Monday, January 19, 2009

Rollin', Rollin,' Rollin'

Its that time of the year again -- winter kayak rolling practice has begun. This is the 3rd year I'm attempting to master the kayak roll. You'd think after two seasons I'd finally get it, huh? Nooooooo... not Chili. I'm ok in the controlled environment of warm, clear, water. But get me to try it in the ucky river? Barf... river water just ain't the same as pool water. I guess that's my problem. You have to practice it, and I don't care much to practice in river water which is the only choice I have, so I roll in the pool, then don't roll again until the following year in the pool. No wonder I swim! Anywho...back to the roll practices. Sam and Donna Mummert put together several sessions at the Carlisle YMCA, and the Harrisburg Canoe Club puts together several at the Cumberland Valley High School. Between the two, we'll get about 6 or so roll practice sessions in this year. Rick, of course, does perfect rolls and practices all the time. So he's the teacher most of the time and really does a nice job teaching folks the concept. Last evening was the first roll session at Carlisle. At the last session last year, Vern Graham (an expert whitewater canoe guy) of the Harrisburg Canoe club explained a C to C roll to me, and it helped me. So this year, I'm doing that roll sort of combined with the Sweep, which is what Rick taught me. And its finally working. So I'll keep practicing that the next couple weeks and maybe this year I won't swim! (a C to C roll is a two-part roll whereby the Sweep is all one movement. In reality, the sweep is likely the better roll in a whitewater situation because you have to think and act really quick if you get flipped).

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