-- Last Updated: Oct-17-13 12:07 PM EST --
I was one of them. It took me about as long as Gordon Brown because of high anxiety, just something that only time and repetition will get by. Those who do not have this issue have absolutely no idea what it is like to overcome it. And it has nothing to do with swimming ability either - it is claustrophobia due to staying in the boat.
There was a point where the Euro paddle was likely adding to my problem, but in hindsight I would have had the same issue with any paddle. I am one of those oddballs who would have been best off starting with a hand roll, or at most the short wood piece that Inuit kids start with. My kinesthetic awareness under water has always been better than the average bear and my hip flexibility and rotation was quite good early on. But due to the anxiety, every item I added to the process made it more problematical.
That said, the length of the journey is often less important than the destination. Whether he took longer than some others to roll, assuming that is correct, Gordon Brown can out-paddle most on this board and probably could before he got his roll reliable. And he needs to roll in the North Sea, with conditions that are significantly nastier than the often more benign seas off of the US coast.
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