Uploaded on Apr 18, 2011
Instructions below! ("show more")
Trying to summarise the balance points of a roll, how to practice, and where people almost always go wrong when they fail.
I don't know that this is a perfect roll, but it's a solid, controlled, low-effort roll. If you ever need to roll, it won't be when you're all neatly set up and tucked forward and you won't have momentum working for you. So that's why Vicki goes in at the end with her paddle totally out of position, then arranges it and gets to 'set up' all underwater. Cause that's likely what would actually happen.
This is a fairly 'ordinary' boat, 24" wide, which constrains the finish motion some.The harder it is to lean back, the messier the finish will be, in a sense.
If you sort of have a roll, but it's a big effort, and sometimes fails, you are almost certainly making one of two mistakes - more likely, both.
First, "Leave your head behind". Your head stays *in* the water, with only your face out, until the boat has already rotated past the midpoint of its roll motion. It's more natural-feeling to have your head forward, watching what's happening, but it's a huge waste of effort.
Put on a paddle float. Lean back. Rotate out onto the water. Lay your head back, look at the sky. Keep your arms out in front of you and learn how to position the paddle so you're suspended from it comfortably. The farther away from the boat the paddle is, the more leverage you'll have. You will tend to pull the paddle too far back toward the back deck at first - push it forward. When it's perpendicular to the boat it will stop "having a mind of its own".
Slide your body back over the deck, and sit up. Repeat, until this last bit of the roll feels more natural. If you sit up and incline your head forward, it will be impossible. Relax. Lean back. Arch your head back.
Next, with your head in the water and your face looking at the sky, roll the boat back and forth from deckside-down to deckside-up, with your hips and legs. People talk a lot about "the hip flick" like its some occult ninja move, but it doesn't need to be a 'flick' at all. Just lie there and rotate the boat gently back and forth, going a little further each time. Eventually you can let the boat settle upside down on its deck and reach the paddle forward into the 'set up' position, then sweep back around to perpendicular, find the surface with your face, tip the boat past its midpoint with your legs, swivel over the back deck, and sit up.
The other really common failure point is that people begin to try to get lift out of the paddle during the sweep (the movement of the paddle from 'set up' to 'perpendicular'). There is little leverage with the paddle at an angle to the long axis of the boat, and you can't lean back if you're already working while you're still leaning forward.
Instead, concentrate on moving the paddle to 'perpendicular' through the air. Don't even touch the water. The surface is farther up than you think, and if you let the paddle follow a sinking path through the sweep, by the time you're actually ready to use the paddle it will be nearly vertical in the water and useless for anything except spearing fish passing beneath.
You can now watch for these flaws in other rolling vids, and you will see them very frequently. A paddle nearly vertical by the end of the roll, and a body already out of contact with the water before the boat has rolled.
1: Sweep 'through the air'.
2: Place the paddle as far from the boat as possible.
3: Leave your head behind until the boat has rolled. Look at the sky.
Oh and #4, don't do a "C-to-C". It's good for whitewater - the idea is to protect your face. On the sea (this is why we call it a sea kayak) you want to do a gentle, controlled roll that will leave you with lots of reserve of energy, lift, and control so that the same conditions that knocked you in to start with won't just knock you back in again when you explode out of the water in a violent but not graceful burst, like a breaching whale.
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