I have been learning to roll for a number of years now, starting around mid 2007.  It started with the humble sweep roll, right side recovery.  Slowly improving, achieving Grade 3, then improving further.  For those first couple of years, I was always focussed on improving my one and only sweep roll, right hand side recovery. 

Since late 2009, I’ve had a hankering to extend my abilities to other rolls.  To get the process started, I booked a lesson with  Rob Mercer  on my left side recovery (offside) sweep roll.  

In February 2011, I had a group lesson with Ginni Callahan where I was taught the essence of the forward finishing sweep roll.  I had absolutely no success during the lesson but was able to cobble my thoughts together in the months to come and figure it out.

Around the same time as the GinniCal lesson I had my first night of canoe polo (out at Auburn pool – all comers welcome).  I gave a hand roll a go in the polo bat with some hope but not expecting much and surprised myself with success.  I’ve since realised I can hand roll the Greenland T but performing this one in my Mirage 580 is still elusive.

Recently (August 2011) I purchased a greenland paddle, the Mitchell Greenland paddle, 215cm one piece, from EK.  That has made some of the rolls a bit easier for me.

And my rolling seems to be improving slowly but steadily over time. 

I’m certainly no expert but I can manage, in ideal conditions, a bunch of rolls including:

  • sweep roll – right side
  • same but re-enter and roll
  • sweep roll – left side
  • half paddle sweep
  • same but re-enter and roll
  • pawlata
  • butterfly
  • reverse sweep, right side recovery
  • hand roll – layback style

Except for the hand roll, I’m pleased to say that I can do all of my rolls in my Mirage 580, which isn’t known for its low volume, low back deck, ease of rolling ability.  The hand rolls are improving but thus far my successes are in a Greenland T and a polo bat which are easier kayaks to perform these types of rolls in….at my skill level.

I’m still learning but I’m enjoying both the process and the successes as they come.  And I think they all help to improve my main sweep roll.

I’m in the process of collecting some of the video clips of the various rolls and will post them here as I find them.

If you’re interested, a comprehensive list of the standard Greenland competition rolls is here and here.

Sweep roll, right side recovery (cinematography by Ian V)

Sweep roll, left side recovery (cinematography by Ian V)

Butterfly, right side recovery (cinematography by Ian V)

Maximum rolls in 10 seconds. I can squeeze out four (cinematography by Ian V)

Reverse sweep roll, right side recovery (cinematography by Ian V)

Rodeo reverse sweep roll, right side recovery (cinematography by Ian V)

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