Thursday, August 2, 2007

Learning to Roll, August 2007

After much trial and error, I have finally learned to roll. Last summer I took a 2 evening clinic for stroke development and rolling, put off by The Outfitters in St. John's. This course taught me the fundamentals of rolling, and this summer I've been practicing it a lot in the pond behind my house. After a few frustrating evenings, I think I finally have it. Two things were holding me back from success: taking my head out of the water too early, as it should be the last thing to leave the water, and not sweeping my paddle out in a wide enough arc. Once I figured these two things out, I was amazed at how easy it was. The extended paddle roll is much easier to get first. The leverage you get from the extended paddle is almost enough to flip you over the other way if you aren't careful!

Rock over London, Rock on Chicago


René Seindal said...

Hi Brian,

Your story sounds a bit like mine - several coaching sessions and then one day it just works for no apparent reason.

I couldn't help notice that you too do something I have been working on not doing. I believe you have your left arm too straight on the fourth and the second last photos. You need to get it more compact, so your left hand is as close to your chest as possible when you emerge from the water on a right side roll.

You want the energy from the paddle to pass through your arm and body to the boat as efficiently as possible, and that is done the best by having your hand as close to your chest as possible. They way you do it on the photos, and the way I do it if not careful, wastes energy when your arm flexes.

It might make the difference between a failed and a successful roll when you're tired after a long days paddling.

Brian Newhook said...

Thanks for the tip Rene. It is something I will be watching for this winter during pool sessions. I was doing a similar thing with my high braces, not keeping that small compact "paddlers box" with my arm and paddle.