Water confidence

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gp.girl
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Water confidence

Post by gp.girl »

Any ideas how to improve this?

It's pool season again and rolling has come up (or in my case stayed firmly under the water). I've got no chance with <5 seconds if I'm lucky before going for the spraydeck.
I can roll :)

Mark Dixon
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Re: Water confidence

Post by Mark Dixon »

I used Visualisation techniques to start with, shut your eyes and remain calm, think of a specific happy time or thing, its easy to practice this in the pool, then transfer it to cold river rolling and onwards to when you go over, eventually you will be calm about capsizing.
The other is playboating and purposely getting in holes, you soon learn to roll.
Adreniline is probably making you worse, this cannot be controlled as easy and will improve as you get better and paddle bigger water than your use to.
It will take time but I was the worlds worst at going upside down without a nosepeg and now it doesnt bother me in slightest.
Mark

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Re: Water confidence

Post by damppaddler »

How long can you stay underwater when swimming?

If it is longer than the 5 seconds you can manage in a kayak, then you need to work on relaxing upside down in a kayak

Put the paddles to one side and get someone on standby to right your kayak

Capsize and stay in the boat, bang to bottom of the boat as the signal to be pulled back over

Keep doing that until you can count to 30 before banging the bottom of the boat

And get a nose clip and goggles - you need to stay as comfortable as possible until you have built that confidence up

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Re: Water confidence

Post by DaveB »

Another exercise is (wilst still right side up) take a normal breath and hold it whilst reciting a nursery rhyme in your head at a slow speed. See how far you get before you run out of air. Now capsize with a coach standing next to you and repeat the recitation in your head and slap for a rescue when you need to. This gives your mind something to do and should fairly quickly get you away from the panic/bail out reaction.

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Re: Water confidence

Post by Franky »

gp.girl wrote:Any ideas how to improve this?

It's pool season again and rolling has come up (or in my case stayed firmly under the water). I've got no chance with <5 seconds if I'm lucky before going for the spraydeck.
At the risk of telling you things you already know, here's how I learned to roll:
- Watched Ken Whiting's "Rolling a Kayak (Whitewater)" DVD just before a pool session. It's only 20 minutes long, and Ken's explanation is as clear as crystal.
Ken tells you to practise the support stroke (like it or not, this is basically a high brace as far as I can tell) and the hip flick individually, before putting them together.
- Started with hip flicks at the side of the pool - held onto the poolside with arms outstretched, turned the boat so that it was past 90 degrees, did the hip flick, let go of the side and pulled my torso up (AND BACK, to lower the boat's centre of gravity). I then tried to let go of the poolside earlier and earlier.
- Practised some support strokes, getting the boat as near to 90 degrees as possible before pulling up.
- Tried a roll and to my astonishment finding it worked.

I really found it helped to practise hip flicks first because it's not a natural manouevre and you need to get it in your hips' head (if that makes sense) what you want them to do.

I first rolled in a log-like boat that almost rolled itself. It was nothing like you'd ever use on a river, but having it made easy at first was crucial in building confidence.

Above all, I really recommend Ken Whiting's video. Having watched the video JUST BEFORE a pool session, I found myself *automatically* remembering the video when I was in the situation it had shown - there was a sense of familiarity that diverted my attention from the thought, "Help, I'm under water".

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Simon
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Re: Water confidence

Post by Simon »

gp.girl wrote:Any ideas how to improve this?

It's pool season again and rolling has come up.
I found that one common problem is one given in your post. We think we learn to roll in a swimming pool, and then are surprised to have problems on a real river
  • * If you want to learn to roll in a pool, practice in a pool.
    * If you want to learn to roll a playboat on a play wave, practice in a playboat on play wave.
    * If you want to learn to roll a big river runner wearing full kit in cold white water, then you have to practice rolling a big river runner wearing full kit in cold white water.
Practicing in a pool or a play wave can be a useful build up to practice on a real river in a proper boat. But it is no substitute.

The second thing to say is don't worry too much about it. I could roll perfectly well in a pool, and rolled endlessly in a squirt boat or playboat on Holme Pierrepont. But I used to freeze upside-down on a real river, and I have swum down many of the classic runs in Europe. But it did not stop me going boating and having a great time.

Even if you can't roll that well get out there and enjoy it. Try not to let anxiety prevent you enjoying the sport.

Good luck

Simon

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Re: Water confidence

Post by gp.girl »

I do all my white water knowing if I capsize I swim, I think my record is 5 times in 1 hour at Lee Valley. It's 3 in a day on a river and I rarely manage no swims. Just being able to T rescue would help practice anything tippy.
I can roll :)

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Re: Water confidence

Post by Sickboy »

Have you tried some good coaching? There is obviously something wrong, you may just need it pointing out (by someone you don't know), could be something really simple.
5 seconds is long enough if you've set up beforehand.
Rum and coke, best served by the pint.

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Re: Water confidence

Post by DaveBland »

Hey GP, it's tough to hear, but it's only you that can sort that one out! You'll know the real reason you are pulling so soon. Whether it's the fear of being trapped, the fear of running out of air etc.
I'd say work out what it is and then think of a way to tackle that aspect. So if it's a fear of running out of air, take the advice above and have someone next to you to bring you up, increasing the time slowly. If it's the fear of being trapped, use a bigger boat, do 100 wet exits in a row, so you know you have it dow… point is, realize and tackle the actual aspect of the concern.

Good luck!
Franky wrote:…log-like boat that almost rolled itself. It was nothing like you'd ever use on a river
Probably a 'Bat'… the original design of the Rotobat - which have a pretty cool WW pedigree.
dave

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Jim
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Re: Water confidence

Post by Jim »

Loads of good tips for rolling there but little for confidence underwater it seems.

Forget about the boat for a while. Go to the shallow end, with someone you trust if necessary, and just practice holding your head under water for longer and longer times - a waterproof watch and a pair of goggles may help, or get your friend to time you. If you do it in the shallow end you will be able to stand up and breathe at any time so you can maintain full control and hopefully over time get over your panic reaction to being under water.
As your confidence builds try moving around underwater and/or moving to deeper until you are happy floating around out of your depth and diving under for a while before coming back up and treading water.

Try to avoid hyperventilating before going under, just take one deepish breathe the same as you would get if you capsize by accident.

Good luck.

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Re: Water confidence

Post by Franky »

Simon wrote:
gp.girl wrote:Any ideas how to improve this?

It's pool season again and rolling has come up.
I found that one common problem is one given in your post. We think we learn to roll in a swimming pool, and then are surprised to have problems on a real river
Yes but she says her problem is in the swimming pool. She's not likely to be confident rolling in a river if she isn't confident in a pool. First things first, surely.
The second thing to say is don't worry too much about it. I could roll perfectly well in a pool, and rolled endlessly in a squirt boat or playboat on Holme Pierrepont. But I used to freeze upside-down on a real river, and I have swum down many of the classic runs in Europe. But it did not stop me going boating and having a great time.
I agree. With me it's quite hit-and-miss whether I roll in a river. There is something so unpleasant about being upside-down in cold manky water that the thought, "It would be cool if I could manage a roll" doesn't seem very relevant. Rolling in a pool is fun once you get the hang of it, but rolling in a river is just a disagreeable necessity.

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Re: Water confidence

Post by Franky »

Jim wrote:Loads of good tips for rolling there but little for confidence underwater it seems.
Yes, sorry, I went off on a tangent there.
Forget about the boat for a while. Go to the shallow end, with someone you trust if necessary, and just practice holding your head under water for longer and longer times - a waterproof watch and a pair of goggles may help, or get your friend to time you. If you do it in the shallow end you will be able to stand up and breathe at any time so you can maintain full control and hopefully over time get over your panic reaction to being under water.
As your confidence builds try moving around underwater and/or moving to deeper until you are happy floating around out of your depth and diving under for a while before coming back up and treading water.

Try to avoid hyperventilating before going under, just take one deepish breathe the same as you would get if you capsize by accident.
Good advice, yes. Being familiar with holding your breath under water might be the key thing here.

Before I took up kayaking I swam regularly, and I would sometimes try to swim a length of the pool under water. It was never easy, but knowing how long I could hold my breath for was a help when I was learning how to roll.

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Re: Water confidence

Post by Junior »

I found closing my eyes made me more panicky and made 5 seconds feel like 5 minutes. Being able to see whats happening when your upside down really helps.

Invest in some goggles...not swimming googles, a decent scuba mask. I used a pair in the pool to learn to roll and it made a huge difference. Once i'd got the the technique i removed the goggles and found it a lot easier.

Seeing how long you can stay upside down is the best bet. Count as long as you can before pulling off your deck for air, then try and beat it. You will be able to stay under longer if you do it by yourself rather than waiting for someone to pull you up.

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Re: Water confidence

Post by Garry »

A couple of exerciese we do in teh pool to enhance confidence for rolling and encouraging you to stay in teh boat and not go for teh release strap below:-

Works best with a short boat e.g. play boat this one. Start near the edge of thepool, capsize and "swim" the boat to the side and
flick back up using the side. The "swim" is effectively a breaststroke with your legs inside the boat and your head under teh water against teh back deck. with a play boat you shoudl be easliy able to reach teh side of teh pool before the back deck hits it. gradually increase the distance between thecapsize point and the side of the pool until you are "swimming" a good 10 metres or so before getting to the side and righting it.

Second one is a bit of a game but link a number of boats together using loose "bungy" type elastics end to end through teh end loops. Line up across the pool so they form a long thin bridge. All in teh line capsize together, then one person runs across the "bridge". You cant roll back up until after the person has run across your boat. encourages you to sit upside down until you get the signal - but looks good on video as well :-)

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Re: Water confidence

Post by gp.girl »

2 hours at Nene, 3 swims and not a bang on the boat let alone a T-rescue in sight. As far as I can tell reflex. Put nose clip on, check there's someone there, mean to try really, or even think about it once over. Not a chance :(
I can roll :)

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Re: Water confidence

Post by Franky »

gp.girl wrote:2 hours at Nene, 3 swims and not a bang on the boat let alone a T-rescue in sight. As far as I can tell reflex. Put nose clip on, check there's someone there, mean to try really, or even think about it once over. Not a chance :(
Why not change your signature? Every time you post on this forum, you're reasserting your belief that you can't roll.

As people have said, it really doesn't matter much whether you can roll or not. Everything in life goes full circle so just roll with it :)

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Re: Water confidence

Post by gp.girl »

That one turned up because I had a bit more confidence and would put the paddle to one side to make the t rescue easier. Oddly it actually looked like a set up! At this point I had no idea how to roll unless you count watching other people/youtube which is basically exactly the same thing.
I can roll :)

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Re: Water confidence

Post by mantamx »

try practicing a freediving technique (ie without the boat first - just holding your breath, above surface). if you know you CAN stay under water for even 1 minute (and it really is not that hard to get to 5+), you will KNOW you can do waaay more than 5 seconds even without any prep. first of my favourite series is here . This is by far not the only thing you need to master, but it does help a lot.
PS not just for beginners either (i keep saying to serious boaters some practice in this may save your life one day...not that many listen, but they should).

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Re: Water confidence

Post by Jim »

May I re-iterate advice to work on holding your head underwater without a boat being involved, maybe in public pool time rather than a paddling session, or even in the bath at home (doesn't work in the shower). It might take several weeks or even months to build up confidence.

In the meantime don't apply for any offshore jobs, the EBS training will really freak you out!

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Re: Water confidence

Post by buck197 »

Post by mantamx » Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:01 pm

try practicing a freediving technique (ie without the boat first - just holding your breath, above surface). if you know you CAN stay under water for even 1 minute (and it really is not that hard to get to 5+), you will KNOW you can do waaay more than 5 seconds even without any prep. first of my favourite series is here . This is by far not the only thing you need to master, but it does help a lot.
PS not just for beginners either (I keep saying to serious boaters some practice in this may save your li
I'm not sure the video is directly helpful for kayaking because when you go over it will almost certainly be in a rapid somewhere and stress levels will be high, whether you get a full breath before going over is doubtful as well. I really liked the video and made sense but I'm sure when you go over the biggest problem is being relaxed and waiting to execute a roll or t rescue. I can see it may give you confidence to be under water for longer so that is a positive thing but it's being relaxed and waiting is what is needed to be mastered.
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mantamx
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Re: Water confidence

Post by mantamx »

Brian - all true (and i am myself a testament as while i can hold breath for 5 mins+ with prep, I do swim way more often than i'd like - and typically after just 20-30 seconds of trying). Adrenalin, high pulse, partial breath-in, fear etc all make it very different. BUT the only way to get better imo is to train in easy conditions first, gradually making them harder. Once you know it is ok to just fight your instinct to inhale, and get used to doing it, you have set the scene for doing it in the harder circumstances (where the onset of these symptoms will happen in 10 -20 seconds, not 2 minutes)..

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Re: Water confidence

Post by gp.girl »

gp.girl wrote:2 hours at Nene, 3 swims and not a bang on the boat let alone a T-rescue in sight. As far as I can tell reflex. Put nose clip on, check there's someone there, mean to try really, or even think about it once over. Not a chance :(
Well that was fun, now managed to descend to panicing before capsizing (again).
I can roll :)

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Re: Water confidence

Post by Kizzie_St-As »

Have you tried T-rescues while already holding onto the boat? I remember when I was little always worrying that the person wouldn't get to me soon enough, but this way they're already in your grasp and can't get away!
Other than that, it's all about building up good experiences and gradually realising that it's not as bad as you think it is. It will take a long time - don't rush. Doing T rescues off an already positioned boat, hip flicks off the side and maybe hip flicks off a paddle someone is holding beside you can all help with just convincing you that it really isn't that scary.

If you're having panic attacks you're pushing too fast. Take a step back and maybe while holding onto the side/someone's boat try just dipping your shoulder in the water, then your ear, then maybe your nose. Build slowly and carefully and you'll get there eventually.
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Re: Water confidence

Post by Simongelder »

Kizzie_St-As wrote: Take a step back and maybe while holding onto the side/someone's boat try just dipping your shoulder in the water, then your ear, then maybe your nose. Build slowly and carefully and you'll get there eventually.
I recommend holding onto the side of the pool as suggested by Kizzie too. Can do this with one or both arms. You can get some familiarisation and confidence in your hip flick, seeing how it feels twisting/leaning the boat over with your body and head in various positions. However, you are in control of how low in the water you allow your head to go. Perhaps you can try to relax with the boat over on its side and allow the bouyancy of your body to support your weight, not just your arm(s)? Wear a bouyancy aid to increase your body's bouyancy and make the practice a little more like being on a river where you will be wearing a bouyancy aid too.

Wearing a face mask or goggles & nose clip is a good idea too.

For some reason whilst practising, I have always felt more nervous doing a complete roll rather than going over and coming back up on the same side (like a very deep support/recovery stroke rather than a roll).

Are you able to allow yourself to capsize and be pulled back up by a helper standing in the water next to you - this can be done very quickly, almost as a continuous roll movement as soon as you have gone over. Go over whilst leaning forwards and holding the bottom/sides of boat with hands either side of the boat. Stay in this position when you have gone over and allow your helper to lean over the boat and pull you back up. If you can manage okay with this (you will), agree with your helper that you will try banging the bottom of the boat with your hands before the helper pulls you back up. If the world hasn't ended after this, ask your helper to wait until you have banged and resumed the forward position before pulling up. Another time, hesitate a little longer before banging the bottom of the boat to signal you want to be pulled back up. Etc, etc. Don't rush - try to leave the pool on a high after you have made progress, even if this may seem just a little to others.

If the water in the pool is cold, are you allowed to wear a wetsuit to keep you nice and warm so the water is less shocking?
One day you will wonder why it was so difficult as the movements when you get them right are very natural - honestly!

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Re: Water confidence

Post by Adrian Cooper »

Kizzie_St-As wrote:If you're having panic attacks you're pushing too fast. ....................... Build slowly and carefully and you'll get there eventually.
I have suspected for a little while now that this is the OP's problem. She is trying to push herself forward faster than she really feels comfortable, probably trying to get badges and awards.

I think you should take a step back and re-evaluate your paddling career to ensure you get maximum enjoyment out of it rather than the struggles detailed in your posts here. How about making that your next challenge, to post up details of a trip or event that you really enjoyed, paddling within your capabilities.

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Re: Water confidence

Post by Franky »

Adrian Cooper wrote:
Kizzie_St-As wrote:If you're having panic attacks you're pushing too fast. ....................... Build slowly and carefully and you'll get there eventually.
I have suspected for a little while now that this is the OP's problem. She is trying to push herself forward faster than she really feels comfortable, probably trying to get badges and awards.

I think you should take a step back and re-evaluate your paddling career to ensure you get maximum enjoyment out of it rather than the struggles detailed in your posts here. How about making that your next challenge, to post up details of a trip or event that you really enjoyed, paddling within your capabilities.
Yes... and she shouldn't regard not being able to roll as a reflection on her paddling abilities. I didn't even attempt to roll until I'd been paddling for 4 years. I'd managed - and enjoyed - several whitewater trips, and swam on them so often that my club gave me an award for it. I thought to myself it would be nice to be able to roll one day - but I didn't worry about it, I just enjoyed the paddling in the mean time.

Perhaps it's also worth bearing in mind that we all have good days and bad days, and you shouldn't let a bad day cloud your whole view of your paddling abilities. I'm susceptible to that myself... I flunked my first attempt at my 2* award due to a failure of nerves, and hardly paddled again for the best part of a year... What I should have done is get straight back in the water. Every time I've had a bad or embarrassing paddling experience since then, I've forced myself not to brood on it but to get straight back in the water and enjoy myself. It was difficult, as I am a natural brooder, but every time I've gone against my instinct to feel sorry for myself, I've been glad I did.

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Re: Water confidence

Post by gp.girl »

Garry wrote: Works best with a short boat e.g. play boat this one. Start near the edge of the pool, capsize and "swim" the boat to the side and flick back up using the side. The "swim" is effectively a breaststroke with your legs inside the boat and your head under teh water against teh back deck. with a play boat you shoudl be easliy able to reach teh side of teh pool before the back deck hits it. gradually increase the distance between the capsize point and the side of the pool until you are "swimming" a good 10 metres or so before getting to the side and righting it.
And after a good session tried this but didn't quite remember the intructions so we were 'doggy paddling' sideways instead. Rather fun once you get used to it. Threatened the coach but he's got his hands full trying to get Adrian to roll and he suggested trying to hand roll first! Next 'game of dare' is going to involve t-rescueing off an airbag and trying the breaststroke method. Also going to try tying knots upside down as a laugh.

Oh and I seem to have agreed to doing hand of god rescue practice, both bits, but we will be near the side so self rescue will work if needed.
I can roll :)

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Re: Water confidence

Post by gp.girl »

Rolled!

Twice :)
I can roll :)

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Re: Water confidence

Post by mark62 »

Well done! Now you know you can do it you will do it again and again. It'll get better, smoother and easier.

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Re: Water confidence

Post by 66quinny66 »

gp.girl wrote:Rolled!

Twice :)
Nice one! Well done. Just keep at it now (yes, I appreciate that it's still a bit cold outdoors ;) )

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