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How to stop a diving paddle . . .????


Gillian

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hi there . . . okay, so the problem with my roll is a diving paddle . . . if i start my sweep with the assistance of someone supporting my paddle lightly i make it up, but when i do it myself the paddle dives every time. i figure all you rollers out there have some tips or tricks that you can share for me to practice. Bob mentioned sweeping about halfway out before starting the hip flick, the other Bob (wait there's lot's of Bob's here sorry) reminded me to look at the paddle during the sweep, David told me to keep my non-control elbow close to me, similar in a C to C roll, Kevin's going to try holding a dowel in the water and have me aim to sweep above it, and Deb told me to bite my pfd strap as I'm hip flicking to keep the head down.

All fabulous suggestions and I'm working on all of them, but if anyone else has any tricks they've used to stop the stinking paddle blade from diving I'm all ears!! And arms! And Torso! (hopefully more torso than arms)

:)

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One trick is to exagerate your wrist/grip in the set-up position (Or push forward on the throttle vs. pull back). You should angle your paddle blade so that it cups the water vs. cuts the water - thereby when you're pulling on the blade the angle may offset it.

Diving paddle can occur when you "pull" the blade vs. truly sweeping the blade - the pulling will change the angle of the blade.

Another trick is when capsized, you should stick the blade out of the water and slap the surface like a beaver tail - then start your sweep. Thereby you know the blade is in the correct position, ready to give you support.

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>hi there . . . okay, so the problem with my roll is a diving paddle

A diving paddle is not generally a problem per se, but a symptom of one or more root problems. In other words, you cannot say simply "I won't dive my paddle." You have to fix something else, perhaps more than one thing, and then your paddle will not dive, and you will roll.

> David told me to keep my

> non-control elbow close to me, similar in a C to C roll,

I observed you totally straightening your non-control arm and sticking it up in the air almost vertically. Whatever else might be wrong, that alone will guarantee a diving paddle, by simple geometry. It will completely vitiate the paddle support you need to get up. I can reproduce that behavior and result myself. One of the few times I saw you avoid that straight, vertical offside arm, you did essentially get up on your own, though it was kinda ragged (like many early rolls) so you may not have realized that Kevin applied no support to your blade.

--David.

PS: I also recommend you borrow Kevin's Explorer, or some other easy-rolling boat for learning. I personally don't subscribe to the the theory of learning in a tougher-rolling boat to give you a more solid roll when you do finally get it. It's better, IMHO, to learn in an easy boat, succeed earlier, then strengthen it by practice and tuning, and move up to a harder boat later. CRCK, for example, starts folks in really easy short boats. And BTW, I tried an Aquanaut last night on the lake, and it indeed harder to roll than, say, an Avocet.

--David.

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> okay, so the problem with my roll is a diving

>paddle . .

I can only speculate as a bumbling aspirant roller..well...I guess I have done a combat roll, but that doesn't really count here.

IMHO

The problem with your roll is not a diving paddle.

The problem lies elsewhere and the obvious manifestation of the problem is that the paddle dives.

Assuming you are trying to do a sweep role, I have been told the usual suspects are:

Not getting yourself wrapped up around the boat so your head is close to the surface when you start.

Holding the paddle shaft tightly instead of gently and not making sure you have a neutral blade.

Not keeping you head down which really means keeping your chin on your shoulder.

Not allowing your torso to sweep out with the paddle.

Trying to muscle the paddle as if applying force to it would get you up.

Not engaging in a good hip snap and/or applying force with the wrong foot/knee.

Personally I found learning to do a sculling brace so you are resting in the water and then bringing yourself up was very helpful to get the "feel" of the final phase of a roll. Also, I don't think much of looking at what is going on since I close my eyes anyway and it just gives you sensory input when you can least use it. To me the trick was simply letting go of all the ideas and concepts and just going with the feel of the roll. You focus on one concept and you blow it because you don't put it all together. Its just a physical move. Do you need to think about all the steps to every move you make? Of course not, you just do it. I think the best aids are really ways of allowing you to get the feel of the roll without interferring with developing that feel.

Finally, don't make a big deal of rolling and don't practice it when it does not go well. No need to make bad stuff more fixed in the head.

Ed Lawson

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Learning with a Greenland stick may make it easier to succeed in getting up, but I'm not sure it will generalize to Euro-paddle rolling. For one, it's really "cheating" in a couple of ways, not only the paddle's bouyancy, which, IMHO, is not a major factor. For another, there is no real hip-snap with a standard GP roll, it's more of a slow-mo hip roll (different sense of "roll"), so the timing is quite different.

While I was still learning my Euro-paddle (originally C2C) roll, I succeeded with a Greenland stick almost immediately, even in a period when my Euro roll was not working very well yet. The Greenland roll did not really help my Euro roll. But of course, YMMV.

Just curious -- anybody out there originally learn a GP roll and then go on to a Euro roll (other than extended paddle)? If so, how was the transition?

--David.

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that's it . . . i'm just going to employ someone to swim behind my boat and flip me back up when i go over.

:)

ps. what is IMHO and YMMV???

pps. thank you all for the tips, including ed, your tip about not thinking to hard about it . . . i will try this zen technique instead of yelling at my paddle . . .

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Make sure you're really getting your hands up out of the water on the set up . . . You'll have to be tucked forward a fair bit to do this . . . if you practice you'll be able to do it without crunching too uncomfortably. You don't want to be starting from a set up where you hands are burried in or under the water.

Also, you may be yanking DOWN on the paddle too much, i.e. muscling the roll. I did this at first, too. As you practice and develop muscle memory in the other parts of your body, you will dive less.

Rolling is a little bit of paddle at the set up, just to get you some lift, and the rest is twising (or unwinding, really), then (depending on your style)arching up onto the back deck, or crunching to the side while keeping your head down with a hip flick.

As your roll develops, you'll see you hardly using any arm power at all, and there's very little pressure on the paddle, just a little touch. After a session nowadays, it's my legs and hips that are sore, not the arms and shoulders.

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Well, It's all been said, but I have to add my 2 cents.

1. Proper setup, hands at the surface.

2. Relax the grip on the paddle througout the sweep, the paddle will then find it's correct position. By relaxing your grip, it also relaxes the rest of the tension you may have.

3. Remember to sweep with the body, not the arms.

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I first got a fairly reliable pond-roll with the GP. My euro roll, a sweep style, owes a lot to what I learned with the GP. Not bombproof, but pretty reliable. I work on smoothing it out every Thursday evening at Chebacco Lake. (Hint, hint, Gillian!)

The best instructional video on rolling I've seen is called "The Kayak Roll". I bought it at Kittery Trading Post. I'd lend it to you, but last winter I loaned it to somebody who keeps forgetting to return it!

I also took Bob Foote and Karen Knight's rolling class last summer, and they helped me a lot. Mike Crouse and Rick Crangle both gave me some good pointers early on, too.

Have someone good work with you, watching and coaching, and it'll come together. Then practice, practice, practice!

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I suspect your problem is not so much with your paddle but either with your hip flick or not laying back on the aft deck before you are entirely out of the water(i.e. putting your head up first before the rest of your body is out of the water). A lot of rollers have a so-called diving paddle yet manage to have a pretty good(but not perfect) roll if their hip flick and head placement is good. Try watching your paddle blade sweep back---turn your head so you keep the blade in your line of vision---this will help you keep your head in the water. also remember not to do your flick until the blade starts to move forward---it doesn't have to move forward much but does have to be providing a brace---remember all a roll is is a hip flick combined with a sculling type brace---if your head is the last part of your body out of the water then you will be able to do it.

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These days the Chebacco session goes until about 8:15. As the days get shorter, of course, so do the sessions. But it sounds like you have access to other sessions that are more convenient to you.

Practice!

Do you have a good facemask? Being able to see clearly underwater AND not have nasty fresh water invading your nose makes being upside down in the boat much more pleasant. Then you can concentrate more fully on watching the paddle blade and rotating the boat and all the other stuff everyone else has covered.

Practice!

I suspect Diving Paddle Syndrome is a phase that we all go through learning to roll. This, too, shall pass!

Practice!

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I'm not sure what type of sweep roll she is trying. I just wanted to say that there are two (maybe more) types of sweep rolls. One that is more for a euro type paddler that finishes sitting up straight, and one that is a greenland type that finishes laid on the back deck. The greenland type roll can be done with a euro paddle and vice versa. Many people have great success using an extended paddle and using a greenland sweep which is a much slower sweep and continues further back than the euro sweep. A euro sweep finishes more abruptly (around the 4 o:clock position) with the paddler sitting straight up and looking down the paddle shaft. The greenland sweep finishes further back (5 or 5:30) with the paddler looking up towards the sky. Of course there are many variations on how one finishes the roll. The common thread is the setup, hand and body positon, knee pressure/boat rotation. Relax, and it will come.

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rob, should i practice???

i was practicing more until kevin tried to run me over with his boat during a bow rescue after a failed attempt at a roll . . . :) ever since he put the rudder on his explorer it's been causing problems . . .

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There are a bunch of reasons for a diving paddle, almost as many as for a failed roll in general. Why don't we all come out and watch Gillian next week (Tuesday at Mystic, right, Gillian ;-) and ~then~ present our diagnoses and prescriptions. Or hey, Gillian, post a video of yourself missing a roll or two.

But I bet you will soon be able to post a video of you rolling!

--David.

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>a greenland sweep which is a much slower sweep and continues

>further back than the euro sweep. A euro sweep finishes more

>abruptly (around the 4 o:clock position) with the paddler

>sitting straight up and looking down the paddle shaft. The

>greenland sweep finishes further back (5 or 5:30) with the

>paddler looking up towards the sky.

The Greenland sweep does not finish further back, if the paddle is at 5:30 you would not have any support from the blade. Take a look at the video of the standard roll on this page http://www.qajaqusa.org/Movies/movies.html . You'll see the sweep finishes near 3:00, the angle with maximum support. Also note the blade is kept in (or near the surface of) the water while the paddler sits up to provide support if necessary.

Ralph

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Well jeesh, that's not a lot of pressure!!!!! Great now I have to go get in my boat from now until Tuesday and not get out until I learn how to roll!!! :)

But seriously that sounds great . . . I was going to be at Mystic for sure Tuesday evening, so anyone around who wants to come help would be awesome. I will be performing free rescues, and I've been told I'm good so come on out!!!! :)

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Gillian,

If your paddle’s diving it means that it’s being asked to do too much of the work, and no amount of refinement to your paddle work will help you. Forget about the paddle, focus on your hips, legs , head.

“The kayak roll” video has a great exercise you can do on your living room floor to help get that hips & head motion dialed in to your muscle memory . Also, you will see in the video that you nail the(hip- legs-head) body movement first , and the paddle comes in last.

I was too paddle- oriented at first, and had to un-learn this bad habit.

If you don’t always have someone to work with you, a paddle float will allow you to work by yourself, work on the below-the-belt stuff as it effectively takes the paddle out of the equation. Some think that a paddle float becomes a crutch and impedes long term progress, but I didn’t find this to be the case.

Peter

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