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  Posted by: rjd9999 on Jun-16-13 11:35 AM (EST)

What I really don't understand is why the offside roll is so much less comfortable, though it clearly is. The first time I tried one, it was like learning to throw left handed (water polo - it's a basic requirement). Everything just felt wrong, even though the motions were not that difficult to reproduce. What helped me was the following:

- breaking the task down into discrete components - grab side of pool, do hip snaps
- (with a mask) repeat the setup motion and sculling to grab a breath of air every once in a while
- adding floatation (paddle float) to the off (left) side of the blade and reducing that floatation so that I didn't try to simply muscle up on that side
- moving slowly - keeping the motion slow and accurate avoiding the tendency to rush or muscle up (trying to overpower the water is a theme with my rolls, sadly - kind of like the adage that "if brute force doesn't work, then you don't have enough brutes." Water doesn't respond well to force, it just moves out of the way)
- maintaining the blade angle and ensuring that the paddle doesn't dive (again, slow motions work well - I learned that speed isn't as important as proper set up, angle, and accuracy of motion)

Pools or relatively warm lakes take some of the sense of urgency, and hence rush, out of the equation, but you really want to learn to roll in the water you expect to paddle and if that water is cold enough, it is amazing how quickly you want to get out of it :). Since rushing really doesn't not improve roll quality, it pays to take a few seconds and relax oneself after the setup. In flat water or (usually) the ocean, you have lots of time, so use it. Moving water where strainers and the like may be present may make rolling up in a more timely fashion a preferred goal.


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