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Old 06-15-2006   #51
Front Range, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 274
Hey Bula,
Sounds like, in those situations, you may not be getting yourself tucked up quickly enough? I had the *same* problem (and trust me, as the author of the original post in this thread, I'm not above saying I had tons of problems I didn't quite understand at the time!! ): once I got upside down, between opposing currents, the pressure of the water, the noise, I didn't know quite where to begin or what to do.

I think that's half the problem of practicing your roll when you're always "setting up": the fact is, when you get flipped on a river, you're not setting up, not waiting for it. To get your hands back around, and ultimately, to hit your roll, youve got to get back to that place that's familiar to you.

When you cranked over, no matter what position your boat is, no matter where you're being pulled, your first instinct needs to be getting yourself back to your front deck. Whether that means twisting, rolling your body with or against the water, whatever you need to do, get back to the front of the boat. With that motion, your arms will follow: the pressure on your paddle blade will be pretty great in some instances, but hang onto it. Sometimes it helps if you can get your paddle rotated in your hands so your blade is "on edge" with the current, i.e. so that the water slices along the length of the blade, rather than has the opportunity to pull against its face.

Now that I think about it, that's probably actually the best bit of advice I could give you here,.... if the water's deep enough, get your paddle into a position it works with you, rather than with current working against it. Here in the SE, we paddle things shallow enough we're getting grated over rocks, and that's half the challenge of getting your paddle back around-- it's getting dragged somewhere between you, your boat, the river bottom, and current! But out in CO, as long as you've only got one element (water) to deal with, there's no sense in fighting it if you can make it work in your favor.

Holes can be the EASIEST places to roll on the river if you can just get yourself to that setup position.... once you're there, reach your hands WAY up over the bottom of the boat-- not just to the water's surface, but as far up as they'll go (keeping your elbows locked, and not overextending your shoulders or opening yourself up for any injuries). Pivot that right elbow/ blade outward, like you're opening up for your sweep, and feel for any "pillow" with your blade. If you can catch this, find purchase for your paddle and give it just a tiny bit of "angle" to grab onto, the hole's gonna do most of the work to roll you up itself. Provided you can get the river to do most of the levering work for you, all you have to think about at that point is your hipsnap....

As far as pourovers and eddylines go.... just be patient. When you get flipped, count to three. Don't think about anything, except that counting to three will give the current a chance to push you either over the eddyline, or swirl you to a place in the hydraulic with a little less resistance. Don't panic, don't think about swimming, don't think about "oh shit!" Just count to three, keep it setup, stay calm, and find your opportunity to roll.... half of consistent rolling's in learning to be patient with it, especially at first.

Good luck!

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Old 06-15-2006   #52
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 480
Here in the SE, we paddle things shallow enough we're getting grated over rocks, and that's half the challenge of getting your paddle back around-- it's getting dragged somewhere between you, your boat, the river bottom, and current! But out in CO, as long as you've only got one element
Hell, one look at my helmet will show you there are a lot of rocks in Colorado. If you can't get your paddle around, do a different type of roll. Roll from where you are just like EJ says.

Like it or not, all of us are the result of a sexual act.
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Old 10-11-2007   #53
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 43
Originally Posted by Bubbles View Post
I totally know where you are coming from. When I started I had a solid pool roll and didn't flip over often in whitewater...but when I did flip it was all over. The confidence issue was huge for me. If I thought there was a possibility of flipping over, I was less eager to try surfing or ferrying. I agree with double-a-ron though, after you can hit 100 pool rolls, try 100 rolls in current, then throw yourself in a hole and try rolls in the turbulent stuff. The major thing that really helped my roll was hanging out upside down for a few seconds after I had flipped and making sure that I had the paddle setup right and the boat had settled upside down (aka don't rush the setup). As your roll becomes more dependable, you tend to hang out upside down for less and less time until the roll is automatic. It's also really confusing when there are a bunch of people trying to teach you what to do. I can't do the video thing (it drives me nuts trying to learn from a how-to video). It really helped me to have one or two people (in my case jmack) that knew what they are doing and could help me out (let's face it - everyones roll is a little bit different and as a gal we have to use more finesse than some of the guys). Lastly, stay forward - it lessons the likelyhood of getting a rock to the face and when you roll up you are already in position to take the next stroke. In addition, if you roll up on your back deck and all of your weight is back and you hit a big hole -you have little to no speed and you are going for a surf or another roll. I hope this helps!


I agree. I've been working on my rolls at the tressles on the platte. it's a fun wave to surf, and play on, and if you roll it's into a nice big pool with a sand bar. So, lately instead of rolling(I have about 20%), i've been working on my sculling brace, and that works wonders as someone previously said. I can hold a sculling brace for quite a while. But, as everyone has said, get to a pool, or find a nice calm eddy that's deep enough to where you can't push off the ground, and practice the rolls 30-40 times a day. then, slowly work it out into the eddy line, and into moving water. My problem was, i "Jumped right into it" not that i'm scared, just not as confident. Another thing i'm sure others have said "Don't think about hitting your head, or scraping against rocks" think about the task at hand which is getting your roll. I'm not expert AT ALL. but, it's been working for me. So, good luck

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