Teaching rolling -- on land!

No… serious… don’t laugh!

Ben Lawry has a method of teaching rolling with a lot of the initial work done on land. Anybody have experience with it? The couple reports I’ve heard have been positive, and watching the DVD makes me think it might actually work.



It works really well!
I’ve used dryland rolling several times in the past and usually I use it if the person is struggling with the concept of a hipsnap or the “driving knee”. Since it takes pretty much the same muscles to roll over in bed as it does to roll a kayak, it people are trying to hard and engaging the wrong muscles, dryland rolling makes it pretty evident. I’ve been to Ben’s talk and rolling session and although he teaches a C-to-C which isn’t my favorite roll, his overall progression is pretty solid.

Here’s a nice link which shows dryland rolling.


Ben’s DVD
We encountered Ben’s DVD at the Champlain Symposium, went out right afterwards to a rolling session. Tho’ I’d call it a sweep to C rather than a C to C given thst there is some paddle sweep.

What I like most about it is the simplicity of his start and setup - he cuts a bit more to the chase than some other approaches I’ve seen. Also a good focus on the driving thigh/knee, but there are others that do that well too. I found that I was able to tweak up my roll a bit after seeing it and am still using it to compact things a bit. I saw his approach being very effective with people who had started and either needed to improve their percentages or solidify the other side. I’m less sure that it is/was as effective for complete newbies.

It does work
But don’t expect miracles. You should first go out in your yard and try it yourself. Not as easy as it looks in the DVD. What it probably does best is to get people to keep their head and body down during a C2C. It works less well (maybe not at all) for a sweep roll.

Yep, gonna try it soon on myself
… and maybe my wife, who saw the DVD and was intrigued about learning to roll with less dunking ;-)))

In the DVD, I see Ben actually putting his hand under the student’s head, to make sure they press on it and keep their head down. That alone seems worth the price of admission. It’s so frustrating to try to get someone to keep their head down in the water, given the natural instinct to raise it. There are various tricks, of course, but if you could actually touch their head through the roll, it would be a lot better.

Also, being able to see and touch the lower knee as it drives (or doesn’t) seems like a big help.

So it seems like getting that initial muscle memory going in the right direction will pay off when you actually get to rolling in water. That’s my hope!


pretty good video
Do you think using a kevlar boat for practice on lawn not a good idea? Don’t have a plastic boat.