Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rolling practice

And he's up

Earlier this week Malcolm stated on our paddling newsgroup that he goofed off at pool practice and only did 30 rolls. His intention was to do 50 at each pool night.

I've wondered how many rolls is enough to practice. I've wondered how many others do in a session.

In the past I'd do a half dozen and consider that enough. Maybe not. I've recently started to use a nose clip and shoot for 20 or so. I think if I did more I'd tire, get sloppy and lose the good mechanics. I do 5 and then go practice something else before getting another 5 and so on.

Fifty seems like a lot. I don't think I'll get up to that number but everyone is different.


  1. Depends on your objective: 3 or 4 rolls in cold rough water probably worth a good deal more than 50 in flat or pool conditions, if the aim is to develop a reliable roll...too many paddlers delude themselves.

  2. I agree Will. I may be a bit delusional myself but I know I've got a ways to go yet for a true combat roll. I am working on it, its a progression.

    Tony :-)

  3. I think it is the kind of thing that is different for everyone. when I am practicing rolls I will generally do a dozen or so. mixing up both sides. I agree that a roll in a pool doesn't really simulate a roll in rough water. I don't like pools for practice, I like pools for learning. Once you get a roll in a pool I think it's time to take it outside.

    I also think it's a good time to practice when your tired, and cold. Because that's when your going too need it. You are more likely to end up needing to roll when your tired and make a mistake.

    my two cents....


  4. A wealth of wisdom in your two cents PO. I agree wholeheartedly. Not only is the pool not rough, its a lot warmer!

    I'm still practicing outside not only for the mechanics but to build an awareness of the colder conditions.

    Tony :-)

  5. the best thing I ever did for my rolling was to get on a river in a WW kayak. I had (and still have) little boat control on the river and capsized many times. I was determined not to swim and kept rolling up, often needing 2 or 3 attempts before getting up. I would beat myself out from all the rolling but kept attempting things, and kept going over and kept coming up. WW kayaking is an excellant way to improve boat control and rolling. Now if I can just get my off-side roll to the same level as my on-side!

  6. I try to keep it fun. While I think anyone can rip off 50 rolls in a pool I perfer to go out into conditions and purposly try to flip over into weird and wacky positions.Purposly fail one side and go set up on the other etc etc.

  7. I'm putting that picture of me sometime around April of this year. Since then I've been progressively laying even further back on the deck - perhaps a little more graceful looking than the picture above!!

    Folks are talking about cold water rolls and such. That is why back in January a group of us hit the water at -15 Celsius - just to see what it felt like to roll and rescue at that temp. It was a great eye opener and confidence booster to know that you could roll and rescue at substantially sub zero temps!!

    As said, the pool is great to learn but not necessarily practice. I play b-ball and the mantra is always practice like you would play - in other words practice must emulate or exceed what you expect to see in a game. The pool does not emulate or exceed what you expect in ocean conditions!! Only the cold ocean can do that!!!

    If I may, I'd like to throw out this idea!! A standard Greenland roll is very slow, deliberate and, because of the extended hand position, very powerful!! My rolling now follows the slow, methodical pace of Greenland rolling and I wonder if this rolling "Zen" makes for a more controlled recovery!! Experienced Greenland rollers spend as much time below water as they do above so a dunk is nothing other than a what happens before they rise to the surface!

    Just my thoughts!