Back deck!

All my friends
Like to spend
Days on end
On the mend
I turn to you, I turn into
And then I turn it again

-Red Hot Chili Peppers

 

Learning to roll (upright while flipped upside down) a kayak has been one of the most fun experiences I’ve had while at college.  The class is composed of 8 people and all of us have become really close to one another over the 2 hour long, Friday classes.  Plus our fearless leader, Paul, always has an interesting story about his younger kayaking classes in the past, his massive Saint Bernard, or anything else that comes up in our conversations while practicing in the pool.

It took me about 8 classes to fully develop a reliable sweep roll….and it’s all the result of good communication between my classmates and the instructor.  Technique is heavily stressed in the beginning; various rolling fundamentals are introduced and practiced first to develop good form.  The instructor would observe our movements, comment on what we were doing, and offer advice as to how we could improve as we practiced our rolling exercises.  Once we began using our paddles to roll, our instructor would be in the water almost all class long to help guide our paddles in the right path that would cause us to roll our kayak upright.

This is where my progress slowed down a little bit because my movements weren’t reliably consistent….I had the roll but it hurt my shoulder a lot after class….I had the roll the next class…I didn’t have the roll the next class….I had the roll….I didn’t have the roll.  This got the perfectionist inside of me teeming with frustration.  Through my determination to figure out the exact motion, I developed ways to better explain the roll to others.  Now I’ve finally got that reliable sweep roll and back deck roll thanks to Paul and the rest of my awesome kayaking class =)

As for my kayaking adventures, it’s only just begun.  I definitely plan on furthering my whitewater kayaking skills in the warmer months coming up; I just need to find some gear and some kayaking pals!

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