Tuesday, January 30, 2007

When you walk through a storm...
The song says that when we walk through a storm we should keep our heads up high. I am sure that is a metaphor for staying optimistic during hard times since following such advice makes one a target for lightening. In another venue, kayak rolling, it is also terrible advice. Bottom line, we would do better with a golf pro (who keeps telling the duffers to keep their head down...but I digress) than an ACA instructor if we are to succeed.
I've already talked about the C-C roll (I don't like it and never teach it first as does the ACA) and my letter to the editor in Sea Kayak Magazine. Today, I wish to add an idea about keeping one's head down.
A fundamental problem with folks just learning to roll is the desire to come up to a sitting position and the silly idea that one can. One can't. The act of sitting up requires lifting the head and, thus, missing the roll. Instead, I indoctrinate students with the concept that a roll actually consists of the boat coming underneath them and lifting them up as the boat rights itself. This, of course, makes the hip "snap" (something only hula dancers do) a pull on the thigh brace to get the boat underneath yourself. It also removes emphasis on the paddle which, to the eye of a beginner, is a powerful lever in the C-C roll...and it ain't.
Now, the student can learn to go through rotation (not too fast and after a good setup) and hold constant pressure on the downside thigh brace while waiting for the boat to scoop them up. It works. Try it. You'll like it.
Paddle safe...

1 comment:

Alex said...

Well you could roll up in a fully upright seated position if you were able to completely isolate your lower body from your upper body. Unfortunately, most of us have our head and legs hardwired in a way that lifting the head lifts the non rolling knee simultaneously. Some people have a dynamic hip snap and others have more of a gentle driving knee. Either way the technique and lower body isolation are the same and the difference lies in the timing of that rolling force. Like you though, I'm not a fan of the C-to-C. It takes too long to get me breathing again. :)