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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all! Brand new to kayaking, have everything I need and am excited to get in a river at some time in my life. Problem is, I'm having a hard time learning to roll. I have spent time in still water trying to learn after watching numerous videos and practicing on my lawn. I'm afraid that if I don't get this down soon I may lose interest. Everyone's advise is to take a class, but that's pretty expensive. Is there anyone in the Springs, Pueblo, Denver area (I'm in the Springs) that would be willing to help me out? I'd gladly pay for pool time or entrance to a reservoir. Later, I may be able to repay by being able to do some shuttles in my truck. Thanks a bunch !
 

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While you of course need to learn the roll, I wouldn't let lack of a roll keep you from starting on easy moving water.


-Dave
(Seven two 0) 298-2242
 

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Deckers on the south fork of the south platte would be a good place for you to get in the water without a roll.

It's a hobby, it has to be fun. If all you're doing is sweating the roll you will quickly give up. My schedule is pretty busy for the next week or so but I wouldn't mind meeting you at chatfield and giving you a hand, especially if you can do a week day morning. No compensation necessary.

Another good resource is EJ's rolling and bracing DVD. I'm pretty sure CKS sells it.
 

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Thanks guys, some of the best help so far and I appreciate your willingness to help without pay streetdoctor! First person to do so yet. I will probably take you up on that. I'm a fireman, so I have a pretty open schedule.
 

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Solid Gold

I'm also new to kayaking. Well I guess I'm in my third season now :shock: Didn't get on the river too many times my first two seasons, and I had a couple anxiety attacks during the first two seasons too (on flat water!). This year, I've been in my boat (play boat) much more and I'm learning quicker and feel so much more confident. I think I figured out it was because I was too worried about not having a solid gold roll to rely on if I flipped. The key is actually not to flip- so I've been working on all my other skills more. Good solid strokes, bracing, catching eddies, back paddling, turning, etc. Now that I'm focusing more on these skills, I'm not so worried what happens if my boat flips over.... I actually have fun on the river now- no more anxiety, and I have improved a ton! If I flip, I'll swim.... until I do get that solid gold roll anyway. I'm not going to let not having a roll stand in the way of having some of the best days of my life.
Check out my swim story on the Swim Board if you want- it's nothing special, but every experience is a learning experience.
 

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Soggy, thanks for the reply and the swim story! Your advice as a newer paddler inspired me and makes me feel ok to maybe just get on the water (easy stuff of coarse)! Thanks again.
 

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Also- the thing about learning in a playboat- they're squirrely. The first few times I was in my boat I felt like I was going to flip on EVERYTHING! I remember yelling at my boyfriend for "darting in front of me and creating a wake!!!!!" I literally had a freak out on the CRAIG section of the Yampa run in FLAT WATER because my play boat was picking up on every little eddy line, every tiny whirlpool, every friggin ripple. I was sure to flip- and then what??? SWIM??? IN THAT WATER??? Who knows whats in there....
Anyway-
I'm glad I've stuck to learning in my playboat instead of going for the creek boat, and worked on my other skills instead of only my roll. I have more fun now that I'm not worried about rolling, but once I do have my roll I'll be so fucking solid because I have been in my squirrely little Dagger, getting used to eddy lines and waves, instead of playin it safe in a giant creeker.
 

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Why is the playboat easier for you? All I have is a creeker (mamba). I was told they (creek boats) were way easier for new people to learn in.
 

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Also- the thing about learning in a playboat- they're squirrely. The first few times I was in my boat I felt like I was going to flip on EVERYTHING! I remember yelling at my boyfriend for "darting in front of me and creating a wake!!!!!" I literally had a freak out on the CRAIG section of the Yampa run in FLAT WATER because my play boat was picking up on every little eddy line, every tiny whirlpool, every friggin ripple. I was sure to flip- and then what??? SWIM??? IN THAT WATER??? Who knows whats in there....
Anyway-
I'm glad I've stuck to learning in my playboat instead of going for the creek boat, and worked on my other skills instead of only my roll. I have more fun now that I'm not worried about rolling, but once I do have my roll I'll be so fucking solid because I have been in my squirrely little Dagger, getting used to eddy lines and waves, instead of playin it safe in a giant creeker.
+1 But it definitely depends on the type of person you are. If you are strong willed learning in a play boat is the way to go. I have a couple friends I started with that also started in play boats (I started in a Pyranha S8 and hated it) that quit because the learning curve was too steep and they got scared/swam all the time.

If you start in a creek boat some say because it's more forgiving you can develop bad habits or get in over your head too quickly. But if you start in a creek boat chances are you're going to have more fun initially and get into the water more often.

In the end I believe that's what really matters- time on the river. If you're serious about learning nothing beats time in your boat. A couple guys I started with are frustrated that they're in their 3rd season and still can't roll/swim all the time, but that's because they only paddle 10 days a season. A good thing about group classes is although sometimes you don't learn much, you meet people that are similar in skill level and eager to get out and you begin to develop a crew.

Clubs are good but IMO they can also be a shit show with two people who know what they're doing leading and sweeping and 5 beginners swimming all over the place in between. Finding one or two people that will take you in, that are confident enough to round up you and your gear is probably the best way to go.
 

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No, no, no, it's not easier in any way shape or form to learn in a playboat- it's been tough, like I said, I was crying like a sissy to my boyfriend the first few times because he was making ripples in the water. It IS easier to learn in a creek boat because they are WAY more stable. When I first started I had my choice of my fancy new/used Dagger G-force 5.9 (play) or my boyfriend's old Prijon I don't know what model or size but big and old and most likely just an all around boat... I do have a creek boat now (Pyrannah h3) and my play boat, so I've got options. I don't need the stability of the creek boat for easier runs like Steamboat (I also don't want to paddle that giant piece of plastic around if I don't have to)- I need my own stability, and learning in my playboat taught me just that. I don't think it's really about the boat- mostly just skill. Unless I'm running high water, then I guess I probably want the creek boat. Basically, in a nut shell, to make a long story short, sum it all up, I guess I just feel like my skills have improved way quicker by forcing myself to use the play boat than they would have if I were dependent on the stability of the creek boat.
 

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+1 But it definitely depends on the type of person you are. If you are strong willed learning in a play boat is the way to go. I have a couple friends I started with that also started in play boats (I started in a Pyranha S8 and hated it) that quit because the learning curve was too steep and they got scared/swam all the time.

If you start in a creek boat some say because it's more forgiving you can develop bad habits or get in over your head too quickly. But if you start in a creek boat chances are you're going to have more fun initially and get into the water more often.

In the end I believe that's what really matters- time on the river. If you're serious about learning nothing beats time in your boat. A couple guys I started with are frustrated that they're in their 3rd season and still can't roll/swim all the time, but that's because they only paddle 10 days a season. A good thing about group classes is although sometimes you don't learn much, you meet people that are similar in skill level and eager to get out and you begin to develop a crew.

Clubs are good but IMO they can also be a shit show with two people who know what they're doing leading and sweeping and 5 beginners swimming all over the place in between. Finding one or two people that will take you in, that are confident enough to round up you and your gear is probably the best way to go.
I would definitely agree about time on the river being a huge part of the learning curve. My first couple seasons we didn't have much time on the river at all. We were living in Craig, and paddled the mostly flat water there a few times. It has one fun rapid. Last year we might have paddled Steamboat two or maybe three times max. This year we've paddled Steamboat a lot, and I think being comfortable on the run, knowing the river, and running it so many times is really what has helped me so much. I'm ready to get on some new rivers.
 
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