Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The best roll

Rinsing out the salt

What is the best roll? Some would argue that its the one that gets you upright. I wouldn't argue with that. But, what one is the key to rolling in all its incarnations?

Speaking from my experience in the pool this winter, I've come to believe the sweep roll is the best roll to learn as a first roll. Once the mechanics are learned and practiced, its effortless. Once confidence in it is established it can be done almost at slow motion.

A number of years ago I watched people perform the C-C roll. For me as a beginner at the time I thought there was just too much that had to work right for success. Failure meant coming out of the boat or assisted rescue. However, with a reliable sweep roll I'm now finding I can try anything without fear of failure because an unsuccessful back deck roll, for example, can easily be followed up with a sweep roll to get upright again.

Pretty soon I'll be able to take the lessons learned in the pool into the great wide open. And, I'm looking forward to that ... its getting very crowded in the pool now that winter is closing down.

1 comment:

  1. I'm with you, Tony. The screw roll, with a lay back onto the aft deck, is the most reliable roll. This is so as the lifting action caused by the movement of the paddle planing through the water is extended to its maximum duration. When I execute the screw roll well, my paddle stays quite near the surface and there is a smooth rotation of the hips. By contrast, a C to C roll involves a strong pulling downward of the paddle at 90 degrees to the boat, plus a sharp, quick hip flick. Both work. I keep the C to C roll in my bag of tricks. I have used it when the back of the coaming doesn't allow me to do a lay back final stage of the roll. As well, if I mess up the the first part of the roll ... it happens ... I will "muscle" the kayak up with a C to C roll as a recovery from my error. I like to practice the variations, just in case I need to go to "Plan B".