Friday, January 14, 2011

Rolling 101

Careful what you believe

The last issue of KNL's newsletter "Ebb & Flow" has an advertisement for Mountain Equipment Co-op. Its a sticker mock-up that should be affixed to foredeck. If you enlarge it you will see its advice is to place nose on the X, sweep and hip flick. That's advice I've read and been told before but I don't pay any attention to it anymore.

In an eureka moment last fall, upside down, I reached up and out to the side a bit towards the bow, sweep and effortlessly I was up. By reaching out to the side more the roll starts with the body closer to the surface at the start of the roll.

Sometimes its satisfying to learn these things by yourself and then to be vindicated by someone like Ken Whiting. Check out his rolling video on YouTube.


  1. Important for whitewater though...keep your head off the rocks

  2. Unless you have a face that rings a bell and then it doesn't matter *lol*

    Tony :-)

  3. I learned something about my roll on Saturday at the pool session.

    We took the two boats along with myself, Cheryl, my daugher, my son and one of his friends. My 11yr old daugher was keen on farting about in the boats while my son stayed down in the shallow end for a swim. I had her wrap herself around the nose of my boat and we started doing rolls. She held on tight and I watched her hold on tight as we went through the roll. It was pretty neat. Then I did some sculling braces - making sure to keep her head JUST barely above the water. She loved it. She's about 5'4' and about 100 lbs. Then my son (13) wanted to give it a go. He grabbed on and we did a few rolls as well. He's about 5'8" and I'd say about 130 lbs. A little harder to execute but certainly not difficult.

    The first moral of the story is that the extended Greenland roll is a very powerful and easily controlled maneuver. I had to go slow as to not swing them off yet I had to maintain the power to roll them back to the surface. Likewise, my sculling brace was slow and controlled. I could very accurately keep my duaghter's head at just the right level.

    And the second moral is to never laugh at those skinny sticks again!! There's a lot of power in that thin blade.