can you do the 'roll'?

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by ruthk, Jun 6, 2007.

?

have u mastered the art of the rollover?

  1. oh yeh, got it on my first try!

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  2. no, still can't do it!

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  3. haven't tried it yet, but plan to soon

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  1. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    it's a relatively meaningless poll [as most are] but it provokes and has provoked a meaningful and interesting discussion. [ as for the poll - I've never seen a 1st time roll - except for a casual roller (took a little time to learn) who performed a 1st time hand roll]
    And pool rolling practice [in little, big, plastic, wood, yellow, or red boats) is extremely helpful as is any practice of any self rescue. The problem arises if no practice of any rescue alternative.
     
  2. tmgr

    tmgr Paddler

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    Great video Nootka, thanks for posting!
    M.
     
  3. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    did you catch the norsaq rear to front at 10:03?

    He sweeps forward on the "wrong" side, then sweeps out as normal.
    I gotta try that.
     
  4. tmgr

    tmgr Paddler

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    No, did not catch that. And having gone back and watched it twice, it is still hard to see. Have to watch again in the morning maybe ;) Thanks for pointing that out though, so much to learn...
     
  5. jPtheWaterman

    jPtheWaterman Paddler

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    Such distinctions only confuse the issue. You paddle the boat you are going to be paddling. Period. That's the boat that is important to be able to roll. Personally though, I believe that a well taught, well learned roll should be adaptable to nearly any relevant kayak design one is likely to choose. If you need to practice with each new boat you adopt, then practice till you feel aquainted. The only roll that matters is the roll you perform when *it hits the fan. Whether or not it works in a swimming pool is entirely irrelevant once you are "out there in the sh*t". And whether one seeks adventure or not, adventure will sooner or later find them. So, "Chance Favors The Prepared".

    But fortunately rolling is a learnable skill. I can't imagine kayaking without a solid roll. Barring any physical limitations such as range of motion, I can't understand why more sea kayakers don't endeavor to solidify their rolls. I admit I am coming from a strong whitewater background, and I learned to roll a kayak at age 14, but let me be honest in saying that without the confidence of knowing I can rely on a roll, I doubt I would be so at ease out in more open waters. That is a lot of exposure that makes me feel so small and vulnerable in a way that most rapids on a river can't. The peace of mind alone is worth the time dedication and effort, even if it requires extra effort (some people learn quicker etc.) But as I was taught, I've come to understand how learning to roll is so symbiotic to learning to paddle, and vice versa. That is to say that rolling will astronomicly elevate your whole kayaking "body language"- both the boating and paddling components, if you will.

    Having paddled a lifetime of class III, IV and V whitewater, of course I have needed to roll frequently. And sometimes I swam. Either because I was really theatened and forced to, or because I just freaked out prematurely. All good experience upon which to build more.

    There shouldn't really be much of a reason for me to get capsized out in the San Juans unless its some really adverse winds...still, it could happen...more likely though it would happen when I was digging for some elusive item in the day hatch or some similar moment of inattentiveness...

    Out on the Washington Coast though, is where I have had my "combat rolls" in a sea kayak. More adventurous paddling, rock gardening, surfing, arches and "room of doom" stuff- just enough to be really humbled by it and back way off (the next visit the swells were smaller, but my boldness was lessened too). Still- glad I had that roll when I needed it.

    Got back surfed out of an arch and turned sideways (17' Tempest) barrelrolled on my offside and was surprised how smooth it went...also backendered trying to paddle out over a large double break- pitchpoled backwards but the Tempest rode it out like a champ! Smoothed it out.

    I held back more on the second trip, but still got rolled surfing a bunch. Once entirely an accidental surf between two rocks....

    Maybe Im rambling but I guess my point is that the roll is an intrinsic part of kayaking for most of us. The closed deck nature of this simple, elegant boat inherently lends itself to The Eskimo Roll and is therefore Defined By It. And yes, the beauty of kayaking is how each and every one of us can custom tailor this activity to suit ourselves, our goals, etc. But without a roll, one's paddling goals are severly, woefully, limited. The buffer of safety and independence a roll offers is truly liberating. I feel that having a reliable roll can only bolster the margin between a kayaker and many situations. Its a no brainer.

    Of course, in the Marine environment, open water contexts, etc. just the roll isnt enough. That's where the other self rescue techniques come into play. But for me the roll comes first. It only improves one's kayaking ability, while it also opens endless doorways to gently introduce oneself to more challenges one step at a time. Paddlers with rolls naturally feel more comfortable in the surf, and paddlers who surf end up comfortable with rolling...
     
  6. jPtheWaterman

    jPtheWaterman Paddler

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    Sorry for that long post
    Its a silly poll that perhaps shouldnt be taken seriously, or at least w/ a grain of "saltwater".
    I guess I couldn't vote in it, since yes I do have a roll but no I didnt get it on the first try. Took me two weeks of diligent practice under the guidence of patient, knowledgeable instruction.
     
  7. pikabike

    pikabike Paddler

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    JP, no need for you to apologize. I agree with your comments from both posts. When I read the poll choices I did not bother to participate, because there is no option for the very common would-be answer of Yes I Can Roll But Did Not Get It On First Session. I did one on my second session, but it took many more hours, years in my case, for it to become a combat roll. Before that happened, I had to unlearn some poor technique and get the roll on my nondominant side as well. Learned and practiced in lakes, then added pool sessions, then rough water and/or strong current later.
     
  8. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Valid reasons:
    -I'm too old to learn
    -it wasn't commonly taught when I started years ago
    -I only kayak flat water
    -I have no immersion wear
    -I panic when upside down
    -I'm a klutz
    -I'm absolutely never ever going to need to brace

    Invalid reasons:
    -I'll never flip
    -rolling is just for fanatics
    -it's too hard
    -I only paddle in groups

    http://www.tofinotime.com/articles/A-T905-18frm.htm
    http://www.useakayak.org/reflections/re ... _5_02.html

    [shortyoutube]http://youtu.be/-5JLNEO-llA[/shortyoutube]
     
  9. scott_f

    scott_f Paddler

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    I don't think the "oh yeh, got it on my first try!" option is meant to be taken literally.
     
  10. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    There are all kinds of valid reasons for not having a roll. The most obvious would be comfort in the manner that one paddles. And one just needs to paddle kayaks with an WW open-canoeist's spectacular bracing and anticipatory skills to see that rolling ability is not a necessary precondition for relevant paddle or balance response. And other experienced or expeditionary kayaker non-rollers sure have incredible bracing and awareness skills that obviate rolling also.
    Physical health and physical condition or injury of course could be other reasons too.

    To me, this discussion points to consideration of paddling in a 'reasonably' safe manner.

    but I think exquisite paddling experiences DO NOT EVEN REQUIRE SKILL. It just requires getting out there. Aquiring skill just opens more opportunities, but is not a requisite.
     
  11. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    mine do
     
  12. Outsider

    Outsider Paddler

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    ...and still no one has answered my original question from last year.

    'Who among you, on a serious trip, has ever been saved by a roll?'

    Tell us about it and how it went down.


    Outsider
     
  13. pawsplus

    pawsplus Paddler

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    Not me, but I can easily imagine it. I haven't yet posted my trip reports from my 10 days in BC, but will soon. On my day in English Bay, on some pretty big swells paddling into in a 27 knot wind, I knew for sure that I'd damn well better not capsize, because while I can easily do a wet exit, hanging onto boat and paddle, and getting the boat righted and myself back in under those circumstances was gonna be HARD. So much better to just know I could roll up without risking losing boat or paddle, without risking trying to right the boat in swells well over my head. I wished I had a roll then, I can tell you! Did not capsize, thank goodness, but it made me think!
     
  14. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    Might be time for eyeglasses.

    viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1125&p=78560&#p78560
     
  15. scott_f

    scott_f Paddler

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    I think the whole point of rolling is that a capsize never progresses to a dangerous situation where one needs to be saved. Hence, there is usually no story to tell. It's as simple as 'I capsized, I rolled' - the whole event is over in less than 5 seconds. Who knows what might have been.

    I'm not sure what you mean by a serious trip. Water dangers need to be considered whether on a day trip or expedition. I imagine people actually tackle bigger conditions on day paddles.
     
  16. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    I was in a similar situation in the North Thompson some long time ago. Very annoying cause I thought for sure I was 100% at the time.

    **
    but for outsiders question:
    It's a meaningless question, outsider. On serious outings one could and does have many roll situations. In WW for example [is that serious??] the whole idea is to play on the edge - and if one's edge is pretty wavery, one is over all the time. Who remembers any of that, and what meaning does it have?
    So for a lousy paddler like me, they're so blurred that any one is inconsequential: screw up, roll and get on with doing what yr doing.

    A roll is just a form of brace - like tell me your about your last deep brace, meaningless right? [But if you can remember your deep braces, and if you are expeditionary - something maybe should change.]

    **

    But I actually do remember a funny one a few years ago: I was in the Fraser, deepish water, paddling fast along the shore at dusk, past bushes and trees in the water’s edge and did not notice a very long straight 1" blunt branch end pointing straight at me. It hit me at the joint betw the chest and shoulder and I was twisted sideways and right back, over instantly, in some pain, 3/4 the way upside down. [one arm stayed dry]
    Since I was moving: blade against water movement, already laidback, and up. 1/4 second or less. [by the way, brace or roll? - more effort to pull off as against the dynamic . . . I say roll]


    But what's the takeaway? More roll practice - or more judgement? Practice got me up immediately, but bigger point being I don't quite do that anymore, could have been an eye: judgment over practice. Was it a roll? it's meaningless because it really just was another type of deep brace. Remember? only because it was so odd. Pool practice? what's to lose? . . . what's to gain?
     
  17. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    ^ Exactly.

    Most good rollers have good bracing skills, so they don't need to roll.
     
  18. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Pawsplus's situation in English Bay, of 27 knots of wind with attendant seas, is a good illustrstion of a place a roll-less wonder like me should not be. Yet, I have been there twice, and dealt with the conditions using bracing and whatever guile is left in my overaged brain. But, I do not seek those conditions, and have sat on the beach a time or two for a while to avoid traversing waters of thst sort.

    There is a whole quiver of skills and judgment which go hand in hand with a bombproof roll, and the first two certainly need emphasis as well.

    This is the tenth page of this discussion, and I think I have made that point on every second page or so. Yet, now and then someone who may have read those pages dumps in conditions, sans the ability to recover, and washes ashore.

    I think a person has to have a few scary close calls before he/she is motivated to acquire the skills and judgment needed for demanding conditions.
     
  19. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    But I think she nailed it:
    . . . it's more about rolling the thoughts around than the kayak.
     
  20. Outsider

    Outsider Paddler

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    So.

    I guess the answer is no one.

    Outsider