Sunday, January 7, 2007
Learning the Greenland style rolls have been a natural progression for me in this kayaking endeavor, and pool sessions are a great place to work on these skills. Once a person is able to recover from a capsize by rolling back up, it allows you to learn so many new things. One advantage to working on other rolls, is getting yourself upside down, in all sorts of different positions, and using your standard roll to recover, you really bombproof your standard roll. So when your on Lake Superior in the wind and waves, you get your skeg rope stuck under your spray skirt, and tip over trying to pull the stubborn thing loose .. it becomes a none event .. except for losing another hat in Lake Superior. That would make two now.
Now and then a different piece of equipment will help the learning process. I tried a new carbon fiber Greenland paddle out today. It is about six inches longer than mine. At first like all things different than you are used to, it feels foreign, but after some time I found that one roll I had been working on felt so much easier, it wasn't the "magic wand" to fix my attempts at the butterfly roll, but the butterfly doesn't rely much on the paddle anyways. What it did do was add some power to my "go to" rolls. Both on and offside sweep rolls really worked well. The carbon fiber paddle was custom made by my friend Ron Stienwall, he is really coming along well with the design, and manufacturing process. If anyone is interested in a nice Greenland carbon paddle, his paddles are worth checking out.
I've carved some Greenland paddles out of cedar, these are two of the paddles I made.