22 February 2010

Teen Greenland Rolling

Mini-Me does rolling
Starring: Greg Schwarz & Mini-Me

Loving this sport as I do, I sometimes wonder how much more I could achieve if I had started sea kayaking earlier in life - what an advantage to soak up kayak skills when you are younger, braver, have more energy and more importantly, youthful flexibility.
minime balance brace (c)
I recently had the pleasure to be part of a small group practicing balance and rolls in a variety of sea kayaks where one of the group, was a young girl.
Prior to this, the girl had only paddled a friend’s plastic kayak with a large recreational cockpit and no bulkheads for a half hour during a picnic.

This was her first time paddling a sea kayak. She chose a Greenland paddle and skeg boat (Norkapp LV) and surprised us by listening carefully and applying advice that was offered on the intricacies of forward stroke and body rotation. She spent some time paddling up and down the beach practicing the stroke and in turn, offered critique on some of our forward paddle styles.

Observing others rolling, sculling and balanced bracing, she surprised us again by asking if she could try some of the things we were doing.
Paramount to any beginner’s success is having a kayak that fits and access to skilled mentors and while none of the kayaks were a perfect fit, she was fortunate that Greg Shwarz was among the group. Under Greg’s guidance she began balanced bracing a Tahe Marine Greenland kayak almost immediately!
minime balance brace_1 (c)[1]
Only minutes later she grasped the technique of sculling and it was only because she was underdressed and shivering from the cold water that she didn't learn to perfect a roll.
Next time, suitably dressed for immersion, maybe she will surprise us with a hand roll? :-)