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I've been wondering about this for a while.

Do most of you use the same sided roll most of the time, or do you use a combination of offside rolls?

Just wondering if I can get away with my one sided roll in the park, which I'd like to start doing. Also, will I get clowned for swimming in the park? This seems like the biggest factor in why I haven't played in the park yet. Also, are there play waves in Colorado more conducive to beginners like me? thanks!
 

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From my observation and discussions with other boaters, many of them more experienced than me...
The majority of people rely on their strongest roll in combat situations.
Playboaters who learn to roll on both sides and learn to "feel" which side is more conducive to rolling can have a real advantage in river running if they can go to either side intuitively in critical situations.

I work on my off-side roll and hand rolls, etc, but when I am in serious water (or really any combat roll situation), I still go for my strong side, even if it might not be the best side to roll on in that situation. That is one area I personally hope to improve in. So I practice a variety of rolls from time to time. I should practice more. However, I think it is fair to say the average boater does not practice their off-side roll.

There is no shame in swimming in the park.
Even if you didn't want to learn how to playboat, it is a great place to experience getting flipped for working on combat rolls. I swam a couple of times in parks and I think everyone has when they were beginners, if they were brave enough to go into parks before they progressed very far. It is generally a safer place to swim. And anyone making fun of a swimmer in the park embarrasses themself by being an idiot, more than I would be embarrassed by being the swimmer. Actually, you are more likely to have people quickly and politely coming to your aid than you are to have anyone being disrespectful because you swam.

I am sure others will have good suggestions for starting points.
Salida's lower wave was my first play park experience, and I found it amazingly gentle and inviting.
Paddle Day 22 - First Day in Salida
The hole at Lawson is probably the friendliest versatile hole I have encountered. I am not much of a playboater, but those are a couple of places I hope to spend more time in for my own limited playboating progression.

Here is one of my more interesting days of paddling, and why learning an off-side roll might be worth considering. I still wish I could roll as good as this guy Ryan, who was able to save the day because of his rolling expertise.
Paddle Day 40 - Importance of Off-Side Rolls

-Dan
 

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you'll get clowned way more for going down a river that you don't belong on than swimming at the park. That's its purpose, learning, whether that's your roll or a phonics(sp?) monkey, and there's always folks around to help when something goes wrong.

As far as the roll goes, you can go a long way with one roll, but work on the others as much as possible. You'll be a much more well rounded boater if you've got both regular rolls, and both backdeck rolls (a hand roll doesn't hurt either) but I know guys running class V that have only one roll (if that sometimes!!)
 

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Hey Dan, if you've got your offside-backdeck-hand-roll down, you up for lower west fork or woods creek this week during the evening? Just got back from AK & want to get on the water!
 

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I am looking for new things to paddle, but this week I just started experimenting with paddling back to back days with no recovery days in between, for the first time since my shoulder surgery.
My shoulder is a little grumpy as a result.
But getting better, because I needed 5 or 6 days of recovery at the beginning of season after my first day of paddling.
I am probably going to rest up a few days this week.
Plus, I still haven't bought a "real" creek boat, because of my crazy desire to stay in a small boat for all the scenes in my little fantasy film project.

I do have a hand roll on both sides, back deck, left and right, as well as some weird version of a C-to-C without a paddle I made up for one side, before I learned that back deck is easier.
But, uh.... I have only done them in a pool and in mild current. :)

I am guessing those 2 runs probably need a boater in a real creek boat, since I know how you are about running Class 7 and all. :).
I think Bailey is my limit in my little G-Ride. Anything tougher than that may have to wait until I finally give in and get a creeker.
-Dan
 

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how bout lawson then?

800, if you wanna come up & get tossed around in lawson, I got your back. Come on up!
Seriously though, I live a couple minutes away & it's a good place to play with little drops & work on eddying & ferrying pm me, I'm up for any evening.
 

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I would definitely be up for Lawson to Mt. Evans this week if it stays up.
I have paddled it 4 times already this season, but DAMN! that run is fun at high water in a tiny boat. I think it was close to 900 last time we ran it.
I know a couple of others who might be up for coming along.
Tuesday or more probably Wednesday would be the earliest I could go.
-Sorry to bore everyone with this somewhat off topic exchange. :)
 

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I just roll on whatever side I'm quickest set up on. Usually that is whatever the downstream side is at the moment.

I've seen soooo many people swim because they had no offside roll. I think it should be taught as soon as you have a modestly reliable onside roll. When learning, I swam some class III like everyone does, but I think I've never swam in class IV and I think that is probably why. After a while boating class V, I found some situations that had me pulling the skirt again.

Go for it at the park - esp. once the water is lower and it is less of a flush in Golden. Connie is dirty, but super-easy to recover boats from at lower levels.
 

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Wow you guys are doing some serious threadjacking by planning a trip on this guys questions...
I roll quick with my automatic roll, if that doesnt work i use alternate rolls. I help swimmers all the time in pueblo. It helps if I have an idea that they might swim so I can wait a tick to make sure they roll before i slide out in the wave and turn my back on em. The park is the place to swim, its designed with big eddies and pools. Go for it and if you want to go to pueblo, let me know and you can go with me and swim till your tired.
 

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I mostly roll on the same side and after thinking about it there is a reason. I set up "goofy" which means I set up on the right side where I think the majority sets up on the left. If I start to roll over to the right and I can't brace out of it (it is my weaker bracing side) I automatically set my paddle to slice through the water and use the momentum to roll over. If I am getting rolled to the left my left blade is doing the bracing and so it is in front already, ready for me to go into a right side set up roll. Don't ask me why I don't just slice through and use momentum like the other side and "off side" roll. It just happens like that.
 

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Yeah 800, I am a fellow Summit County-er. I park a lot and am happy to have you come along. Drop me a PM. But I find park folk really helpful. And yeah, like most folks have said, its an OK place to swim, PROVIDED there is enough traffic in the park to help should you need it. For example, I paddle the lower Salida wave A LOT (super friendly), but I am not thrilled to be the only gal down there. So jump in, but don't be stupid about it! And don't be afraid to ask folks to spot your practice rolls, or give you some critique. Most folks are super friendly and can quickly sort out those who are not!
KJ
 

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I think gh hit the idea of having an "automatic" roll on one side. Start by dialing in your strong side, the side someone taught you to roll on. Take it to the park, take it to class III (if comfortable with that idea). Especially in the park, start learning your off-side, semi-automatic roll by stepping through what you already know on the other side. Before you know it, it will become reliable, if not quite as automatic as your on-side roll. You will have to think about it more, but it will eventially start to feel comfortable.
Golden is great for learning, and swimming. There are quite a few drops in a row up at the top, all with eddies and usually several boaters in each to lend a hand if needed...
 

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Why roll when you can go swimming?

I have a bad tendancy to use my strongside roll with or without a paddle. I think one needs both side and the old discipline thing of making one's self get out there and work on the weakside is sometimes lacking in a lot of boaters, me included. I did find making myself do hand rolls on both sides helped overall in conditioning muscle memory though.
 

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Don't worry about anyone making fun of you for swimming. I have never seen that happen. Also, I've never paddled with anyone who heckled me for swimming. When someone swims the normal reaction is relief when they make it to shore.

Almost everyone swims. If they don't swim then that is OK: either they are God's gift to whitewater paddling or they have chosen the mellow route and they don't paddle for the adrenaline, but for the scenery.

The only season that I didn't have a swim was 2002 during a 100 year drought when every creek and river in Colorado peaked at all-time lows.
 

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Yeah, the off-side roll is sweet to have. I usually just set up on the side i'm going over on. not sure if that's right though. The biggest help is when you're rolling "against the current." I'm not sure exactly how it works, but sometimes it's a pain to get your paddle right on one side whereas it's super easy and you can get more leverage on the other side. Sorry if that makes no sense, maybe some other boaters have experienced the same thing and can explain it better. About the parks, don't worry about it. It's not as big of a deal as you think. As long as you're having fun on the river, it doesn't really matter if you can huck all the tricks or roll up everytime. It's a great place to learn because alot of the better boaters won't mind giving you helpful tips if you ask them.
 
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