First combat roll!!!

Did my first combat roll the past weekend!!!

I recall others had posted the same. While I understood the significance, I thought it was a bit over the top to celebrate it on a public forum. In the mean time, I never tried out my roll for real for quite a while because I wasn’t pushing my paddling. Until now!

For a long time, I paddle pretty conservatively so I just never flip. But recently I decided to try something a bit more adventurous. Trying to improve, I figure. Last weeks rain made for some rather swelled rivers all over the Northeast Instead of shying away, I hit a river I’ve done before, knowing full well it’ll be a different river. A big group of us went togather. At least some of them had paddled the river at that level. So we knew the run is still safe, but more challenging to boot.

The river was running a lot faster, and rocks were submerged, eddy disappeared and new surf spots materialize. All the side streams were dumpping a lot of water into the main channel. And in one of those merges, I went over before I knew what hit me!

Fortunate, my paddle ended up on the “right” side. So, reflectively, I raised my hands, and curved my body into a setup position. Funny it felt like a looong time before my arms reached the surface. (I now understand why people have the tendecy to rush their roll in real situation. Things do happen in slow motion!) I wasn’t sure I would succeed. But I gave it the best I could. It wasn’t the best executed roll of mine. I knew because the boat only roll upright very relutantly, and rather late in the process.

The rest of the day was just a big blur. Our group were having a field day, assuming that was what everyone was shooting for. People were surfing stuff that was never there. Flipping in places that was never a problem. A lot of us were rolling left and right! And a few swimming too. I flipped a few more times, the subsequent rolls came more naturally and with more confidence. And more positive too.

I felt very strongly I should get my off-side roll into high priority. The one time I flipped to the “wrong” side, it took a few seconds to move the paddle to the “right” side for setup. It felt like an eternity! I nearly gave up because I was so low in air. I had to really focus to make sure that one roll was the one that would get me upright!

What a rush it was! BTW, anyone else took advantage of the high water of last week?

congrats, keep on "rollin"
as practising the right way makes perfect…

Feels Good Doesn’t it ?!!
I still remember mine from years back.

Where were you paddling?


Hell Yeah!
You da man!

Tuck&Roll, Tuck&Roll,
Tuck&Roll… AKA a combat roll in a hole. :slight_smile:

A even bad roll beats a good swim anytime. :smiley:


Hoo ya
nuthin’ like it…

New Boston Farmington last weekend

The “easy” section.

I guess, I too have a combat roll.

Five brook section (minus The Gap)

Thought You Were West Coast
didn’t realize you’re practically in our back yard.


west coast.

No longer.

Double HooYah!
You don’t really have a roll 'til you have a combat roll.

It’s 93% mental.

Rock and Roll!

no I wanted to celebrate for sure
when I got my first combat roll.

Whooo hooooooo!!!

in a canoe
Feels especially good in a canoe, right Tommy! Whatever the craft, it’s like vodoo when somebody tips, but comes up paddling. Love it.


Definitely congrats.
Not so much for the first one, which is great. But for the subsequent ones. That tells you that you can roll even if you are tired or have done a dozen rolls already. That is the real confidence booster. Sounds like you are on your way.

Quite right!
It is (mostly mental) indeed. Years after I attained my flat water roll, I still had this nagging doubt whether I can keep my cool when I do NEED the roll.

As it turns out, the first combat roll was indeed special! Doing it in front of a big group of audience makes it even more impressive. It erases all the doubt on my rolling ability. I may or may not always able to roll up, but now I know I have a fighting chance.

To be honest, rolls in moving water wasn’t much different that pratice rolls in the pool. Granted, I wasn’t in really boiling water by the time I executed my roll. But the water was still moving pretty fast, and not the least bit “flat”. Still, the machanics work exactly the same. So, for those of you who hadn’t been “baptized by water” just yet. Trust yourself. And keep praticing them rolls. YOU CAN DO IT!

Mine, it feel SO good!

Audience can be a great motivator
The first time I wiped out in whitewater and missed my roll, I thought “wet exit”, but then I IMMEDIATELY thought: “I can’t wet exit in front of all these people!” So I determined I would do it right the second time…and did.

I remember my first time, too…NM

almost out of air,
and true enough it does feel like that, but in time as you continue to combat roll, you will feel like you actually have a lot of air and time left. as the urgency is replaced with automatic competency, you will feel as though you have gained time and holding your breath longer will become easier.

congrats and keep on keepin on!

Cool under fire (water, actually)
Thanks everyone for the support! It’s great to have a virtual community to pass the time sitting in a dry office between paddles!

I kept worry about running out of air when the time comes that I NEED my roll. I was surprise that I felt quite calm under water. Actually it felt just like in a roll pratice in a pool. Sure, the water moved the boat a bit and I could feel it. But once tuck up close to the surface, it felt very similar to a pratice!

I guess all those hours of pratice in the pool prepared me better than I dare to hope for!