Friday, August 23, 2013

learning to roll

If there is one skill that can improve your kayaking and boost your confidence, it is the Eskimo roll.
Once you have mastered the roll your fear of capsize disappears and you can venture out in rougher water without worrying about rescues. In fact the better you get at rolling the less you have to do them because your balance and bracing improves as well. Then you find yourself rolling just for the fun of it because you can.
It does take a while to get to the point of rolling instinctively and you have to practice a lot. In fact you should roll every time you get on the water. At first you will find that your roll comes and goes, one day you may think you have it only to find the next time its gone away.
Also you should try to roll on both sides as well, this is harder than it sounds but pays off in spades in rough water and when you are surfing. 
Most of all don't give up, with persistence it gets easier and then one day you will find that you are rolling without thinking.
This summer at Optimist  we spent a lot of time on our Thursday afternoon sessions teaching rolling and here is a short video showing how its done.

Friday, August 2, 2013

easier to make, harder to use, making and using the Greenland paddle........again

In the beginning you start off with a 10x5cm piece of wood, here we have 2 pieces of Cedar and one of Paulownia which has already been planed and cut out to the rough shape

Then you begin by getting rid of all the wood that is not part of your paddle, this can take a good few hours. Its actually a lot of fun when there are a few of you working together
Finally you end up with a beautiful hand carved Greenland style paddle

next you bring it to the kayak club and have your photo taken

And fiinally you get to put it in the water. This is the hardest part because if you are not used to the new GP  the first few strokes can be a bit of a challenge. Some never make it past this step, others on the contrary are more determined and stick it out getting through the first awkard moments and then get better minute by minute

A little encouragement does help, find someone who loves his or her GP and let them mentor you for a while

It started out with one paddle a few years ago and look at us now, every day there are more paddlers discovering the pleasure and benefits of the GP.