A few folk have seen me rolling the Tahe Greenland in the pool and nicknamed it ‘The Karma Monster’ because of the yoga-like practice I use it for, and because its design is derived from a stealthy hunting qajaq.
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Since Greenland skills have been getting a little more exposure in the media, I have felt slightly less odd and eccentric in my paddling preferences. It has also meant that a few folk are keen to find out more about it, which is great. Living in a peripheral island community means events and symposiums are less accessible, so there is more of an imperative to pass on skills we bring home with us.
This autumn and winter in the pool more paddlers have been asking me about Greenland rolling. What is it? How is it different from a Euro roll? And, how it can help them with their own roll? Pretty much everybody wants to learn to roll no matter what age and stage they are at.
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It is great to be able to help with the learning process. Some paddlers are returning to paddling, some are coming from another discipline to sea kayaking, some have had a solid roll in the past, and some folk are self-taught and ready for some feedback.
Even if paddlers have no ambitions to learn Greenland rolling there is a lot that the process of practising skills and drills can teach us all about all of our rolls, capsizes, paddles and beyond. If you find you are apt to get uptight and frustrated at not being able to do something immediately, the process might mean only starting to make progress when you relax mind and body. If you feel your roll has to be fast and furious to work well, then trying Greenland rolling might mean seeing if it works when you slow it all down.
I’m looking forward to January and getting back into the pool after the holiday hiatus and starting a few structured sessions. You never know, someone else might decide to join me over here on the dark side.