first swim/roll

Inland paddling
Posts: 209
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 8:01 pm
Location: warrington

first swim/roll

Post by filo »

As a newbie to this and only been on the river a couple of times,nearly drowned on first go "pull the what" .I now goto the baths each week and the good people ive met (dave nightshift being one) shown me how to bail out first lesson and is now teaching me to roll. My reactions are pretty quick and somehow i hav'nt gone over since (i think i need to) i dont think about going over but its at the back of my mind how i'll react on moving water, my mates tell me just try and roll if it dont work then just rip deck and get out.
So how was your first swim/roll, panic or controled? terrified or laid back?

User avatar
Dave @ TRC
Posts: 1374
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:01 pm

Post by Dave @ TRC »

My first roll was on Chester weir i was 15 in My slalom boat was buzzing all week afterwards.

Suicide is man's way of telling God, "You can't fire me - I quit."


Posts: 428
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 3:17 pm
Location: South Island, New Zealand

Post by steveparry »

My first swim was on the flat water right above Grandtully on the was in an Acrobat 280...first time in a kayak...I swam the whole put me off for a while I have to say. My first roll was on the Tryweryn, good job too as my mate who 'leading me' was surfing miles upstream. Good times. Keep with it, it is so worth the effort.
Last edited by steveparry on Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 268
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2004 6:16 pm
Location: Warrington

Post by Mathew »

My first swim was at Marple, those Damn edges. It was around December and was cold.

I'll predict your first swim will be playing, probably at Mile End Mill.

User avatar
Ed Lefley
Posts: 877
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:48 pm
Location: Temporarily UK, returning to Australia soon

Post by Ed Lefley »

That's why i hate playing.... they expect you to willingly go into one of the holes at JJs and get trashed... saying that last time i was there i did manage to roll ok.... amazingly

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24138
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times

Post by Mark R »

Coventry bloody Canal.
Mark Rainsley

User avatar
Posts: 456
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 12:31 pm
Location: Hertford

Post by JamesA »

The best advice I can give about stopping the panic, is getting to the side of a river where you can hold onto the bank (ie. canal with concrete bank) and gently lower yourself under the water. The same technique with the eskimo rescue (holding onto someone else's boat at the front) and lowering yourself in, is great for acclimatising to the water.

When the water shock goes, you can concentrate on rolling, or waiting for someone else to eskimo rescue yourself.

My first ever roll (pawlata) was 15 years ago in the school pool, although my first ever screw roll was only last July and was a liberating experience to say the least.

User avatar
Ryan Clements
Posts: 576
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 12:05 am
Location: Glasgow

Post by Ryan Clements »

The Wey navigation in Guilford, I think that's what it's called. From a marathon boat after getting a little too confident too quickly- "ya wanna race!".

Posts: 233
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 9:41 am

Post by madocks »

Ruling out play swimming pools and play waves.....

First roll - serpents tail, the guys i was with were well impressed. Before I tackled any white water i spent around 6-8 hours in the pool, rolling and rolling and rolling. By the time I hit the water, natural reflexes took over and I was upright again. Didn't really think about it.

First swim - Trewryn, graveyard, bit of an epic!!!!!! battered and bruised

User avatar
Posts: 8122
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 8:37 am
Location: North Wales
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by Tom_Laws »

First swim? err, I have no idea,

First roll? On the river axe, and it was a pawlatta :P


Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 4:04 pm
Location: Midlands

Post by PhilC »

I am also a Newbie, and my first roll was just before Christmas.

I had been taking lessons in rolling for quite a while, but couldn't get the hang of it, then while turning sharply I went over. Without any thought at all, I rolled back up, really pleased with myself. I held the paddles over my head in celebration and then realised that all the others had been watching and they all applauded and cheered. It was a great experience.

Unfortunately a couple of weeks later I lost the knack and it has been a hard slog getting it back. I first rolled in a Method Air, but now have gone "back" to a Pyrhana 200 which is a lot easier to roll.

My first T rescue didn't go so well. That was on the Trent. I went over but after grabbing my rescuers boat, let go and had to swim out. That made me nervous for the next time, so when I came to do it I resolved only to grab the boat and pull myself horizontal so that I could breath, and then get up from there. That worked better, and now I can do it easily.

User avatar
Posts: 4431
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Post by StoneWeasel »

My first swim? I honestly can not remember but Iwould guess at it being my eirly days of kayaking trying to learn to surf (initially in a felcion(sp?) 385).

My first roll in anger? upper Tamar pulling pop outs on popout weir. We would pop out then swim while nice people behind us picked up the boat and pushed it to the side for us to empty and go again). We had been doing this for a while when I poped aut went upside down and from nowhere rolled (had done a couple of rolls in the pool but was sketchy and had never managed in anger before), I never looked back and pretty quickly built up a pretty bombproof roll.

screw rolling on my left was a little stranger as for years and years I struggled with this and eventually gave up and settled on the fact that if I needed to roll on my left then it would just have to be a reverse screw (which I could do fine on either side). a few years ago (or possably last year) in a pool session sombody asked me to demontrate a left hand screw roll, I pointed out that I could not but agreed to give it a try, I came up no problem wioth a roll equally as smooth and nice as on my right hand side. Needless to say I now can screw roll fine on left and right.


User avatar
Posts: 210
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2004 7:31 pm
Location: Sunny Sheffield

Post by SheffieldLee »

First Swim: The Ure at Sleaningford (sp?) mill. I decided to superman it much against the advice of the people trying to get me out. My knee was in agony for weeks!

First Roll: Valentine hole (the one just up from the bottom hole) at Teesside white water course. I was so elated that I nearly dropped down the next bit backwards!

I found my roll came and went far too much for my liking in the early days. It appears to be here to stay now.... But we'll see.

Posts: 136
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2005 12:26 pm
Location: Kingsteignton

Post by Grandad »

First swim I can remember was at 'Hell Hole' on the Wye. First roll was far too many years later. I really had a hard time getting over the panic and took to throwing my paddles away whenever I capsized. This meant I had to learn to hand roll and for years this was my only way of self righting. My advice is to learn to roll as early as possible in your paddling life. Spend literally hours in the pool going over and over again. Try rolling without setting up first, then try with the paddles rotated wrong, then try with only one hand on the paddle (at the start). All these things will mean rolling in difficult ways becomes second nature. Use your inagination to make the pool roll harder as you get better. My favourite now is to do four rolls in a row, two front screws on either side and two reverse screws on either side.
As for on the river, i've invested in an earwig and noseclip. For me, they massively reduce the cold shock and result in a relaxed roll.
"I'm not young enough to know everything"

User avatar
Posts: 4431
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:46 pm
Location: Cornwall
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 2 times

Post by StoneWeasel »

I help to teach rolling in the pool quite a bit and I think the thing that holds most people back with there rolling is the panic factor.
This is fairly understandable as being upsidedown and under water is not naturally considered to be a comfy place to be.
Unfortunatly even when people seem to feel comfortable underwater there body does not always do what they want straight away. In other words some people can find it hard to stop reaching for the air with there head (garenteed to mess up your roll).
To try and get learner rollers over this I try to get them used to sitting upside down by taking there paddles off them and telling them to sit upsideown for as long as they are comfortable then bang the sides and I'll pull them back up. I try to do this encoraging them to stay a little longer each timeuntill they are staying under and sitting calmly for at least 15 - 20 seconds.
I find this massivly helps in stopping the head reaching for air and therefore the progression of rolling.


User avatar
Posts: 1225
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 4:02 pm
Location: Dumfries, SW Scotland

Post by maryinoxford »

I can't roll, and don't need to, paddling flatwater. But I have practised wet exits and eskimo rescues, first in a pool, then in a river, always with helpers standing by. Very, very useful.

I've only made one unplanned swim, caused by over-rotating when paddling backwards on a one-star course. I don't think I panicked, but when I found myself underwater without having taken a deep breath or braced myself for it, there was definitely a sense of urgency about releasing the deck and getting myself out of the boat. No way would I have wasted time banging the bottom to see if anyone would give me a rescue.

Still, not a waste of time. A 2-star student on the same course was due to practise deep-water rescues, so I became his subject.


User avatar
Posts: 2966
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2002 8:28 am
Location: Trowbridge Wilts. UK

Post by mharrall »

First swim at Bradford on Avon, 3rd time paddling but first time in a proper racing boat. Managed about 100m before it all went pear shaped.

First "genuine not expecting to go over" whitewater roll was at the slalom site at Bourg on the Isere. Before that I had done several successful ones on moving water but they were just practice ones. I had learned to roll in a pool many years before that, but had never used it in anger because you don't get a chance to when you fall out of a racing boat.

Posts: 233
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 9:41 am

Post by madocks »

whilst learning to roll, i found that in a swimming pool the use of goggles is good to understand the blade positioning relative to the surface. Once the technique basics are there, remove them.

They also help to calm the person whilst upside down.

Posts: 26
Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 4:18 pm
Location: Middlesbrough England

Post by Padski »

My first swim was on the river Swale grinton - richmond i flipped at after richmond falls and forgot how to roll.

My first roll was on the river tees while shooting abbey rapids. I think i was bouncing around for a month afterwards.

User avatar
boater rich
Posts: 913
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2002 2:47 pm
Location: Gloucester
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by boater rich »

First Swim- River Severn at shrewsbury. I blame the odd right handed paddles (I'm a lefty)

First Roll - Dee at Eddylines, just before going out the Alps for the 1st time.


User avatar
James Hartley
Posts: 1608
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:49 pm
Location: North West

Post by James Hartley »

I remember learning to roll on Thompsons lodge in the middle of Queens park in burnley over 10 years ago, it was me and a friend, and we took it in turns standing next to each other (the water was only chest deep) to offer support or rescue as the need arouse. I seem to recall trying a roll at the bottom wave under the bridge at the burrs as one (proabably my first) of my first moving water rolls, it was a case of paddle out capsize, set up, wait for the boat to settle, and roll. Which I managed, sadly it was quite awhile after this before I got a working roll, that I could use in anger, and I honestly can't remember when or where it was that I did it. Nor can I remember my first swim, but I do know that it wasn't on my first river trip, that was on the ribble, and I managed that upright all the way
The more apparently complex an act, the more vital it is to search until you find its inner simplicity
Feed the rat

User avatar
Posts: 4895
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 4:35 pm
Location: Wigan
Been thanked: 26 times

Post by Poke »

First roll (on a river) - 5th March 1995 (I have a very detailed kayaking log)... I was 12 and very excited until I came up and icecream head set in.

First swim... god knows... I used to be very scared about wearing spraydecks though, and paddled for about 2 years without one when I was very little!
Uniyaker - Uni expeditions
Team Pyranha - My adventures

Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 7:35 pm
Location: Cardiff

Post by DannyT »

PhilC wrote:Unfortunately a couple of weeks later I lost the knack and it has been a hard slog getting it back.
I had that phase, had a pretty good roll then just lost it completely. Then got it back.

1st Roll, while surfing at whitesands bay. And/or playing at morriston weirs.

User avatar
Dave W
Posts: 268
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 3:59 pm
Location: Hexham

Post by Dave W »

My first roll was at the tees barrage, got back looped. First swim was straight after this roll, didn't even have time for a breath. And since my roll took so long i just thought 'sod it' and bailed.

Posts: 184
Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 5:03 pm
Location: Up North

Post by DaveCC »

First swim - River Tay at Grandtully

First WW roll - River Tay at Stanley

Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 4:04 pm
Location: Midlands

Post by PhilC »

PhilC wrote:
Unfortunately a couple of weeks later I lost the knack and it has been a hard slog getting it back.

I had that phase, had a pretty good roll then just lost it completely. Then got it back.
Went to the club last night, asked for some pointers on my roll, and was given loads of different things that weren't right. Trying to remember all of them and complete the roll was impossible and I lost my ability again.

My trainer then took me slowly through each point and got me rolling myself again after each point so that I remembered it without forgetting the roll itself.

How come with every different stroke or technique that I have learned and can accomplish people later on say "It'll work better of you...." and reel off one hundred things to remember while completing what was originally a simple manoeuver?

User avatar
Posts: 2986
Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2005 4:08 pm
Location: Wirral,

First Roll

Post by quicky »

Fist Roll - Hand Roll, Chester Weir. (Could not paddle roll at the time but could hand roll no problem) Something to do with the water temp and the fact I was wearing only t-shirt and shorts with a crapy cag over the top.

First Swim - Same place when I tried to paddle role.


Just keep practising. It is such a confidence boost when you learn.

Good Luck

User avatar
Grumpy Fisherman
Posts: 1403
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2005 12:41 pm
Location: Leeds, UK

Post by Grumpy Fisherman »

First swim - The Wharfe, just upstream from Weatherby

First roll - surfing at Scarborough

Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:42 am

Post by jonba »

First Swim - Town Falls, Dee, out of a river racer.

First Roll- Race course section of the tees, the wave/ hole just after the get on (caravan site).

User avatar
Posts: 1443
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2005 5:25 pm
Location: Plymouth
Been thanked: 1 time

Post by buck197 »

First swim in WW - Lower dart

First Roll in WW in anger - Yet to be done, can roll on WW when I want to do it (ie a roll by choice) but can't do it when I need to do it (ie Lovers Leap on Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!). Am really frustrated with this but am working on it.

Post Reply

Return to “Whitewater and Touring”