Friday, February 15, 2008

Roll with it

Yesterday at canoe club I managed to roll (often called an Eskimo roll) unaided for the first time. Essentially you tip your kayak over and then use you paddle and a deft flick of the hips to right yourself again. When I first joined the canoe club I was under the false impression that this was the first thing you learnt to do and that it was reasonably easy - that's not quite the case. It was only a few weeks ago that I first attempted to roll and this was with someone moving my paddle into position and holding it while I struggled to right myself. After a couple of weeks of similar struggling I'm finally starting to get the hang of it - you've just got to make sure that you get the paddle blade above the surface of the water before using it to lever yourself up, you've also got to keep you head under until your kayak starts righting itself. This is easier said than done when you're upside down under water. Now I just need to keep practising until I can consistently do it and then try doing it without setting myself up into position first. Then there are the other types of roll to learn!