rolls in a row
- Most experienced paddlers, and many completely new to the sport, can produce a basic roll in two or three sessions
How long does it take perfect the roll?
- Obviously there is quite a long way to go from a basic roll, starting with a setup position in a supportive environment, to a reliable roll in high winds or surf but the forgiving nature of the technique is a great starting pointr
- And in due course you will want to learn the other side too
Can the technique be used in the pool?
- The technique translates well to the pool provided the water is shallow enough for the instructor to stand comfortably
- We have used the pool at Plas Y Brenin, which was slightly deep for comfort (even in the shallow end)
- After 2 hours in the pool, broken down into 15 minute sessions about 20 minutes apart, we hadt had 100% rolling by the end of the session
Can the technique be used with white-water kayaks?
- In addition to teaching this technique in the pool using a sea-kayak, we have also tried this rolling technique using Dagger kayaks and yes, it does work
- The surprising thing is just how slowly the kayak comes up - it doesn't look possible to those of us expecting to see a massive hip-flick
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