Rocky Roll - Mountain Buzz

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Old 06-14-2010   #1
bobblehead's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 45
Rocky Roll

Ok, I realize I am opening myself up to some serious abuse, but here goes:

Did a solo run of Upeer Clear creek (Kermits to the junction) a few days need for any scolding for paddling solo; get enough from my wife. Anyway, I was thinking too hard about double-knife and not paying attention...flipped in ejector. Water was super fast, and it was less than pleasurable being slammed against rock after rock upside down. I had an extremely hard time setting up my roll, as my paddle, head, etc. kept slamming on rocks. Thankfully, I was able to roll up just before DK.

So it got me thinking that I obviously do not have the right technique for rolling in shallower, fast water (duh, really?). Anybody have any good tips on managing your paddle and rolling while being bludgeoned? I'll aprreciate any sarcastic remarks as well...

cheers, -bruised and battered

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Old 06-14-2010   #2
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,113
Tough one. I always feel like trying to roll while hitting rocks is a good way to hurt your shoulder. I actually think one decent answer is to stay protected and take the beating until you can catch a break to roll up. I think the back deck roll helps a ton in this situation even though people will tell you that you'll expose your face and your shoulders. With the back deck your body is already very shallow and if you hit rock with your blade as you're trying to push up, you can usually just push off of it and continue your roll. Just learn to do it with your elbows low not with your arms over your head.
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Old 06-14-2010   #3
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 819
Regarding the back deck roll, this can work well in a shallow creek, but only if you are in the correct position, and you have a really good back deck roll. If your back deck roll isn't super fast (all torso, no arms), don't use it creeking. Also, some body armor like elbow pads and a full face are advisable for this.

If I am not set up well for a back deck, or miss a fast back deck attempt, its time to tuck up. You want to tuck tight to your deck with your paddle in the set up position. This give you the least exposure to rocks and you are ready to roll fast as soon as the beating subsides. It is pretty hard to roll while actually hitting rocks, so sometimes you have to take a couple hits before you get a good opportunity. When you get your window, make it count!
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Old 06-17-2010   #4
bobblehead's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 45
Thanks for the good advice fellas! I'll need to perfect my BD roll, but it helps to know I'm not just missing something fundamental (besides not flipping).
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Old 06-17-2010   #5
Preacher of the Profit Paddling Since: 1990
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,075

Set yourself up for success. The instant you feel like your going to flip: drop your right shoulder toward the grabloop of your boat and keep your paddle close to the boat. Wait for things to settle just a bit and then give it what you got. Make sure you finish the whole roll attempt (don't just skull and test your hips). Finish by looking down the shaft of your paddle. Try these things in flat water first. Once you know you can get up everytime the mental baggage goes away. Relax you most likely have a good roll, but you have to know that you do.
I love to dance, but who needs the music- It throws me off.
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Old 06-18-2010   #6
Fort Collins, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 70
I'm with KSC. Stay tucked until you're not getting knocked around.

You have to come out of your tuck to roll, and, as soon as you do, you risk taking one to the face or popping a shoulder out.

Elbow pads and a full face can take some of the sting out of mis-timed roll attempts as well.
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