Sweden around in a kayak 2013 - Mårten Wetterberg

Roll training


With Docklands Watersports centre

Just got back from roll-training with my sailing club!

I've been trying to book an appointment with my kayaking club, but in vain, as these have been cancelled last minute a couple of times now. So yesterday, as I got back from sailing, I asked if they where able to teach me how to roll. Sure, but there's a cost associated with a session like that, £5 for a 2-hour session. Wow, and I was just about to pay £80 for a 1.5 hour session with the kayaking club. So today, I went down to the sailing club, and started rolling with James.

I'm not an expert on how to learn a roll. The guy who taught me, took on a wet-suit and jumped in the water with me, wearing my dry-suit in my kayak. He did it in small sets of tasks I was to do whilst submerged upside down.

1. First task - get wet! So I capsized and kept my body in place with my knees holding on to the short and wide white-water kayak. He rolled me up immideately.
2. Lift the paddle to the surface. After capsizing, I was to push the paddle towards the sky, parralell to the kayak. After having the paddle in the right position, James rolled me up again.
3. Angle the paddle, so that the shaft is at a 90-degree angle towards the kayak, and my front blade is out, whilst my back blade is towards the kayak. And then being rolled up again.
4. After moving the paddle out again, put pressure on the front blade, to lift the body towards the surface. And then being rolled back up again.
5. With all these steps put together, I was to come back up with my upper body flat behind the cockpit, with my head leaning towards the side I came up from.
6. Done!

In total, I think it took about 10 rolls to get there, and taking in lots of water through the nose. The really cool thing with this method, was that it took 30 minutes, and I never did any wrongs, due to only having small steps each time.

I'm also gonna do some roll-training this saturday, so I hope to get back to Sweden with a somewhat reliable roll. Of course my regular security stuff comes with, so I can get back into the kayak quickly, after a wet exit.

Things noted are that I cannot roll twice, where one is unintentional. Neither does one think of wet exists whilst practicing rolls, I'd drown before I would have though that though. My dry-suit is dry, despite it being a 2-piece jacket and bibs.

Thanks to James, who taught me, and got in again when I failed my second unintentional roll!

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