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Old 09-09-2010   #1
Ashland, Oregon
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 23
How long till a solid roll?

hi everyone,
So I just started kayaking at the end of this summer and have been going to my community pool once a week to practice rolling. I wish there were more than one day, but it is what it is. So far I have had about 4 rolling sessions about 2 hours at a time. As of the last two times, there's been a guy there who is a kayak instructor and has been working with me so that I do not learn bad habits, and so far everything he has told me works out in my mind, but in practice, nothing comes together. I can successfully roll every once in a while, but then it all goes to !@#$ again. Have some of you had the same problems when first starting out? When did the "CLICK" happen? I am just getting frustrated, and also my buddy who started the same time already has it down, so I kinda feel like something is missing.

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Old 09-09-2010   #2
castle rock, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 203
I am teachin my girlfriend how to role as well. We are doing it once a week for a few hours like you as well. From what I have seen is she has her role down but the one thing she is doing that is f-ing her role up is that her head keeps popping up to early. So what I would say to you is have someone watch your head close and see if maybe you are doing the same. Also what style of role are you doing? slice and sweep, c to c, or back deck role?

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Old 09-09-2010   #3
Kayak/SUP Instructor
Theophilus's Avatar
The High Ground, Colorado
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,325
If you have the ability to post a short video here we could analyze what might be happening. Often it's just one thing that kills the roll and when you learn to tame that then it all comes together.
"Let us cross the river to the other side and rest beneath the shade of the trees." ~ Last words of Thomas Jonathan ''Stonewall' Jackson
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Old 09-09-2010   #4
doesn't need a fake name
leif's Avatar
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 481
Also, beware. Once you get your roll, everything will be fine for about a year, then you will lose your roll. But that's the distant future.
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Old 09-09-2010   #5
caspermike's Avatar
Bozeman, Montana
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,507
Might be trying to hard using more arms rather than body. The point is to make it as easy as possible keep practicing. Also have hard time believing there isn't somewhere else to paddle.
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Old 09-09-2010   #6
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
Stick yer thumb up your butt, snap yer hips, pull the paddle down, and pretend there is velcro holding your head to your shoulder to keep it from popping up. Panic-induced head-raising is the #1 killer of rolls.
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Old 09-09-2010   #7
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,407
head down teaching trick

keeping the head down during a roll is hard to do for many of us.

one teaching trick I have used with success is to have the student turn the head over to the right PFD top strap and basically bite down and hold on during the rest of the sweep and hip snap.

assumes a roll set up on the left side.

teaching aid only, but if all else fails give it a try and let the msg board know if it works for you
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Old 09-09-2010   #8
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 350
I just started this season, too. What did it for me was, after my rolling clinic, I just went to the lake (in my case, Chatfield) as often as I could, and just worked on it by myself, and occasionally with other mountain buzzards.

This may not be the case for everyone, but that's how it clicked for me. I didn't even have one successful roll until I did this. I just bore in mind what I was already taught, watched videos to refresh, etc. I think having that time to yourself helps. Ever learn some neat trick and you can only seem to do it when no one is looking? That's a stage I've always had to go through when I learn something.

EJ's rolling and Bracing DVD helped me along the way. I didn't get multiple rolls in a row until I watched it. It also helped me with my brace, tremendously.

I didn't have the pleasure of learning to roll under the instruction of Eric Jackson, but he claims to be able to teach anyone the roll within 15 minutes, and like I said, I wasn't able to roll with any consistency for any one day until I watched it. After that, I will admit, it was up and down and I seemed to lose it and regain it several times before I had what I consider a consistent combat roll.
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Old 09-09-2010   #9
Flying_Spaghetti_Monster's Avatar
Farmington, Utah
Paddling Since: 2009
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 707
Make sure your paddle blade gets purchase on the water. I had a friend that started to lose his roll. I had him try it, and his paddle blade was about six inches under the water. If you make sure your paddles is out of the water before you make a roll it will help you. More hip snap less arms like casper mike said. Think of it like bracing off the water, and rolling your body around. Now here for the teaching technique that gets praises, and criticism. Try a sea kayaking roll. Although in the whitewater world it is referred to as a cheater roll. Grab the end of your paddle blade with one hand, and the center of the shaft with other. Make sure you get set up right, and try a roll. If you fail your set up may be off. You may have a blade tilted or something. If you roll up start moving your hands up the paddle adding more, and more hip snap as you go. This is just a teaching tool, and is not recommended for the river although I see people doing it. The benefit is that you learn to control one problem at a time the first being set up, and paddle placement, then hip snap gradually. I hope that helps.
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Old 09-09-2010   #10
rockinRio's Avatar
Thornton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 231
EJ's Rolling and Bracing DVD

Before EJ's DVD I could get a roll 50%, and usually never when I needed it
After EJ's DVD became bracing and rolling monster

You ARE a soul, you HAVE a body.

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