static brace seem to be an important skill to learn well for rolling in conditions. after having studyed warren williamson s article"rolling my kayak" and the film warren at deception pass…ive decidet thats the way to go…i also foud a great article by mr jay babina.on the subject…iv found a teacher now. anders thygesen well known qajaq builder and kayakker. dane.so…this surely is an interesting subject…
IMO, static brace is a good skill for developing your boat control while learning rolls, and learning to refine your body position, etc. But I don’t think it’s of any use in rough conditions. When I roll in rough conditions, I just want a roll that gets me back upright. No screwing around with a butterfly roll or something cute like that.
I think it’s very impressive to see warren williamson or Dubside do this stuff in a tide-race, as it takes a great deal of skill and control. But I don’t think there’s a practical purpose to it. What they’re doing is kayak tricks.
That’s my take - but then, I can only do a static brace some of the time, so maybe I’m just bitter.
I think it’s useful
My regret is that my body memory for rolling is to go from down to up - so once I am down there I keep forgetting that I could come up to a static brace and finish things with the last half of a butterfly roll. That solution could be very helpful in my lost-the-roll moments, something I've been in and out of for the last year. It'd save someone having to get me a bow.
While I haven't tried it in really rough stuff, I am not surprised to see those other guys doing it in tidal races. Once you are really comfortable with it a static brace is as much about relaxing as holding anything together, so I don't see why it wouldn't work. If you are tired it could be a real lifesaver to get to the surface, suck in some air, and pull the rest of the upright together.
For me I’d say that sculling up seems a more logical back-up plan.
Coming up in a tide race with my head on the back deck, and my paddle in one hand, sounds a bit compromising. If you scull up, at least you’re ready to paddle, or brace, or whatever. Two hands on the paddle! Don’t want that thing getting sucked away!
That too, but more options always good
I agree with the conventional wisdom that getting up fast and secure is always a good idea, having various ways to do is good too.
I do have problems with calling a maneuver that works fine for some people a “party trick”. If I heard people who were good at executing and using a static brace also dismiss it… but I don’t. Many people who are much better paddlers than me are finding good use for it and I won’t diss it.
Simply another skill/tool
I find a static brace to be useful for building boat control, muscle memory, stretching, and relaxation.
I found Helen Wilson’s (no relation) article in the current Sea Kayaker very interesting as far the using the static brace in teaching rolling…
thanks folks for nice input…well im planning to get in touch with helen and others…i can to a certain degree agree that dubside was more a pure rolling artist, than heavywater champ…i also saw what happend to dear sexy hexy in that tidal race…HOWEVER Warren is very different…i think. im not talking about the surf videoes. im thinking about for example “warren in deception pass” were he masterfully rolls and manouvers in rough conditions. im my view this is exactly what you need in order to safely go out into conditions…the ability to change sides and lay and wait for the right moment to roll up is the key to rolling in seas whipped up by galeforce wind.
i strongly recommend his article and a study of that particular video to everyone…
most of my friends here that love heavywave kayaking are former whitewater guys that svear to the kent ford.
very safe for the shoulders…i think its most likely that one capsices backwards either while turning the kayak in steep waves or in following seas…might be hard to get into that setup position .
there might be more than one road to rome…
Helen Wilson’s article
just re-read that this morning having lent the issue to a friend. A great read and practical for those with greenland style boats and those without.
I did get my static brace going this season & did it just w. my traditiona paddle, no paddle float, etc. I had wonderful instructors at two symposia giving me great pointers and guidance.
However for solo practice/reassurance (LOL) I occasionally use an avataq borrowed from an avid traditional paddler.
REally, anything that enhances one’s mobility & flexibility in the boat is a good thing.
thats what i thnk too. the avataq gives me a great workout to loosen up. and focus on the core muscles and not force a half nice roll. i used to own a Q512 right now i use a zephyr155 for rolling. a supernice little kayak. great for rollig despite its 57cm on top of the flared sides. backdeck to sleep on…oh no,lost in space again…
Helen Wilson’s video
is awesome…i recommend it.
Helped me fine-tune my roll as well as enabled me to get "the other side" roll. Also just makes a nice stretch before paddling.
Psychologically, it makes a transition beyond reliance on the paddle. Came in handy one time when the paddle slipped out of my hands coming up from a layback roll. I just released my grip entirely and treated it as the finish of a butterfly roll but without paddle. Worked great.
As for actual defensive rolling, I found that just doing a stronger hipsnap meant I came up as in The Kayak Roll's version of the sweep roll. Body and kayak both upright by the time the paddle reached 90 degrees out, and ready to brace or take another stroke immediately. Practicing static brace won't "hurt" this ability at all.
Maybe just work on it more
When I learned it, I had difficulty getting into the static brace while wearing a PFD unless with a very low rear deck (Romany LV). After a few more times of practice, I could get it with other boats, too.
I had learned to slide down via the rear deck and only recently followed advice from babina and stamer to get into it by dropping directly down. This seemed intimidating yet it was actually easy the first time, probably partly because I knew the finish position from having learned the slide-down way. And yes, I’m doing it without the PFD because that way is more demanding of head and torso position.
Now it feels so relaxing I can actually imagine that some might rest for 15 minutes like that. Not in rough water, but someplace calm to take an on-water break and close the eyes. It feels effortless.
Like most things, you probably will improve if you practice it more. You can use your Euro paddle, and if you flop over accidentally, the paddle is there in the extended position.
i like to come up forward no matter if i start form rear or front, for the reasons you describe…you come up in strong brace position…i also practice the backdeck rodeo roll with a fully inflated avataq, its hard wotk to get it under the kayak but it might be a nice workout.fun anyway.