Friday, April 6, 2012


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Monday, April 2, 2012

learn to roll a kayak......(AND ROLL, AND ROLL!)

This is about how the woman who was afraid to put her head under water overcame her fear and learned Greenland-style rolling. . .

We worked hard last summer 2011 to help to overcome my fears. I read every article online about fear of water amongst kayakers and I practiced every day from 9 pm-11 pm in our pool. Hope to overcome my fear began with this article: .
Fear & The Wet Exit Published March 31, 2005 | By derrick: .
Until I found this article, I did not know that even experienced kayakers are afraid sometimes and have to struggle with fear as I did.
I did more and more research and while in the pool and in the bathtub I worked hard to just keep my head underwater. . At one point I realized that I am amazingly buoyant (because of my big ass).
I understood I will not sink, even without Personal Flotation Device. This realization gave me the confidence to try to dive underwater and hold my breath longer and longer. Then we used different training strategies todive under water or to pick up something from the bottom of the pool. .
Few friend of ours are into Greenland paddling with skin on frame kayaks and "skinny sticks".Ones upon our monthly meeting someone talked about Dubside and Greenland ropes. I found it very challenging and we bought a set of ropes and began to work on the Greenland rope skills. I dry rolled on the ropes day and night. _ .
My body was bruised blue and yellow. I looked like I’d been in a car accident. . In December we went to the Optimist pool with a plan: I wanted to learn to roll underwater without a kayak first. We had lots of fun, fun, fun for the first month. We celebrated all the little steps toward success. At one point I could flip backwards and forwards. .

. Then we took a paddle and holding it vertical I used it to hold myself upside down, like a pool pole-dancer. .

. Next we took the recreational boat to attempt a wet exit ...and voila! I did my first non-accidental wet exit. .


. I watched Laura B,Bill B and Craig S practicing in the pool to roll and at home I watched rolling videos 24/7. I made practice plans -- told Tamas how I wanted him to help me . . .how I wanted him to hold me, to help me do a balance brace. After that everything became very easy. .

. I always knew that I was good in bracing and balancing. I have been working on the flexibility for years. I have a routine exercise that I do each time in the pool, before I touch my boat – it helps me to relax and focus. Now I have rolled all the kayaks in the pool, even the wild water kayaks. But my favorite thing is sculling and bracing. I try to do a new roll or learn a new skill every week. I am teaching Tamas too. .

. He can do all the rolls but he is just not as flexible as I am. He is great though, and without him, I never could have learned to roll so easily. .
 THE WHY . I think the main reason I learned to roll is because of our sick cat. Not able to travel we needed something to work on to keep our sanity. I also had lots of inspiring experiences during the last four years. The first one happened on our first Lumber River trip. Dawn Stewart, a woman in her late 50s, paddled with us. She can do 1200 miles in a solo kayak She completed the WaterTribe race around Florida in 2006,2009,2012. .Wow!! .
Then next year we followed Freyas circumnavigating Australia and now she is around South America . .
very cool stuff. .
Then I realized that in the meetup group, lots of paddlers who are around 60 are doing super cool things on the water. GT, Dave, and CW are inspirational. But the Greenland wind hit me when I first sat in Dan Perry's F1 skin-on-frame . It was love with the first paddle! . Right after we rewarded ourselves by having our beautiful unfinished Bill Bremer lumpypaddles customized, burning native Indian motifs and oiling the paddles to finish them. .
Then I read lots of history about Inuits and watched tons of Christopher Crowhurst's qajaqrolls. online. . .

And the rest you know from the older blog posts......just having fun under water...:-)))
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