Thank you Kayak Hipster,
The real world is different from the pool. The pool is good for developing muscle memory, but it doesn’t help with staying calm when things don’t go exactly as practiced. My last missed roll happened in Charleston harbor. I had just finished a couple of rolls when my next didn’t fit any scenario up to then. When I started the roll my head stuck in the pluff mud. I forgot to check the water depth and my kayak had moved over a shallow section. The water was only about 16″ deep. I couldn’t continue my roll to the the other side and my paddle was stuck between my chest and the mud. I held my head up until my partner pulled me back over with the Hand of God. That’s the only reason I didn’t wet exit. My hat still had pluff mud stuck to its top when we returned to the landing at Shem Creek. I remember my first roll without burping my drysuit. I couldn’t understand why it was so difficult to complete the roll. Now I recognize it immediately. (I didn’t have an offside roll then).
I now practice falling falling forward and backward, face up and face down on both sides with the paddle in an unknown position because I know the real world doesn’t allow for setup.
Another good practice I do is reenter and roll in 2 ft chop. However, pump out and putting on the skirt is extremely difficult. So I added an electric pump (in addition to my hand pump) and put on my skirt while underwater. It’s actually easier than above water because the rocking doesn’t make me lose my balance. Then when I roll back up, there’s not as much water in the kayak and the pump quickly removes it while no new waves wash in. It sure is better than removing part of the skirt and hand pumping while trying to keep my balance in the waves without a paddle to brace.
Keep the tips coming. I learn from your experience.
Excellent stories, thank you so much for sharing!
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