View Poll Results: When you roll, eyes open or eyes closed (and why in text)
Eyes closed 51 76.12%
Eyes open 16 23.88%
Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-15-2005   #21
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 245
I never considered opening my eyes, they burn in regular tap water! I now prefer the force method.

of course I must top the charts for water weenies, as I have nearly every orifice covered when boating...


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Old 07-15-2005   #22
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 140
Re: learn with eyes open, roll with eyes closed

Originally Posted by deepsouthpaddler
When learning in calm water or a pool I kept my eyes open to ensure proper paddle placement, to look at the blade to see if it was diving etc. Once that was embedded in my muscle memory I rolled with my eyes closed.

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Old 07-15-2005   #23
prozoned's Avatar
the fort, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 140
when i first learned in a pond and in a pool i would close my eyes, just to get the feel of it, but on the river i wear goggles and i open my eyes. i dont know why i wear goggles, my friend has contacts so he wears them, so i just started wearing um.

now that i think about it im not going to wear goggles, because im not a pussy
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Old 07-16-2005   #24
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1
I used to roll with my eyes closed when I first started boating, but I have found that now I roll with my eyes open. I think for me at least it has to do with how comfortable I am and how well I know the specific river I'm paddling. I generally roll up and immediately look around to get my orientation to see what obstacles are still ahead.
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Old 07-16-2005   #25
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 305
I said go as in get on a plane and GO somewhere ....
Don't do anything, just stand there.
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Old 07-16-2005   #26
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 122
I roll with my eyes closed and do my roll by feel. It works most of the time... I don't want to get dirt in my eyes and I don't like goggles very much regardless of the sport I'm doing. I open them immediately as soon as I've rolled up.

I do, however have nose and earplugs, so i guess I'm a pussy too everyobody has their crutches of some sort, my noseplugs are mine! I figure it doesn't matter what our crutches are as long as we're having fun on the river and we're getting better!

Good idea on the poll by the way, I didn't realize how many other people roll with their eyes closed.


ps I'll feed a shark any time as long as it's a little one
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Old 07-18-2005   #27
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 7

I have contacts too - so I thought I'd try the goggles in the pool. I realized, even with the goggles on, I never opened my eyes. It was nice to not be tempted to open my eyes on the river. Just my 2 cents
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Old 07-18-2005   #28
Woodland Park, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 43
I keep my eyes open. It's a habit from back when I was a competitive diver in college. I find it helps me see "the light". When upside down and in squirrly water sometimes you are set up to roll on a particular side and that side of the boat is being pulled under by the current which puts your head further away from the surface thus causing a darkening effect. But,as the boat's buoyancy evens out, your head moves closer to the surface and the light from the sky is way more evident, which is a major cue to execute your roll. If you start your roll before the boat evens out you might still make it up but it will be considerably more difficult. Using this technique teaches you patience in rolling, it is not always a good thing to roll immediately. Another situation would be in a series of large waves where I've found the best place to roll is near the crest of a wave, the light from the sky will be brighter, than in the trough or on the upstream side of a wave.

However, there have been plenty of times when I've rolled without paying attention to whether I can see light through the water. especially when rolling in a hole where the aeration of the water can be quite misleading, in that case I depend on kinesetic senses.

Keeping my eyes open does not help however in placement of my paddle in achieving the correct climbing angle of the blade. That angle is a permanent fixture in my memory achieved through many years of rolling.
in rivers.

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Old 07-18-2005   #29
Raft Guide
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 19
I roll w/ eyes open so I can see where I am when I get back upright. With eyes closed, I find that I get that momentary "shit where am I" feeling-- kind of disoriented; seems to take just a second longer to get back into gear.

And yes, I am rolling a ducky.

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