lazy rolling

-- Last Updated: Mar-02-07 10:01 AM EST --

Have been hitting the pool sessions (thanks longshadow for the info regarding the Gaylord Sportsplex sessions) and noticing as I refine my rolls I really have to work at technique. In calm pool water, the boat I use just wants to pop right over regardless of technique and I'm forgetting the hip snap. I usually mix in some braces, I've gotten an offside and a reentry and roll down, and a marginally successful angel roll, but I can't help thinking I should be spending the entire 1.5 hours on technique, technique, technique. How do you spend your pool time?

Awaiting open water...

hand rolls :slight_smile:
I know what you mean. I spend hours at a time in the pool and to an extent you’re right that you can get a bit lazy. But I think some of that is just being within your comfort zone too. One thing though, rolling should be easy. As you’re technique improves you come to a point where you don’t feel like you’re doing much of anything and the boat still comes up. Once the technique is “built in” it starts to feel that way. But that does not necessarily mean your technique is bad, often it’s just really, really improved. I’d also say you can’t underestimate the comfort your building in and under the water. That will help you when it’s time to roll for real.

For my part when that happens I go for a new tougher roll. Hand rolls, forward finish rolls, egg roll. Anything to just force more refinement. When ever you’re feeling like it’s all to easy, just go for a straight jacket roll. :slight_smile:

All that being said, I can’t wait to get out and play in the rough stuff again either!!

Pool time
a little practice and eating bagels and having a few laughs and nice conversations with other paddlers. Sometimes helping others.

yes, that too
Getting to meet some area paddlers, it’s a nice way to spend a saturday morning. Also got to watch a young kid (10 or so?) leanr a roll. What a great thing.

I’d like to help out but I want to get my abilities to the point where I can first.

locks of practicing…
I do about 100-200 rolls each pool session and dozens of cartwheels, stalls, and loops as well. Heck if I’m working on repeating storm rolls, I can usually get around 15 or 16 rolls in about 20-25 seconds so the rolls add up quickly. I push myself hard for a couple hours only to follow it up with another hard pool session a few hours later. That’s 4 hours of non-stop rolling, tricks, and skill work. When I start getting tired (which does happen by the way), I focus in even more on my technique and roll even more. I am looking for absolute perfect form when I’m exhausted since that’s the time when I’ll need my rolls the most.

Of course in a moments notice, I’m always happy to hop out of my boat and take a break to teach others to roll which is something I make a point to do each pool session if I see someone really struggling. It’s not the same as real water of course but I really do value my pool practice time.

I get tired and just watch
Maybe you could ask two people to jostle the ends of your boat to add some difficulty? Or maybe you could strap a weight to your paddleshaft?


– Last Updated: Mar-02-07 11:31 AM EST –

70% of the time working on new rolls, right now back finishing norsaq roll, storm roll, and reverse sweep roll. 10% on recently learned rolls, butterfly and shotgun. Lots of practice pulling the storm paddle and Eskimo rolling back up while learning the norsaq :-).

The Eskimo roll to recover from a failed norsaq roll is where I can get lazy. I'll get anxious and take a short sweep and pop up, sloppy like, rather than a longer relaxed sweep.

I agree with the person who said that comfort under water is a big gain from all the roll practice. Last session after missing about the 20th try at a norsaq roll, I'd be hanging upside down, limp, like a defeated athlete, and then think, "oh yeah, I'd better roll up so I can breath." (I appreciated the comments in a thread running parallel right now that recommended palm down for starters. I gotta try that. I been going palm up per Dubside vid.)

I'll spend 20% of my time helping others roll.

Paul S.

I enjoy the comradary
of being with other paddlers and developing skills in very relaxed atmosphere. When I’m rolling I’m always trying to refine my technique to take me to the next difficult roll. I get the most pleasure out of helping others.

jostle the ends of your boat
Getting someone to capsize you, toss your boat around, hang on an end when your trying to roll, having someone in a boat come along side as an obstacle… There are many ways to add a bit more challenge to one’s roll in the pool.

I find changing boats and paddles is both fun and useful.

Helping others is satisfying. Even not being a coach or an expert, you can spot for someone, observing and letting them know what seemed to go wrong, be ready to lend a bow, etc… There are things that any of us who roll can do for others.

pool fun
Here’s another thing to try~ have upside down races in your kayak…

Line up your buddies at one end of the pool - that’s the start. Stow paddles and flip over and lie flat on your back deck and start using your arms to propel yourself in the water backwards (and upside down). See who can go the farthest and STILL roll back up, either w/o a paddle or with the stowed paddle.

Anything you can do upside down in the water increases your comfort level. Adding in the rolling at the end is like rolling tired and out of breath like when you have been held down in the surf.


Go for one thing I can’t do

– Last Updated: Mar-02-07 2:50 PM EST –

at least yet. I always try and get out of the pool with real progress towards at least one thing I couldn't do the last time I was in the water. That may not always be a big thing - after being out of the water over the holiday season there were two sessions just getting the roll on my left to feel more relaxed like on my right, and the hip snap as intuitive. That, or exercises towards that, will be half the time.

The rest will be either reinforcement or refinement of something that is easily accessible, or if I have a surprisingly good early part of the session in the hard thing I'll add on to it in the latter half (like add the shotgum roll on the left), and add in something else that is new. Like as the left side was starting to feel more right I got serious about the hand roll on the right.

The time between is doing something I am already good on, both to reinforce and to see if there is anything that I can refine a bit.

I usually stop being serious about the last half hour, when I am probably more tired anyway, and just screw around with just-for-fun stuff. Maybe still new things, but no big deal if i don't make it. Just to find out how far off I am.

New Stuff

– Last Updated: Mar-03-07 5:18 AM EST –

Always trying new stuff. This year the new things are:

reenter and roll

rolling up using the spare paddle bungied to the front deck

angel roll (thanks Recluse)

greenland paddle rolling and bracing (thanks Recluse)

The new thing I'm really fired up about is a forward finishing roll. At the very end of the last pool session I tried sort of a layback-then-sweep-forward thing. It was so cool. No hip snap required. No keep-yer-head-down required. Just scull up bolt upright. Can't wait to try it again.

progress in the pool
hey i know what you’re saying and i totally respect that you’re trying to become better at rolling, but you should really listen to Celia. Pool time should be fun. For me, I usually try to work on something i know that i would have difficulty doing in a real paddling situation. Then after i get tired i just start messing around with my friends (maybe fill a boat with water, but leave some air in, it makes hand rolls really easy).

Now for dealing with technique and your hip snap, i used to have a similar problem with my hip snap and what really helped me was learning the body brace. Not only learing the body brace but getting back up from it without going over. This will improve your hip snap and help your overall technique by making you keep your head down because you can’t get up if your head is up.

Hope i helped

Can you explain the body brace?
Or a video? Google didn’t help me.

Paul S.

Google “Balance Brace”

Less is more
I’ve also heard people call it a static brace, but as Sing said Balance Brace should get you all the right sources.

Once you see the info on it and try it the first time, you’ll realize that the pictures make it look a whole lot easier than it feels at first. That’s because the usual response is to move all over the place trying to stay on top of the water like you see in the photos, which tends to cause the paddler to lose the very critical arch in the back and/or the tilt of the boat away from you so it is holding both itself and you up.

The way to get this is to stay still - Sing has described this wonderfully - and wait for the correct position to get you into place kinda by itself. If anyone you know has one of those big red foam floats from Northwater, they are great aids to starting this. Slip your hand in the pocket, which protects you from gripping anything and adding extra tension that way, and just keep sliding off the back deck and into the water until you feel like you don’t need it. I think that these floats tend to work even better than a GP because they just don’t let you go for a tense grip of anything, but still provide tremendous support.

If you are stiff in the lower back I’d suggest that you do some major stretches before you try this. You may hate yourself the next day otherwise.

Sculling up
Kudzu wroe: “[…]No hip snap required. No keep-yer-head-down required. Just scull up bolt upright. Can’t wait to try it again.”

In my limited experience I don’t know why more rolls don’t end in a scull. Seems to me that would help assure success in rough conditions despite being maybe a half-second slower.

Static/Balance Brace
The balance brace is very good for lower body boat control. Ultimately this helps with other braces and rolling.

IMHO,like rolling, it is one of the skills that is best learned in a very supportive boat (e.g. Romany, rolling boat or low volume old school ww) and Greenland paddle and then practiced in a range of boats and paddles - eventually no paddle.

(BCU aspirants might wish to know that the L5 coach whom I asked about the balance brace said he considered it a party trick.)

Glad I asked.
I’m familiar with “static brace” and “balance brace.” Glad I asked though, as lots of good suggestions on how to progress toward one. So far I sink when trying it. But sinking slower lately, I think ;-).

Paul S.

To try
If you are sinking more slowly you probably are passing thru a moment when you are close enough to get it with the right response. You may already be doing this, but in case not - at the point that you feel yourself seeming to keep going past the balance point try one or both of these.

Try to look back at the ceiling of the space (assuming you are inside at the moment) straight above and a few ceiling tiles behind where you are in the water. If outside, try to look straight over behind you. This will get the top rear of your head into the water deeper and usually helps reinforce the back arch.

Also, pull the lower edge of the boat closer to yourself/push the upper edge of the boat back and further away from you. That’ll usually stop contraction in the lower abs.