I have a question, and please understand that I'm really not trying to be rude or crack jokes at you.
This thread was started 7 years ago. Are you and your dad still unable to roll without your paddle floatation device?
I don't have a strong roll after 6 years of paddling, but I also haven't been using training wheels, so to speak, nor have I really put quality time and energy into solidifying my roll, but I also don't run shit like the Cascades. I can, however, run 3+ fairly confidently, and last year I only had one swim out of a lot of days in the river... And even that came from just goofing around trying some stupid shit.
Anyway, my point is, there are other ways not to swim (like bracing and choosing decent lines). There are ways to challenge yourself on the river without running sections that are too dangerous for your level of skill.
I personally don't like shitting bricks the entire time I'm on a river.
I'm genuinely just curious to know if you still haven't developed a strong roll without the float, after using it for the last 7 years.
It's a good day to be a duck....