Roll Practice

September 6, 2015. Bare Hand Roll

February 21, 2015. Video - practice at RCC.  Taught Ben how to give a bow rescue.

January 25, 2015. Ben hit the pool in his new Sidekick and worked on wet exits.  I took my Jitsu and got in a little roll practice.  Video here

January 26, 2014. I gave an "intro to kayaking" class for the Cub Scouts in Pack 538 again this year.  I got a little roll practice in by letting the kids use the bottom of my boat as a diving board.

March 24, 2013. Plowing Enders at pool practice

July 4, 2012. I only made it to one pool session this Spring at RCC and was not able to hit the bare hand roll.  Which wasn't surprising considering the lack of practice I've had rolling.  And I discovered on our Easter trip to the Tellico that my roll was, for the first time in years, just not that good.  I decided that I needed to direct a little energy toward freshening it back up, so I made an effort to sneak in as much park-n-play as possible.  That seemed to do the trick and the roll is close to being back to normal.  I took the boat with me to Kibler for our July 4th celebration and practiced a few back deck rolls, video here

March 27, 2011. Dropped by the last open pool session of the year at RCC.  Only boat in the pool.  Felt a little rusty with the back deck roll, so worked on that.  Ran through a lot of successive rolls where I just keep going round and round.  I think that works well because you end up out of position, tired, disoriented, just like you would be if you were stuck in a hole.  That worked until I got carsick from the spinning.  Went 1 for 4 on bare hand rolls, swam to the paddle on each fail, I kind of think that is good practice in itself.

January 29, 2011.  2 bare hand rolls, don't recall how many I tried.  Empty pool again, just took my time, worked on breaking my habit of using C-to-C, trying to focus on more of a sweep type roll. 

March 28, 2010.  Dropped by the pool for 30 minutes with the goal of hitting at least 3 bare handed rolls.  I made 4 of 8 and left happy. 

February 28, 2010.  Spent a couple of hours at Reeve's Community Center in Mount Airy, primarily helping a few kids learn how to roll, but prior to that I gave myself a good twenty minute workout.  I also completed two hand rolls, the last of which was caught on camera by Josh. 

January 28, 2010
.  Martinsville YMCA with SRVCC buds.  First time in a pool in almost a year.  Hand rolled twice, really happy about that.  Missed it about a dozen times, but it was a good exercise in swimming over to my paddle, then rolling up.  If you had told me back when I started this page 3 years ago that I would one day be able to hand roll a kayak, I would have called you CRAZY!  I worked on a few other drills while I was there, like rolling ten continuous times.  I like doing that because by the end, your nose clips are off, you are not situated right in the boat and it feels much more like a real 'combat' roll.  I also flipped, then counted to 20 before attempting a roll.  That seems to put a little more urgency in your desire to roll up, which, again, feels more like a real situation.  And I worked out with the hand paddles a little.  Mostly it was fun getting to hang out with my buds and join them for a beer afterwards.

February 22, 2009.  I hand rolled for the first time tonight at Reeve's Community Center in Mount Airy.  I only did it once, but it felt good.

January 29, 2009.  SRVCC Roll Session (39MB clip) -  For the first time, I joined the gang at the pool in Martinsville for the Thursday night roll practice.  I made my first offside back-deck rolls and first rolls using hand paddles.

June 3, 2008. My eight year old son Jackson and I spent some time on the water this past Sunday at my sister's house in Stuart, Virginia.  It gave Jackson a chance to get used to paddling a kayak while I practiced rolling.  By the end of the day Jackson was doing a really good job of paddling the sit-on-top.

February 17, 2008.  Nothing new accomplished today.  I had the pool to myself for an hour, things felt ugly for most of the day, especially the offside, just an off day.  But everything started feeling normal toward the end.  More back-deck rolls, went back to the onside screw roll.  Still no plowing ender.

Sunday, February 10, 2008. Worked on back deck rolls, rolling with the kickboard, finding the paddle after flipping.  Tried really hard to get a plowing ender, but didn't get close.  More offside, onside drills, etc...  The family and I swam for a couple of hours before the roll session and before they left, Jackson shot video to help me see what I'm doing right and wrong.  Mostly wrong.  Ricky gave me a pointer on how to hold my wrists on a back deck roll that really helped.

Sunday, January 26th, 2008.  Lots of fun today.  I rolled using a kickboard instead of a paddle for the first time, made my first bow rescue, braced for the first time and, this is the part I'm most excited about, my offside suddenly clicked and now feels the same as my onside.  Thanks again to Ricky Blizzard for all the tips and help.   It was a good day at the pool and a rare one with no swims.

January 6th, 2008.  I went into the first roll practice of the year with plans to work on my offside C-to-C, but came away in love with the Screw Roll instead.  I did try the offside three times and hit it once, but spent most of my time sweeping and bracing. 

March 25th, 2007.  I rushed over to the gym to catch the last hour of indoor roll practice this year.  All the rolls were on the first try, except for a couple of off-side attempts.  After the off-sides failed, I came up on-side. 

February 25th, 2007.  35 rolls, no swims in today's roll session.  31 rolls on the first try.  All rolls are on-side, but I'm thrilled to death with the progress made over the past four weeks.  I look forward to seeing what happens the first time I go over unexpectedly in cold moving water

February 18th, 2007.  14 rolls, 2 swims in 45 minutes of practice.  I hit my first three rolls, then swam twice, but ended with eleven straight rolls.  I didn't get them all on the first try, a couple were on the second or third attempt, but the end result was that I finished on top of the water.  And I had more successful rolls on the first try than I did on the previous week.  Every failed roll seems to be the result of bringing my head up first.  Hopefully practice, practice, practice will correct that instinct.  The first joint on my left thumb bled constantly from the banging it takes on the C to C rolls, even though I wore gloves this week, but I'm loving the practice.  Next week I'm shooting for no swims.  I tried out a low brace and when it didn't work, I rolled up. 

February 11th, 2007.  18 successful rolls, 5 swims.  Tried my first off-side roll (didn't even get close).  Tried bracing (not even close).  Had about a dozen easy rolls and around 6 that took two, three or four tries to get up.   When I'm unsuccessful it's because I'm pulling my head up.  I've yet to not roll when I manage to dip my head in the correct direction.

February 5th, 2007.  I attended my first roll practice at Pro Health in Mount Airy on Super Bowl Sunday.  I probably would have spent the entire two hours draining water out of my boat had it not been for a lot of excellent expert advice from one of the more experienced participants.  I had made a number of failed floundering roll attempts when Ricky Blizzard came over to give me some pointers.  It reminded me a lot of being on the golf course since my biggest problem was not keeping my head down.  And even though I knew exactly what I was doing wrong, I still kept doing it over and over and over.  Very frustrating.  Rolling is so counter-intuitive that it took a lot of practice for me to finally stop bringing my head up first.   One thing that helped a lot was rolling without my paddle.  Ricky had me ditch the paddle and helped by holding my hands as I rolled up.   That enabled me to focus on the movement of my head, without having to worry about what I was doing with the paddle.    After several of those practice rolls I finally started catching on.  Then after a few more attempts with the paddle it clicked.  The first time I made it up I didn't expect it and completely window shaded.  I then made two unassisted rolls before taking a break.  When I came back into the pool I made two more successful rolls and decided to call it a day.  My lower back was starting to ache.  Those were my first four true C to C rolls without pushing off the bottom.  I managed to go the entire two hours without touching the bottom of the pool with my paddle, which is a crutch that I'm trying to get away from.   I spent the rest of the class watching the people that really knew what they were doing.  I'm already looking forward to next week.  Hopefully I'll be able to progress a little more this Sunday and maybe have a pretty secure roll in time for the my French Broad trip in April.


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