Saturday, May 29, 2010

2010.12.181 - Over and Out

So the last time I took a rolling lesson, the instructor kept reminding us to be careful in our technique lest we dislocate our shoulders. Less than 24 hours later, I did all that and more to my left shoulder after taking a tumble on my bike.
Broke the arm in three places, broke a bone in the shoulder, assorted muscle and tendon damage, and, oh yes, dislocated the shoulder as well. Four hours of surgery.
To answer your question, it did hurt as bad as sounds.
But that was some time ago now, and I really should learn to roll one of these days.
And today was that day, as I headed down to Crystal Pool for a rolling lesson from the fine folks at Ocean River Sports.
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Louise was manning the camera as my three classmates and I hit the water. Unfortunately we'd all forgotten to bring kayaks. So instead we practiced some paddle fu.
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Well, no, I'm kidding we did bring kayaks. Our instructor began by demonstrating a couple of rolls, then we practiced some paddle strokes and grips that we would need for the roll. Then we finally entered our kayaks and practiced our hip flicks on the side of the pool.
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The roll we were being taught was the Pawlata Roll also known as the Extended Roll, and I found this to be an interesting choice. There certainly doesn't seem to be any consistency in terms of what roll a newbie roller should learn first. The first rolling DVD I watched taught the sweep roll, the aforementioned lesson I previously took taught the C and C. (And now I can quite confidently say that I can do them all equally badly. Which is to say, hardly at all.)
Being upside can makes things very confusing. Here I confirm with the instructor which way is up.
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This attempt didn't go so well...
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...but this one got me out of the water. (Although the pictured roll attempt was not one of my best efforts, it was one of the best pictures. And yes, I noticed a lot of flex in that blade when I saw the picture, and that certainly isn't what should be happening.)
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After numerous attempts, I'd say that I only landed a couple of rolls, and I know I didn't score any style points. But I did gain some experience with another type of roll, and I certainly got a sense of the technique involved. I was certainly able to tell during the course of a roll attempt when it was going well, and when it was going badly, and I was surprised how early on in an attempt that that distinction could be made. Clearly, it is a precise maneuver and that, as opposed to brute strength, is what will get you and your kayak upside right when you've both gone upside wrong. More practice is needed. Thetis Lake, anyone?

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