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Discussion Starter #1
Would you be willing to help share your experiences for a book about the mental side of whitewater paddling? The book will use personal stories to describe the issues faced by every level of paddler, but especially at the beginner and intermediate levels (in their own words or as witnessed by a friend or instructor).

I am specifically looking for short stories or quotes about losing a roll, the fears you face when upside down, the fears you face when forced to swim, etc.

What advice was most useful for your improvement?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Kent Ford performancevideo.com
feel free to contact me directly through the web site.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Lost roll

By the way, I don't need you to fess up in public. I can change your name if you wish.

Any stories of how you dealt with learning to roll would be appreciated!

Kent Ford
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I lost my roll before

I'm a t 12 parapalegic and have been paddeling since july 2003. It took about a month to get a decent roll. The problem was I would run out of rolls as the day went by, and by the time I reached the take out there was a really good chance I'd have to swim. I didn't really understand it untill I changed from my centrifudge to an ez. My old boat just took a lot more effort. It was harder to setup (wider, taller, and heavier boat) It seemed like it just took a spot on technique. Once I got my new boat I never seemed to run out of rolls. I don't know if the boat was easier to roll or just fit better, But it seemed like my roll improved immediatly. My roll has since changed from a c to c into more of a sweep roll. This new roll takes less effort and lot less setup. I don't have to get my hipsnap just right either. I know a lot of things changed, mostly the time I spent in my boat working on my roll. But your post really gave me a flash back. It got so bad after one day that ended with a swim, I wanter to post at the lost and found to see if anyone found my roll. :?
 

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Learning to Roll

I used to go to a little playspot to teach myself how to kayak. As I got better I'd try ferrying through a really strong current. The current was by far the fastest I'd been in and flipping was pretty likely. I was nervous about ferrying at that spot because the recovery area didn't look very large before flowing over a rock to form a small hole.

One day I was working on my ferry and flipped. I couldn't get set-up properly and I knew I was getting carried towards the rock so I tried the roll anyway. It didn't work, but I saw there was time for another attempt. I couldn't get set-up properly and I was so worried about hitting the rock while upside-down that I decided to try again without waiting. The roll didn't work (of course), so I popped my squirt and ejected from the boat.

My head broke the water upstream of the boat and I had just enough time to realize I was going head-first over the rock. My boat stopped in the hole so I smacked my face on the boat, getting a fat and slightly bloody lip.

I got to shore and was a little shaken-up. I thought about what happened and realized that the recovery zone had plenty of time. The cause of my problem was that I'd let my fears rush my roll when I should have waited until my paddle was in the correct position. I decided I'd try it again, but this time if I flipped I'd focus on waiting until everthing felt 'right'. For me, that meant my right hand had to break the surface of the water before I did anything else. Since I knew there was plenty of time for a good roll (or two poor attempts), I new I could safely ignore my fears and the mental voice which said, "You've been under a really long time and you need to get upright before you hit that rock which is coming".

I re-tried the ferry and I flipped. This time I knew it was safe to ignore my fears so I waited WAY longer than I wanted. My right hand finally got into position, I tried, and was up-right. When looking around, I had plenty of time before hitting the rock. It reaffirmed the importance of getting a good roll the first time and waiting as long as necessary.

That event was a major breakthrough for me.

Drew
 

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Discussion Starter #5
great stories

Thanks for the ideas... these are exactly the sorts of stories I want to share with other people through my upcoming book. Thanks for contributing!

Kent
 
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