Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Paddling , Rolling , Rescues , Surfing
routier1642
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Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby routier1642 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:21 pm

I've been doing casual river kayaking for a few years, but now I'm with a group that likes doing estuaries and bays.
This means waves, which means I will need to learn how to roll.
I'm not really interested in dancing on waves or surfing; I just want to be able to survive.

I'm 55 years old, 110kg, with back problems (fasciatis, a little sciatica) which limit my bending and twisting mobility.
I don't think my hips can flick!

Is there any roll I can learn which will work for me?
Maybe a back deck roll, since bending backwards is OK for me?
I'm not flexible but I do have a fair bit of upper body strength.

My preferred sea kayak is my Eco Bezhig, which I understand is hard to roll, so I'd probably better learn in something else, no?

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby robg » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:38 pm

Routier you can roll, you just need to find someone who can teach you the right way so you don't get into any bad habits that will put undue strain on your body. Its probably easy to start in a white water boat in a pool because it a controlled environment and generally heated and you will be wet a lot while you get the hang of it. When you are doing it right you will be surprised how easy it is. Have a go.

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby fer » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:23 am

routier1642 wrote:...This means waves, which means I will need to learn how to roll.
...I'm not flexible but I do have a fair bit of upper body strength....


it doesnt mean you need to roll, it means you need to know who to stay up, good bracing, reflexes and core stability.

if you try to learn to roll with upper body strengh you will eventually hurt yourself. you dont need flexibility neither, you need proper technique

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby gnarlydog » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:05 am

I'm 55 years old, 110kg, with back problems

I can somehow identify myself there.
My formal training by qualified instructors lead to lousy results until a skilled person emphasized that I should learn to scull first before focusing so much on rolling.
Initially I thought it was a waste of time but really was the only thing that lead to a confident roll, in all conditions.
No hip flicks for me (I find that a bad idea) just gentle pressure on my Greenland paddle while sculling.
I have shared my findings with several keen paddlers that realized the "hip flick" was not working for them; they are now happy rollers.
I am far from flexible and not agile but I am aware that rolling was the fundamental thing that changed my confidence in dynamic water.
It took away the fear of falling in the waves and gave me the inspiration to push myself and become a better kayaker.


Image.

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby Jmuzz » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:21 pm

Yes sculling will teach you a lot.
Find a sandbar which is just the right depth that you can lay on your shoulder and still breath, then work out the technique to scull and bring shoulder off the sand.
Done properly it will be a graceful relaxed sculling of the paddle with no brute strength.
The first step is to teach your muscles the coordination of angling the paddle to glide back and forwards on the surface, then progress to generating lift.

Warning, your shoulder is in danger of injury if you try and lever up off the sand from that position. You will need to bail out when done, until you progress the scull into a full roll.

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby oiddad » Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:18 pm

Any good youtube clips that show steps to a "scull roll"?

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby robg » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:17 pm

Yep everybody learns differently. I taught myself and some friends from you tube clips. But after being to the NZ Kayak school for a WW course I realise now that a good instructor would have got me rolling with better technique a whole lot quicker. A good instructor also can teach using a variety of methods.

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby gsimson » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:17 am

gnarlydog wrote:No hip flicks for me (I find that a bad idea) just gentle pressure on my Greenland paddle while sculling.
I have shared my findings with several keen paddlers that realized the "hip flick" was not working for them;.


Hip flick is a bit of a misnomer, but I would suggest it's still correctly timed upward pressure on the "water" leg NOT on the paddle that will give you the roll or successful scull. If you are trying to right a heavily loaded kayak it is the continuous pressure rather than an explosive flick that will do the trick reliably and the same principle applies to a physically undemanding and safe controlled roll of an unloaded kayak. Get some tuition from a good instructor, they do exist and as has been said in previous posts, will speed up the learning process considerably.

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby K_Zinti » Sat Nov 22, 2014 1:49 pm

routier1642 wrote:I'
Maybe a back deck roll, since bending backwards is OK for me? I'm not flexible but I do have a fair bit of upper body strength.
My preferred sea kayak is my Eco Bezhig, which I understand is hard to roll, so I'd probably better learn in something else, no?


A back deck roll works well for many people of varying sizes, shapes and levels of flexibility. Based on pictures, your EB seems to have a high lip on the back of the cockpit which will make it harder to lie back for a more graceful/reliable roll. If your boat has the backrest that hinges from the back of the seat pan, that may also also inhibit leaning back - this could be replaced with a pivoting backband if it does.

A nice example of a rear deck roll is here: http://vimeo.com/93779534 - no power, just grace. Using upper body strength is usually a liability when learning to roll. Trying to yank one's self out of the water often leads to crappy, failed rolls and sore/damaged shoulders.

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby Geoff » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:55 am

The advice about sculling is good BUT, you still need instruction so that you learn to scull properly. It should be a slow relaxed scull using rotation to scull and having your back lying fairly flat on the water with the kayak as flat as possible. Most learners bring the kayak over on top of themselves which completely kills any possibility of being successful.
As has been suggested by others, you need a quality instructor to help you find the best way to roll that suits you.
It is good to learn in an easy to roll kayak before applying it to your own kayak. Learning the fundamentals of rolling is critical to a successful roll in most circumstances and if you are fighting a difficult to roll kayak at the same time it will slow the learning process and also introduce bad habits.
The term hip flick is a misnomer, I prefer to call it a knee lift as with most sea kayaks, that's what it is, a knee lift.
If you do have a kayak with a high back deck, you can still do a layback roll by lifting your bum and then laying back.
And upper body strength is irrelevant, it is definitely a technique based skill.
My wife is not a strong girl but she has good technique as this video of her very first day in her Pilgrim Expedition shows.
http://youtu.be/67Jz-PWNBYM?list=UUyiX5PxRD-7uNPphS2WStUA
Geoff

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby gnarlydog » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:13 am

As has been suggested by others, you need a quality instructor to help you find the best way to roll that suits you.

no instructor needed here: this guy learned to roll by watching videos, really
I am yet top see a better roller than him: http://youtu.be/LiNi-FKvvgA
Just saying; we all learn in a different way, there are no absolutes

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby Jmuzz » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:08 am

Something else I would recommend is to just learn to be calm and peaceful upside down underwater.
You see it every time, people panic and come out gasping for air after all of 5 seconds submerged and a frenzied splashing of the paddle on the surface.

Get snorkel goggles which will let you see plus keep the water out of your nose, ear plugs if you get problems with water getting stuck in there and clicking.
Flip in clean clear water where you arent paranoid about sharks, can leave skirt off for less entrapment stress if you want, relax float in space and look around at the mini fish and crabs running around the sand, flex body up towards the surface which is what you will be doing in a roll. Just minimize energy use and hold breath as long as comfortable then calmly bail out.

An assistant standing next to you can give you and arm up when you reach your hand out of the water etc and act as a safety lookout if there are any issues. (The buddy system is always an important part of kayaking).

This will teach you to stop the panic instinct and roll in a calm controlled manner. You have ample time to setup correctly for a roll, no need to go into a panic and ruin any chance of a roll.

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby gnarlydog » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:22 am

Jmuzz, that is exactly what I do when somebody asks if I can teach them rolling
It was those steps that you describe that were omitted in my learning and it took me a long time just to figure out what was up and what was down, too worried about coming up in a hurry.
I prefer to see people getting used to be underwater, understand that things are suddenly upside down and getting oriented.
Once that is figured out I see swift progress.
I usually hold the kayak by the perimeter lines and once the person underwater sitting in the cockpit had "enough of looking around" they tap on the hull and I flipped them around.
I have noticed an increased confidence once they understand their surroundings.
Of course all this helps when water is 26C :-)

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby Jmuzz » Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:00 pm

I guess a problem for commercial instructors is that people wont be impressed when their paid lesson consists of being flipped underwater without being taught "the magic trick" to instantly roll, or surf straight, or paddle long and fast.

People will see that as very poor value for money, even though what the instructor is doing is the path to good rolling.
This is even true for free club workshops, basic drills can be the most important thing but people leave disappointed when they have spent the time doing stuff which often doesnt even involve sitting in a kayak.

Homework and pre lesson drills can be given, but they can only lead a horse to water not make it drink.

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby Paul Nollen » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:45 pm

In my opinion these are the best video's together with the comments above. When you have to apply strength there is something that needs improvement. I am still learning how to roll and I succeeded two times now after a lot of failures. But now I understand and recognise on the video's (and the comments above) where it went wrong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lot3_3aQQVE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=viZuHfiWoSk

Paul (from down under ;) my native language is Dutch but I try my best )

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby Gazza » Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:29 am

Geoff wrote:If you do have a kayak with a high back deck, you can still do a layback roll by lifting your bum and then laying back.
Geoff

Appreciate your great tips and advice Geoff, particularly regarding hip flick versus knee lift, however doing the above on a kayak with a moulded seat and high back deck like the boat that I paddle would cause the spine to come into contact with the hard seat/cockpit lip which could eventually result in some form of spinal damage!

When learning to roll a kayak with a high back deck, wouldn't it be better to learn a forward ending roll rather than a layback roll?

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby Geoff » Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:59 pm

Remarkably few people do a proper forward finishing roll, all they do is roll up then suddenly lean forward after rolling up and think they have done a forward finishing roll.Ain't so.
When doing a proper sculling roll there really isn't even a knee lift. Once you rotate around you simply lay the kayak as flat as possible by straightening the offside leg and slightly raising the water side leg then slide up onto the back deck.
You really, really need to have instruction from someone that knows what they are on about. If I were you I would email Rob Mercer and ask him to suggest a suitable instructor in the west.

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby Texen » Wed May 24, 2017 6:18 pm

If anyone has had experience in a variety of kayaks including the Mirage 580 and 530, could you let me know on a scale of 1easiest to 10hardest how hard it is to roll each?

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby TIMAX » Fri May 26, 2017 11:58 pm

I learnt in a 580 and found once i had the technique it is an easy kayak to roll. 3 things that helped me were.... goggles so i didnt get water up my nose and a neoprene cap that covered my ears. I find water swishing around inside my head really puts me off. And then keep your eyes planted on the tip of your paddle right to the very end. Head comes out of the water last with constant knee lift.

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Re: Type of Roll for less mobile/athletic?

Postby Texen » Wed May 31, 2017 9:55 am

I was warm after a paddle and ready for the cold water, so I stopped at a calm beach which was perfect for practice (and bull sharks). There were two women on the beach - I figured if got into trouble, they would rescue me at best, or at worst they would call the police to recover my body before the sharks fed.

I was able to lean over and 'brace' back up easily; and was able to lay forward and back on the kayak; and also lay down with my head in the water on the right side and still get back up easily. I tried to roll three times and failed each time and I am still not sure why. Surprisingly I realised on the second go that I was able, when upside down, to take breaths out to the side, so the three tries was more like six tries.

Anyway I noticed at this point one of the women seemed to be filming (argh utube? no...) and two people walking dogs had also stopped to look. Maybe another go before an instructor. In the mean time, don't capsize.


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