Monday, 15 November 2010

Alarming the lifeguards...

is all too easy when we are trying to consolidate rolling skills in the pool. This afternoon a few of us went to the pool to consolidate old rolling skills and try to develop new skills. After adjusting the BA to fit with less layers underneath things went a bit better. I managed a few butterfly and narsaq rolls, but the static braces didn't feel as buoyant as on the sea. The paddle got caught under the boat in the butterfly roll. I had to use 2 hands to push it round and then re-position myself under the boat. A couple of times and 'accidentally on purpose' I practised self rescue and re-entry and roll. Aware that the lifeguards are inclined to interpret the ' just getting up far enough for a breath in order to try again' re-entry roll as drowning after a couple of goes, this forced a few self rescues.
Is it my imagination or does the salt make that much of a difference?

Congratulating Cathy on rolling the Aquanaut.

NK sets up.
Later it was back to the pool for the first week of this years beginner pool sessions. After a good deal of planning and cake eating and coffee drinking NK and I were happy with the outline session plans.
Laminated notes prepared, we introduced ourselves to our groups and began with the manual handling, capsize and empty. Before introducing the paddle we encouraged folk to use their hands to paddle, experimenting with forwards, backwards, turning and sideways.

Paddling with hands to develop feel.

Ingrid seems to be enjoying herself!
'Where'd they all go?'
Paddles introduced, we went on to experiment with different paddle positions.

A little bit of boat balancing.
We finished with some boat balancing, sitting behind the cockpit and paddling with hands and then with the paddle, which always makes folk feel so much more stable when they get back in the boat again.

Throughout the evening it was clear to see that everyone had brought a lot of strengths to the session and we have a fantastic group of paddlers in the making.
Looking forward to the next session!

All photos of coached sessions by Malcolm.


  1. I think you will find that salt water is a lot more buoyant than fresh. Plus the fact that when you're on the salt water you're most likely wearing a drysuit - which has a lot of buoyancy as well.

    We have pool sessions on the go now and I always wear my PFD while many paddlers don't. I figure that I'm always going to wear it when I'm paddling so why get used to rolling/sculling etc without it on?? Last week I tried rolling without the PFD and it was fair degree harder. I promptly put it back on for the remainder of the session.


  2. Cheers Sean - its good to know other folk find it a big enough difference to matter.
    I usually wear my PFD, but funnily enough because I first learned to hand roll a pool boat without a PFD I still prefer to do it that way. Not long before I am one of the tuiliq wearing set I guess! Both buoyancy and freedom of movement I understand though never tried it!