Friday, February 3, 2017

Rolling Rolling Rolling

The kayak roll is one of the most essential kayak skills for whitewater kayaking, rock gardening, and surfing.  I will never forget the hours and hours that I spent learning and bombproofing my roll.  Nor will I forget the first time I successfully rolled my kayak in the surf.

For paddlers interested in paddling whitewater, rock gardens, and surfing; we recommend learning to roll as early as possible in your paddling career and working with a good coach.  We caution against learning layback or Greenland rolls initially.  We have encountered too many paddlers who have learned the standard layback roll and have it so ingrained into their muscle memory that they find it difficult to adopt other rolling techniques that are safer and more effective in dynamic water.  Continually we see them going back to the layback roll that they first learned and failing, failing, failing in situations where the roll counts.

Teaching the roll from the beginning is definitely not one of my fortes.  I enjoy coaching tune-ups and have a keen eye for technique and small nuances that can make one's roll more efficient.  I am always on the watch for more tools for my rolling toolbox.  Recently, I came across a 3 part instructional series on the kayak roll posted by Glenmore Lodge.  Dave Rossetter has a very good rolling progression that coaches and students alike will find helpful.  

Here is Part One.

Here is Part Two.

Here is Part Three.

I hope you find these helpful. Roll on!

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