Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Trouble shooting

So, four steps. Four easy steps. what's the problem? Lets look at the steps one more time.

Dragon Bows His Head - easy. right? Lean forward, get your hands as far beneath the water as your arms will allow. This well get them out of the water once you are upside down, making the next movement easier.

Dragon Spreads His Wings - Also pretty easy. Left hand above - or depending on your point of view below - your bottom. Right hand out. Paddle parallel to the water surface, maybe even above the water. Feet relaxed but thighs tight in the braces. When I was learning it helped to have someone - while I was upside down - move my hands into the correct position. In my boat I feel for the hard chine as a landmark for my hand. This is why it is nice to go slow, see what everything feels like. Confirm a land mark with your left hand, confirm that your right hand feels air on it. Confirm that you aren't pushing with your feet, but that you are nice and tight with your thighs. If you are lucky you may even feel the cockpit coaming pressed against your left side, which means you have a good bend in your torso - the first C.

Dragon Flicks His Tail - easy. If you can do it on the bow of someone elses kayak, you can do it holding onto your paddle. Keep your head down. Your head comes up last, or it will be the first thing back in the water. Can you feel the cockpit coaming on this side - the second C?

Dragon Flies Forward - In order for you to fly, the boat has to be in a position to move forward. If the boat is not flat or close to flat on the water, you're not going anywhere. The only way to get the boat flat, is to move your head above the kayak dead last. If you are getting part of the way up, and then falling back in the water, you are lifting your head. Concentrate on keeping your head on your shoulder as long as possible. Until you feel the water slide off your face and onto the boat or the water. If you are falling over with your paddle near vertical, you are pushing too hard on the paddle, and probably also lifting your head. Here is another example where video taping yourself doing a roll is a great way to learn. Have a friend video tape you with their cellphone.

In the video below, you will see the four steps in slow motion.

Rolling in steps from Paddling Otaku on Vimeo.

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