Celebrating my first roll!

I’m not really one for posting on forums so I thought I’d save my first post for something special.

I joined the club back at the end of May when we moved back to Liverpool.  I’d bought a 14ft Perception Expression a couple of years ago when we lived by the Basingstoke canal in Hampshire but as we were moving to a flat with nowhere to store it, I contacted the club asking if I could store it at the compound.  I also wanted to join the club to improve my kayaking skills.  I found out just this weekend that my brother and I started kayaking roughly at ages 8 and 10 respectively but aside from a little canal paddling  in the last few years, I’ve not really paddled much in the last 33 years or so.

When I was younger, I always wanted to learn to roll, but I never got taught.  I was a skinny little runt back then so could probably not come close to gripping the inside of a kayak, plus they were horrible fibreglass things and I hated itchy knees.

I’ve been to the docks a few times in the last few months, but have regularly attended the pool sessions to refresh my memory of the basics and build my confidence.  As I’ve always been one to try and run before I can walk, over the last few weeks I’ve been trying quite unsuccessfully to roll.  With some help last thursday, I managed to get upright in my Kayak down at the docks, just once mind but I put it down to the help more than anything I did myself.

Tonight however, roughly 35 years after I started kayaking, I’m celebrating my first, second and third rolls, completely unaided.  My technique started off poor but hey, at least I got upright, quite by surprise the first time I might add. My technique then rapidly went downhill after a mixture of two more successful attempts and much more swimming to the side to right myself or bailing out to try again.  I spent the rest of the session failing miserably and cracked my paddle blade using it to help myself up on a few occasions when I had otherwise failed.

I expect now I will fail many more times than i’ll succeed as I try to improve my technique and do things the way people have explained to me, instead of some weird amalgamation of techniques that my feeble body can just about manage.

Many thanks to everyone who has given me tips, advice and help so far.  I am one happy bunny who has just achieved a childhood dream.

Claire