My long way to the roll (and still going)

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by TechnoEngineer »

Kirsten wrote:Saturday morning was the proof that I stretched my (right) arm as far as I could...
Assuming your "front" hand is your right hand....

Are you trying to reach up with your right arm, or reach forwards? If you try to reach forwards, chances are you won't clear the surface. Something worth trying is to reach straight up, and then move the paddle towards the bow until you make contact with the water. If you just reach straight up, you might end up doing an "air sweep" that doesn't pre-rotate the boat (which was where my roll suddenly went wrong after about 2 years).

Also you need to "choo-choo" your back (left) hand - don't push it quite so hard up during the setup, extend it towards the end of the sweep, then pull it back in when you're finishing the roll. It only needs to be extended to clear the hull. People often keep the rear (left) arm extended during the roll - meaning they cause the front blade to dive at setup (paddleshaft pivoted in front hand) and they "punch" at the end of the roll - reducing support. Others keep the rear arm tucked in - causing the paddleshaft to interfere with the hull of the boat. That said, in some boats, some people manage to be able to keep the paddle "above deck" throughout rather than having to stretch past the hull. By holding the paddle Pawlata style, you usually don't need to clear the hull, and you can keep the rear arm tucked in - which also protects your left shoulder.
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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Kirsten »

Making a note about some of the advise given here, before going on with the blog style.

I'm a right hander, a very dominant right hand. But some stuff I can to easily with my left hand (like using the computer mouse). Beside typing blind on a computer keyboard and driving a car with a manual gearbox, I'm really rubbish using my both hands/harms/10 fingers for things where both sided has to do different things at the same time (I can read notes, but no chance to play a proper instrument). Where the rights side is going, the left hand will follow.

In paddling, especially rolling: keeping the left hand close to the hull / to the body when the right hand/arm is stretching and doing a sweep is not an easy thing to do.
Tough it seems some things are easier for me on the left handside of the boat, like skulling and going sideways, low and high braces and support strokes. Which for the later ones is a kind of miracle as my hipflick and rolling knee on the left side are not very strong.


This Thursday I was in time at the pool in Alness for the seakayak session (boats on the car in the morning and no wideload on the road helps). As I gave a note before that I need someone to assist me to sort out some bad rolling habit I was buddied up with one of the coaches. Whereby a (female) non-native speaker and (male) Glaswegian makes up an hilarious couple in communication ways.

All my mistakes were found soon. Whereby the one with left hand to high up I nearly sorted out by myself. I just changed my tactic, instead of thinking about to reach high after the setup I concentrated to reach out with the right hand and sweeping around. Exactly like a sweep roll should work. Keep it simple. Don't think about where the hand and blade is, just take care of the path.
Anyway, the blade was still diving, though in an arch and not straight down.
The reason for this was analysed quite fast. My right wrist turned from bend forward to backward in the moment I started the sweep, so the blade angle was not a ascent one but diving.
Attempts to correct this ended in a tired shoulder as pulling the shaft around with a ascent angle was to much water pressure to work against. Maybe because a to weak hipsnap at the start. Everytime I started with the sweep I stop a moment later as I couldn't feel that the boat is taking up momentum. So I went back into setup position, tried it a second and a third time and finally uprighten the boat and myself with a Pawlata roll.

All attempts in the first 30min were finished with a Pawlata roll. I was ordered to have a break. I went into the deep end of the pool, starting some skulling exercise on the left side, flipped over immediately and because of this surprise I also got some water in the mouth when I gulp for some air just before it was too late. I don't like to drink pool water and holding breath with water in the mouth seems also much harder. So I just rolled up.

Moment, just rolled up? The paddle was in normal position and in the first attempt? The last half hour I didn't get it. So upside down again, this time without swallow water and up. Coach came over (he watched the last 2 rolls from where he was, but I didn't know) and asked to do it a third time. It happens what always happens in situation like this: I failed and needed Pawlata.

Diagnosis from the coach: you can roll, just stopp thinking. You are fine with the roll, doesn't matter how you come up. It only counts that you comes up again. If it using Pawlata, that's fine.

Before finishing the seakayak session one attempt for self rescue. Rubber Duckie is not a very stable boat with weight on the backdeck, must be the first time that I managed to get into the boat as a swimmer without help. I had a break when watching another coach with two beginners who were practising wet exits. Had a wee sit in their boat, a Venture Jura. Sliderbox on the deck, not on the side, lots of space for the legs and knees (very high cockpit) and a connect seat. I also like the idea of the Skudder.

I asked their coach whether I can use her river boat, an old Eskimo (Kendro or Quadro), a very low backdeck, quite tight for me (no chance to slip out accidentally) and 2 kickboards for me please. Into the deep and laying on the backdeck, both arms spread wide, the right hand helds the kickboard and then slowly slipping to one side so that my shoulders were floating. Engage right knee stopped the boat to flip over. Back on the deck and sliding into the water and return. Slow and gently, with long pauses when in the water. From time to time relaxing the knee and either engaging before going over, sometimes to late and I went over. Then in kickboard setup and rolling up, in the end phase sliding on the back deck so with shoulders floating.
The part with laying back and sliding into the water and back up again, stopping the boat to flip over with an engaged knee was even working on the left side. As long the boat was not turning over. I didn't managed it to roll up on the left side. Doesn't matter, sorting a paddle or kickboards into the position where I have the highest chance to roll up is something I can do easily.


Friday was Diesel day. But first some floating practise with the kickboards. Even with the higher backdeck of my boat it was easy to do. Only the point of no return was a little bit easier to reach.
Like the day before, right was working fine, no chance on the left side.
Time for the paddle and the part "Stop thinking". How don't think when capsizing with intention? Only chance was to bring the paddle as fast as possible onto to left side and then a quick sweep. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
I got myself a break when being the "guard" for another paddler practising support strokes (it should be high braces but for this his hand where in wrong position). Surprisingly I managed a few of them on my own. On both sides, even some were I get my head wet. Though a bad day for skulling.


Saturday followed then the 3rd chance since I managed my first roll to bring it onto the real water. On a very cold water as freshwater loch, when the club did the 2nd group paddle of the year. Starting at Bridge of Oich to the other end of the Loch where the Cafe from the water park will have soup and hot drinks to offer. Just before landing time to test my new chillcheater hood. Getting it over the head need force and patience. Before going over I asked for assistance and a eskimo rescue before the rolling attempt. Water was freezing and even of the hood I got water in my ears. Not good. Doesn't matter, at least one proper attempt to roll. First with normal hold onto the paddle. Nothing, but some air for my lungs. Down again, freeing the fingers out of the middens, hold onto the left blade for a pawlata roll. Second attempt to get up was worst then the first attempt. I didn't get any support from the paddle. So I took some more time for a proper setup and tried to concentrate into the sweep. I was nearly up, but the boat felt heavier then in the pool and I was not laying this far back. Buoyancy Aid and a towline avoided to lay back as far as I wanted.
Enough, the water was really cold. I wanted out of here. So banging the hull for help. Glasses foggy and a little bit unsteady in the boat to the landing spot a few metres away. Was not this worst feeling when had the swim in the Esk, but still very uncomfortable.

Just before we finished the trip, another attempt with the same results. My only hope is that it was because of the cold water and the towline bag. Although I had the odd feeling that when set up, that I was floating away from the boat. No, not floating, as it felt like I was diving instead of come easily to the surface. Or it was the starting disorientation thanks to the cold water in my ears.

A last poolsession on the coming Thursday, skipping the pool on Friday to be fine for Saturday as 3* training day and Sunday will be the day of the assessment.

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Jim »

Kirsten wrote:Diagnosis from the coach: you can roll, just stopp thinking. You are fine with the roll, doesn't matter how you come up. It only counts that you comes up again. If it using Pawlata, that's fine.
I have been wondering if this might be the case for a couple of weeks now....

I don't know what current 3* assessors notes say about rolling, but it used to be that you only needed to roll once out of 3 attempts and it didn't matter what kind of roll was used. Looks like you are getting about 1 in 3, maybe more. Most important thing is not to be too nervous on the assessment because that always spoils things.

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Kirsten »

I know the assessor and it is luckily one of the coaches/instructors which is not intimidate me. Also at least one of the other students (the other 3 are not doing the assesment, only training) in a group I know and trust. So both will helps.

Removing the belted towline should make it easier to finish the roll on the backdeck and hopefully the Pawlata working again.

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Jim »

Kirsten wrote:Removing the belted towline should make it easier to finish the roll on the backdeck and hopefully the Pawlata working again.
Absolutely - I can't think of any reason a beginner would need to wear a towline belt anyway, if you have one it is probably worth taking on trips but stow it in the day hatch until you need it.

Chances are if somene needs a tow it will be the strongest paddler in the group that does the towing, unless things are bad enough that you need to connect multiple kayaks to do the towing, in which case you will have to raft up to organise the towlines so plenty of opportunity to recover the towline from the day hatch.

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Kirsten »

3* assessment includes towing (contact tow and long tow) ;) so the tow bag will stay on the deck.

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Jim »

Surprising, I would have thought towing would be a 4* skill rather than 3* - the coaching scheme has changed a lot since I last had anything to do with it!

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by TechnoEngineer »

Makes sense; a trip leader would ask someone else in the group to set up a tow, whilst he can remain being in the Position of Maximum Usefulness. Which is somewhat diminished if he has to do the towing.

I'm pretty sure you can use a Pawlata roll for the 3* so it looks to me that you shouldn't worry about it now.

Handy hint - if you're using a waist-mounted tow, rotate the belt so the bag is normally on the front of your body. It only needs to be round your back when you're actually towing...
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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Irish Sea »

Kirsten,
if you are interested in a word of advice from somebody who relatively recently passed the ICU L3 (irish equivalent to the BCU 3*).
Don't get to hung up on the roll too much. Remember the roll is just one relatively small point on a whole list of skills. At 3* level nobody expects your roll to be pretty. Use what works for you. If that's the pawlata so be it.
From my own assessment and from talking to various assessors I can tell you what they want to see first and foremost is people beeing confident and competent on the water under the prevailing conditions. Good posture, decent strokes, confident edging, beeing able to turn the boat efficiently in wind and tides, braces, a smooth t-rescue, that sort of things are far more important then a pretty roll.

Cheers and all the best,

Bjorn

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by bjoern »

I agree with Bjorn above (how would I disagree with someone having that name), good paddling and a solid rescue are much more important.
So when assessing a rescue I would look for a smooth rescue with loud and clear instructions from the rescuer and a good participation from the swimmer.
Ultimately the question is: 'Would I like to go paddling with this person' or the other way round, 'Would this person make my life difficult when going gets hard'

Regarding the rolling: The BCU doesn't specify how many attempts you can have or what roll you have to use ( http://www.canoe-england.org.uk/media/p ... Oct13.pdf))
A.8 Rolling
Paddlers should be able to perform an effective roll in flat-water, on one side only, following
a full capsize. Failed attempts do not disqualify the paddler, however, a successful roll must
be seen.
so if the candidate would have performed well enough in everything else, I would happily stay back with him/her at the end of the assessment and practice rolling.... And I interpret the word 'effective' as successful

There was a discussion a while ago if rolling on both sides should be included in the syllabus like it is in white water kayaking, however the consensus seems to be that rescues are far more important than rolling.

Anyway, good luck with your assessment
Bjoern

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Kirsten »

At the pool session on Thursday I managed the roll in my seakayak easily in the first leg (what a surprise, seems it really helps not to think). Than a break and in the second leg, the whole thing again, this time with BA. Goodness me, this was hard work. I had forgotten that the timing is a different one, the roll is slower. But when I adjusted the speed it was ok, I got the boat around 360degrees a few times.

The weather forecast for the weekend wasn't ok. Wind F5, guest up the F7. A little bit to much for 3 star which wants to have F2 to F3.

The first 1.5hours or so was indoor, we talked trough the 3star syllabus and the training notes before we went out on the water, just outside the base. The group consist of 4 students (2 males, 2 femals), a shadow and the instructor. Seems that this instructor has a colour code as like in October when I did the first 3 star training the shadower at this time was paddling a yellow boat, wearing yellow BA, yellow drysuit and yellow paddle blades. The todays instructor had at least a dark coloured BA, but everything else was yellow.

Eventually I got my hang to the draw strokes. I forgot that there are 3 different ones and that a hanging draw and the skulling draw aren't one of them. Only my right shoulder wasn't happy. Having the right hand for quite a long time on the left side above my head was painful after a few metres. We worked in pairs, the ladies together and the gents, so one pair was supervised by the coach, the other by the shadow. For the draw strokes the task was to manoeuvre the boat with the nose close to the pontoon and the boat perpendicular along the 3 watersides and return, so that each of the draws were done on both sides.

It was much more difficulty to paddle in eights, reverse. Woman an parking reverse it is not only a story in the car, but also in boats. It needed a lot of concentration to do the eights as I forgot quite often where I was on my path along the eight.

Our training area was a canal, quite protected but we had our F2 several times. So practising using the skeg was an easy thing as it was enough wind to get response from the boat. We were the "full" day in this small training area. 40 x 300m (most time only used 40x 100m). But Donald managed it that no one get bored practising basics, instead we got a lot of input and learned eagerly. To keep me entertained with basic stuff and full attention to the person in front of me is not an easy thing. Well done, Donald.

When finished with the first day, boats, paddles and parts of the equipment were left at the base and everyone went home (or too his accommodation).

The night was a nearly sleepless one, the birds were singing when I eventually asleep (spring must be very close).
Back to the base and waiting for the prep-talk for the day I was then so tired, that I had to rest my head on my arms on the table for a wee nap.
Weather forecast was still to bad regarding the wind. It was even worst then on Saturday. So the decision was to go to Loch Dochfour where we should find enough shelter to do the most of the assessment there and then for the wet stuff back to the base and the canal, so that we have only 10m between the cold water and a warm place to get change afterwards.

Perfect start for me, not. One of my middens was not at the kayak, even I was sure I saw it just 2min before. So I went off with only one, still better then none. Next thing was that when paddling in line I overheard parts of the instructions from behind (can I blame the headwind and the rain?). I got the "10 paddle strokes, then to the left, let the others passed and back in line. Until the last pontoon". I (and the person in front of me, the lead) missed the part which told us to go to the left using draw strokes in the move and to use draw strokes to get back into the line. So after the first set of position change, we were stopped by the coach and today's assessor.
Instructions were repeated (and extended, one time leaving to the left and the next time to the right, then left again and so on), I got them all this time, next attempt. Wow, first time that I did proper draw strokes in the move and it wasn't a hanging draw. But now we struggled to keep the 4 boats close together for a smoothly position swap. Some boats and paddlers had more problems then others with the headwind and get the boat in the right angle for the draw stroke.
Next exercise was crossing to the opposite shore, it ended in doing a ferry glide as wind but also water streaming from Loch Ness, to Loch Dochfour into the River Ness, it was a kind of tidal flow.

Another task and then the task I hate in every kind of athletic sport: Fartlek.
Bimbling speed (10 strokes), no problem. Touring speed (even against the wind, 30 strokes), no problem. Sprint/Emergency speed (20 strokes) is a problem. Whereby it is more the higher cadence then the more power behind the strokes which I have problems with and again from the start until we had covered a certain distance.
We reached a very sheltered area (no wind at all) and were split up in pairs again, ladies one pair and the gents the other. I forgot some of the tasks, but eventually we had to do rounds out of the sheltered area, into the wind, around a big green buoy (marker) downwind to a small mooring buoy and into the sheltered area again (and the other way round). Crossing the wind was no problem for me and Rubber Duckie, but as soon I wanted to turn downwind Rubber Duckie was stubborn and it needed a lot of edging and sweep strokes to get it around. The skeg was working and fully down.

A discussion with the coach followed when I told about this problem. My stern was lower in the water then my bow as all my load was in the day hatch and the rear hatch. My argument that no weight in the bow, but load in the rear and skeg down, should it make easy to turn downwind was not accepted, I should adjust the trim of my boat during lunch break.

So I put everything from the rear hatch in the front hatch and guess what happens when tried to turn the next time from crosswind / headwind to downwind. Rubber Duckie still wasn't easy to turn downwind. (Coach, sometimes you should believe your students. Some of them know their boats. That's what I like about Rubber Duckie, it is very stable in keeping the steering, though turning fast/without stalling could be difficulty, especially turning downwind).

With loaded up the energy it was time for the hard work: towing. Know you equipment and not ever you should trust more experienced paddler, when their help you setting up your equipment. The daisy chain stopper was on the wrong end and the float was to close to the end. The float position was in the wrong place when a quick release should be able on both ends of the tow (preferred version for this coach).

I started with the long tow and head out into the wind fast instead of doing a big round in the sheltered bay first. It took quite a while until I felt the stress on my tummy, even that the boat was slowed down and heavy to get forward fairly early. Finished the round and when set up the tow again to swap it over, so that I can be towed, my right should was not happy. Ouch. Specific lifting movement sent some little pain. Not good, this is my rolling side. To be towed is not this funny as it sounds, not when there is wind and you drysuit went a little bit damp in the rain. It is cold sitting in the boat and doing nothing.

Time for paddling back to the car, but first the weakest person in the group got the task to tow two of us, upwind! So again I sat there and was not allowed to paddle, but got some excitment, when the big, green buoy get very close, so close that the boat on my right side was scratching along it. Then our tow boat got assistance as another boat was put in front of it. It was a little drama as the towed raft was nearly overtaking the towing kayaks when they sorted out the connection.
After a few hundreds metres the coach came close to us in the raft and advised us to release our end of the tow and rushing immediately to the left. Releasing the hook from the deckline was not a problem, but then the knot was jammed on the very end of my deckline so it took us a few second to be complete free. But it took the towing kayaker in front of us much longer to recognised that we were on the loose. The coach had to shout several times. Next drama was then, when we were told that each of the towing kayaks should raft up with one of the free kayaks to stuff the towlines in the dayhatch.
My dayhatch wasn't usable as it was already full with my food, drink and emergency kit. So I put a second towline into my cockpit as I had stuffed mine there after the last exercise were I needed it. It took ages until I received the towline as some mistakes were made during and after the release from the towed kayak, but the second raft had much more problems and needed even longer. It was a terrible performance by all of us.

We took everything on board (not only literally) and enjoyed the surfing and sailing back to the mooring as we had now the wind and the flow from behind.

We had two hours left in the day, but before we started the wet stuff, so that all boxes for the assessment can be ticked we warmed up at the base and some video clips about rescues.
Before someone went swimming, a quick demonstration of a X-rescue by the coach and then everyone has to practise twice using a boat without paddler, just to be sure that we know what we have to do for a quick rescue so that the swimmer has not be in the water too long, before we headed of in pairs to get the (potential) wet stuff done, alternating after each side/task.

First box to tick was low braces. Tick. Next were the high braces, if failing them it is a chance to tick the box for the roll/eskimo-rescue/x-rescue.
I hate high braces, either I use them far too early and I'm still in a position where a low braces can also do the trick or I went over (in the pool) in the moment my boat is complete out of balance in the perfect position for a high brace as my brain decided to secure my shoulder. I managed one where my elbow was in the water (not my head), but for the coach it was enough, though he talked in this moment with his shadow. So again and this time I got my boat nicely out of balance and in the perfect position for a roll, I was upside down. Paddle alongside the kayak, right hand in front, sweep stroke, body on the rear deck and upright. "Wow", "Well done" and applause. WHAT? Did I really went over and rolled up without any effort? Yes, I did. And not only once. I was quite sure that the most of my next attempts of high braces weren't proper ones as head was fairly up, so probably still in the range to get this sorted with a low brace. As soon myhead was close to the water, something in my head blocked me and decided that icecream head is the better option. So 2 more rolls followed and one capsize I used to tick the eskimo rescue box.

I had already written of that I passed the assessment, I wasn't convinced about my performance over the day. Ok, I managed the roll (YEPPEAH) but this is only one technique on a whole list. Oh, and the high brace on the right side was also still missing. No further attempts on the left, as the last one wasn't got for my shoulder at all.
So some more chance to do a roll (for the last roll I needed a second attempt) and also to have my swim to be rescued. Great, hanging on the bow of the other boat and every move in this position (and later when the arm has to be lifted) resulted in pain (not much, but enough to tell better to stop before it get worst). I was nearly there to request a scoop rescue as reaching out with the left arm wasn't a good idea, so most of the work had to be done by my right arm. After the 7th time upsidedown I was also dizzy with all the cold water in the ears (the Chillcheater hood is really tight around the next, but didn't stop the water to get easily in the ears, though once in, it didn't get out). So a accompanied short paddle to the pontoon to get a break, my boat empty, my head clear before going again onto the water as I had still to do a X-rescue.

I saw Liz in the water as victim for a rescue for the second time and it was the shadow rescuing her (or did she a rolling attempt and failed?). Liz didn't wear a drysuit, unfortunately the other two had left the water and beside Liz only the assessor and his shadow where available as victim. Actually this meant that only Liz was available. The poor woman had to capsized a third time. I was so sorry for her. I should hurry up to get her out, but I did a mistake when she went over. I had her on my right side, meaning I had to reach over with my left arm to touch her boat. Ouch. Also was she, when out of her boat, between both kayaks and her paddle jammed under her arm between her and her boat. So getting her paddle took me a few seconds, but turning her boat in the right position to empty it and to get her in happens fast.

Back to the shore, I was ordered to get changed as my face was blue. Was it? I didn't felt cold, I wasn't shivering and my drysuit was dry ( I put my other on for the wet session as the one from the first part of the day let to much water trough around the neck, even when it is only raining). Probably the blue colour was because of a lack of oxygen as the hood was choking.
Whatever, the tea mug was used to warm my hand when watching the explanation how a roll is working, using some drawings on the whiteboard and finally it was 6pm, which means course finished.

Oh, apparently my performance was not this bad, I was told I passed the assessment.

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by TechnoEngineer »

Kirsten wrote:
Eventually I got my hang to the draw strokes................. Only my right shoulder wasn't happy. Having the right hand for quite a long time on the left side above my head was painful after a few metres.
Sounds to me like you're not rotating your body - something I see a lot of people do with what I call "lazy draw strokes".

It was much more difficulty to paddle in eights, reverse
It *is* difficult to turn a sea-kayak when reversing if there's wind. You need weight in the bow to make it work, which is not how anyone in their right mind would normally have their sea-kayak set up.
So I put everything from the rear hatch in the front hatch and guess what happens when tried to turn the next time from crosswind / headwind to downwind. Rubber Duckie still wasn't easy to turn downwind.
That's what the skeg is for - so you artificially load the stern. Also keep heavy items as near to you as possible, since "weight at a distance" is a turning moment which would eventually tire you out.
Next drama was then, when we were told that each of the towing kayaks should raft up with one of the free kayaks to stuff the towlines in the dayhatch.
Normally you would not do this; you would bunch up any free line and stuff if between yourself and the BA. Supposing you needed to use the tow again? I guess the instructor did this to avoid any complications with the rescues...
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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by TechnoEngineer »

I passed the assessment.
Well done! :)
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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Jim »

Looks like it was a horrendous weekend for an assessment, one of the problems of having to book these things so far in advance of knowing what the weather will be like.

Well done for passing!

I'm not sure if there was some misunderstanding about moving some stuff out of the day hatch to adjust your trim and help with steering? You say you moved everything to front hatch, typically that would make the bow too heavy and you find it difficult to paddle the boat straight (but as you note every boat behaves a little differently. I think the instructor was probably intending for you to split the equipment between the day hatch and front hatch to get the boat to a more even trim.

If the boat is well designed with you in it it should trim about level, unless you have moved the seat position.
If you put all the weight in the day hatch the stern will be lower.
If you put all the weight in the front hatch, the bow will be lower.
The front hatch is probably around twice as far from the seat as the day hatch (maybe more), so to even out the distribution you would want one third of the weight in the front, and 2 thirds in the day hatch.

It may be that it was just too windy to be easy to turn your boat, or that it is not designed/set up to trim neutrally with just you in it, but it is worth spending some time experimenting with different amounts of weight spread between the day hatch and front hatch to find the distribution that works best for your boat. I would be very surprised if everything in the day hatch was optimum.

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Kirsten »

I used two hatches. I had my emergency kit (first kit and spare "under the drysuit" wear), a flask and my lunch in the day hatch just behind the cockpit and the hatch was full.

In the rear hatch I had the cockpit cover, pair of crocs, an empty IKEA bag, group shelter and because I forgot what I had in my emergency kit another spare "under the drysuit" wear.

So over all not much weight at all. The heaviest stuff was behind me. Quite often I get water in the rear hatch, I had still no figured out whether the hatch cover is letting water in or whether the screw for the skeg is leaking. On sunday it stayed dry so additional ballast in it. According the coaches observation and another paddler was the bow before the repacking higher then the stern.

Rubber Duckie is a Wilderness System Zephyr 15.5. Probably one of the boats which have to be loaded more in front to be in an even trim, on the other hand I have to think about the skeg. The skeg is on the smaller side and not very deep in the water, it is not sticking out like i.e. the one from my Cetus.

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How I get a towline (incl. bag) into the BA? There is no space for it. We was advised to stuff the towlines away as fast as possible and not to hassle with get it back in their bags. usually when you are towing you tow the victim to a safe spot and usually you land then or you have time to setup the towline for the next use.
Even the lochs bank was only 10m away, we weren't protected from the wind, we hadn't the time to sort the towlines as we went cold. It was a proper F3 from behind and 3-4 degrees air temperatur, rain went on and off during the time on the loch so at least hour hads where damp. Only a kilometer away from the car.

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My problem with draw strokes wasn't the body rotation, but the wrist rotation. When I move around my boat is automatically on the edge as I engage the knee. When I did then the draw it happens often that my blade dived under the boat and I went over as no chance for a support stroke (if I was to slow to get the blade out of the water). Because of this my drawstroke was before always a skulling draw. But "The shadow" found the reason why my blade was diving. So now I'm carefully about the blade rotation ;)

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by TechnoEngineer »

You don't need to engage the knee to perform a draw stroke. There's an oldskool myth that you have to raise the edge you're pulling the boat towards, the benefit is questionable and it certainly limits what the upper body can do.

With regard to the towline, it's not about getting it inside any BA pockets, it's a matter of simply stuffing the rope between the BA and your body. It's the quickest means of putting the rope to one side.
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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Kirsten »

I lift the knee (and/or bum) automatically when rotating my body. Don't asked me why, it just happens.

Believe me, there is no space between my body and my BA for a 15m towline incl. the bag to which is it attached to. It is much faster (and has we were raft up also quite safe), to pull the cockpit cover and stuff the stuff in it. I didn't intend to capsize and to swim (with 5 kayakers around this should be easy to avoid as eskimo rescue available) where the loose rope could be a risk when tangling around my legs.

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by balltip »

This immensely great thread had me inspired, and now me and my... well, I am 46 and she is 44 - do I still call her "girlfriend" since we are not married? Oh well, nwm.
Anyway me and my gf are now booked for the first indoor training session ever, for any of us, and it will take place next weekend. We are both really looking forward to it, and I just wanted to say that this thread, and Kirsten, are among the main reasons. Thanks, Kirsten, for sharing your efforts!

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Kirsten »

Many Thanks and enjoy the time in the pool.

Funny that "my" coach told me today, I have grown up and have to go now in the real stuff, no rolling and rescue in the pool but on the sea. This was during the de-briefing after todays trip where I did my first rescue of a paddler in a F3-4 and choppy sea near a habour wall (it started as an exercise). Just to capsize during a tow a minute later and decided not to try a roll, as I was still wearing the towbelt and also it was rough (tough this is another story).

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by lg18 »

"...as soon I wanted to turn downwind Rubber Duckie was stubborn and it needed a lot of edging and sweep strokes to get it around. The skeg was working and fully down..."

There was a thread on here some time ago that explained really nicely how using a stern rudder makes this much easier (anchoring the stern with skeg and a stern rudder enables the wind to push the bow down-wind); in contrast, if you want to turn the boat into the wind, us a bow rudder (and put skeg up), so that the bow is anchored and the stern is pushed downwind by the wind. Can't remember who it was that explained it like that, but it really clicked with me.

I'm sure the coach was merely trying to get the trim of your boat even by suggesting you re-distribute your stuff - perfectly sensible. If your bow is too high it will suffer from too much windage, plus make it very difficult to turn upwind whenever you need to. If you skeg is a bit puny, you'll need to use exaggerated other techniques instead/as well (as above). It does sound like challenging conditions for sure - it was an incredibly windy weekend!

If you honestly can't fit a tow rope between your body and BA, you should try to seriously think about where else to stow it for the future, e.g. coiled quickly and shoved under deck lines? I understand why you did it in that scenario, but the cockpit is not good for so many reasons! e.g. the need to open the cockpit to stow it, and then to use it again (think a real situation), getting your feet snarled up in it if you need to exit, upon landing etc etc.

Taking onboard advice, understanding why, and learning from others is a great way to improve more quickly!
Hope that helps, well done for passing, and happy paddling,
Lucy

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

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Kirsten
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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Kirsten »

Usually I have not this problems to turn a boat, but during the assessment the turning point was a bouy, so a given point to turn not one choosen by me. But I get there. Rubber Duckie has a complete different skeg then my Cetus. So it would be interesting to go back into the Cetus in a proper wind (or at least back into this boat at all) and see how this work.

The Cetus had no go so far this year, though Rubber Duckie was out quite a few times and didn't get a damage when crashed into the harbour wall. At Easter I took it to Skye for another trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk (but this time without a paddle on the Loch itself). I wanted to try a roll when returned and Elgol jetty closed (I warned one cruising boat crew beforehand). Though it was a hard paddle on the way return (eh, I saw my first Puffin of the year), it took me 1.5h for the direct open crossing as SE wind, with no (head)wind it is usually a wee bit over 1h. My back was in pain and the sea more choppy then I liked it, so I cancelled the rolling exercise.

Next day another trip from Elgol, this time I warned the harbour master and went around the headland to Spar Cave. From complete calm sea up to a very lumpy and also a wee bit of surf (from the side) I had everything.
Back was fine today and only a bit of swell at Elgol Jetty (but enough wind to have one of the cruising boats struggling when try to disembark).
Nose clip on, some seawater in the face, bow into the wind, setup and upsidedown. Sweep, kick and up. Easily. OOOHHH. And a second time, this time boat nearly parallel to the waves. Setup, upsidedown and up again. Eh, it is working. When paddling to the beach I realized that I had my waist tow line was behind me, so nothing with laying on the back deck. No idea how close I was to a C2C roll, though as long I came up it doesn't matter.
Oh and my foredeck was "loaded": spare paddle, compass (I needed it the day before if I didn't wanted to hug the coast), a water bottle, pump on flat paddlefloat and map in mapcase.

So four more task still to do:
- rolling in rougher sea
- rolling in moving water (either river or tidal stream)
- rolling after accidentally capsizing (could be easily combined with one of the first two tasks, there is a session under the Kessock Bridge approaching)
- rolling the Cetus, probably the hardest task, as in Rubber Duckie and my Diesel I can sit like a frog which makes the kneedrive easy, a lot of control via the tighs, no chance for me to do this in the Cetus.

And later on a storm roll (forward roll) and finally to master one kind of roll on the left side.

The summer will be a wet one, despite whatever weather we get ;)

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Re: My long way to the roll (and still going)

Post by Kirsten »

I had the first chance to roll in moving water when capsized during ferry glide training "under" the weir at Dochgarroch. Don't know how it happened that I was upside down, was no time for even to think "Oh shit". I failed, but I was quite distracted. In the setup position and during the body rotation my head was banging against rocks as the water was quite shallow. That the blade was touching the bank / stones in the way during the sweep was also not helpful. To use the obstacle as lever point or to push me up was not possible, as my boat was still in the flow. Also some of my peers told me, that she was in the way during one attempt.

Finally I swum. Just for me I tried it later in deeper (not moving water, though only I was to tired to paddle then against the flow to the get out point) and it works.

Next day was evening sea paddle, I took the Cetus. At the end of the session all of us done some exercises (edging, low support, turnings etc.) I went for a roll. First attempt failed, the blade was diving immediately when starting the sweep. I used my Celtic paddles instead of my (now preferred) Shuna. So boat and blade changed since my last attempts and I needed longer then appreciated to adjust. Eventually requested an Eskimo rescue. Capsized again and now I came up easily. Also a few minutes later.

In both boats I tried it after more then hour sitting in the boat, which means dead legs as always after a while sitting in the boat. The right arm was also tired. So I'm glad that even of this disadvantages the roll worked.

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