Friday, October 15, 2010

                                    Everyone...
                                   into the pool
With winter just around the corner, pool sessions cannot be far off. I usually face this time of year with mixed feelings. I paddle on Lake Michigan year round, but I am not always thrilled with the cold and the 17 layers of fleece and dry suit. On the other hand, it is only in the pool that I really get to use my SOF.

I have never been entirely comfortable out on the lake in the SOF, especially alone. First, there is the issue of getting into a situation and not being able to wet exit. To be sure, I have a bomb proof roll with my Greenland sticks, but stuff can happen; and the tight fit and pressing masik can make getting out a chore.

Then there are the inevitable leaks. I keep the skin coated with paint and am constantly touching it up...even if I haven't been paddling. Still, water has 100 secret ways of getting into these crafts. Out on the lake, I use float bags fore and aft, but some water can still come aboard and make the boat sloppy to handle. All in all, I feel safest on lake water at QAJAQ camp where I am surrounded by others in the same boat.

So, bring on the snow and ice and freezing temps. When the going gets tough, I get going to the pool.

Paddle safe...
DS

3 comments:

paddlingOTAKU said...

I feel a little differently about the pool - but I don't live in the north anymore. I think the pool is a great place to learn to roll, but once you have it I think you shouldn't go back. I think rolling practice should occur in as close to the environment that you will be rolling in as possible. As I said, it's not as cold here in the American south as you face, so you may feel differently.

Silbs said...

Actually, I agree, and I do most of my rolling out on Lake Michigan...in my sea kayaks. This post was about me and my SOF.

SherriKayaks said...

There are a lot of people up here who don't paddle over the winter. Going 6-8 months without practicing a roll can make it very difficult to keep your roll solid. It is important to practice your roll in the conditions in which you paddle, but winter pool sessions are a good way to keep your skills sharp until you can get out in conditions again. Even for those of us who paddle in winter, I can still use the extra practice in the pool on top of any rolls I do in the lake.