My whole weekend's been taken up with classes this time. Saturday was Nigel Foster's Directional Control class, and today was Rolling.
Saturday's class covered waaay too much stuff to even attempt to describe much of it here. Suffice it to say, it was really awesome. There are so many "finer" strokes and variations on strokes that it will take time to get good at them. It's not unlike the difference between hitting a tennis ball back and forth over the net and actually learning to play Tennis well (I've played since high school so I can say that). :)
Nigel's boat control is just plain amazing. Watching him do stuff with that paddle is wild.
Rolling today was fun! I had to quit early because I was getting nauseous, though. I dunno if it was because I had lunch on the way to class, or what. I got that way yesterday after lunch too, so I suspect it was food-related.
Anyway, I learned a LOT. I know what people mean now about how boat sizing and fit will affect ability to roll. The boats we had didn't have hip pads, so they were fairly loose on me. They were also higher-volume. Not as big as my Essence 17 was, but definitely bigger than my Tempest and bigger than the composite boats we used in the other classes. Still, I was able to do it. I almost had the technique down when I started feeling woozy and had to get out.
I got to play with a Greenland paddle too. It was the second of the three paddles we played with during rolling. We started out with a regular paddle with a foam paddle float on the end, to practice laying sideways in the water, before moving on to actual capsizes. But then later he had us using the greenland paddle and gripping it at the blade end and using it's full length to sweep ourselves back upright. I got to paddle with it a little bit (given the small area of the pool, and I really like it. A friend is a wood-worker so I'm going to see about having him help me carve one.
I'll take the rolling class again in the Spring before I get ready to head to the ocean. I want to take some ocean paddling classes too. I don't dare attempt it without having had some instruction (and some people to go with).
But after all this, I think my Tempest is the right boat, at least for right now. I will want something bigger (capacity-wise) for trips eventually, but it's way too early to even think about that right now. Like, I paddled a Seaward Legend yesterday and while it seemed like a nice boat, it felt very tippy and for that reason alone, I didn't like it. I've chalked it up to inexperience for the time being.
Oh.. I put a couple of short rubber bungee straps around the backband of my seat. I haven't paddled it like that yet, but just sitting it it, it feels a whole lot better. Ditto with the two sponges jammed beneath the front of the seat.
I haven't updated my blog with posts about the two classes yet; hopefully in the next couple of days (if not sooner).
Heel and Pegpads™
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