If you just go for a paddle than you can stop thinking about wanting to go for a paddle.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

2010: Post 3 - Weak-side rolling

I managed my first roll (strong-side) about three months after I bought my kayak.  Than I practiced it for about 6 months before I got really good at it.  Than I continued rolling on my strong-side for another 6 months before I even contemplated trying to learn to roll on my weak-side.  That was a mistake; I feel I waited far too long before learning to roll on my weak-side. 

Well, I did my first weak-side roll just under a year ago.  I practiced it in the pool sessions last winter, with much frustration, and continued practicing it over the summer and into the fall.  But I found that it has come to me very slowly, much more slowly than my strong-side.  It has been a struggle for me to get comfortable with it.

During the pool session last week I was fooling around with something and found myself having to roll up without setting up.  Without thinking about it I automatically started to set up on my weak-side.  I nearly had my paddle set and the realization came to me that I was not set up on my strong-side and I actually started to switch the paddle to the other side.  I remember thinking to myself that this is what all the practice has been for.  Then I stopped myself and reverted back to setting up my paddle on my weak-side and rolled up. Of course, all this took only seconds….

I think that was one of those kayaking turning points.  You know, those moments that you feel you have finally achieved something, or crossed a threshold that has been holding you back.  Until that point my weak-side rolling had been all done with intent.  That was the first time that I had done one without starting from an up-right position in the kayak.  To me this means that my weak-side has finally begun to feel more natural. 

The real test will come one day when I get knocked over in a real-paddle situation and, without hesitation, I will simply roll up on my weak-side.  After a while I hope to be able to say I do not have a strong-side or a weak-side roll.  I will simply just have a roll on both sides.

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