Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Reverse sweep roll

I enjoy rolling. I like the feeling when you are underwater, I enjoy wearing the goggles and scuba-kayak and being a proficient roller also gives me confidence when out by myself.
Peace under water
I managed a point where my base “combat” sweep roll was under control on both sides. But the problem of the sweep roll is that you are never in the set up position when you go down. The first few seconds under water are spent on moving the body to the set up. It also finishes with your body in a sort of laying back position which is not the best to keep paddling or face the next breaking wave.

Going up or going down?
I then found out about Greenland rolling and I wanted to incorporate some rolling techniques that would improve on what I see as the problems of my sweep roll. I first worked on the “storm” roll. This roll finishes with your body “laying” forward, a better position to duck into an incoming dumping wave. I still have to refine my technique and drill it into my automatic roll but it is coming along.

Finishing forward.

Then there is the back sweep roll. I had been trying to get my head around this one for months with no much success. Some weeks ago, during a demo day, I borrowed a Greenland T from Expeditions Kayaks. The Greenland T is a kayak easier to roll than most. I dressed for the cold of that day and got my head under water. After being disoriented for a while I finally started to grasp the movement I needed to perform. At the end I had managed a few back sweeps on my good side and was very happy.
A few days later I took my kayak and went to “my beach” for a paddle. “my beach” is in a little bay protected by a rocky reef at the entrance where most waves spend their force. However when I got there I found it was windier than I expected and the waves were coming with a lot of force, enough to keep the inside of the bay with reflected, intersecting and breaking waves where it usually is flat. I was trashed really bad on the reef last year trying to get out and since then I treat those long period waves with a lot of respect. I tested the waters but the inside of the bay was fun enough for that day for what I wanted: try the back sweep in my own kayak.
"my beach" in bad mood.
Thanks to a friend of mine who lent me his camera Sony TX10 to test I was able to record part of that session. If you ask me the Sony is a nice small camera but not really tough and the touch screen was very painful to use for me while on the water... but nice image quality and no fog in the lens. You can see my back weeps and some wave-rides in the video below:

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The secret file see the light

It has been a boring time lately in my blog. First was my deceased camera that took the blame, no more photos or videos for free, then it was a cold that lasted a month and now I am recovering from an operation to remove polyps from my sinuses.
Actually I was so bored today that I started to clean old files and decided to finally compile a video from a few months back when we had big rains in Sydney. There was so much water falling that the biggest dam in the area was spilling and its doors were opened to release some of the pressure.
With Barnabas we talked of going to paddle the river just after the dam and we did. I took my sea kayak and he with a friend of his and his daughter in a big barge sit on top for 3.
The beginning was not easy. Going down and up 3 times to carry all the gear from the car park to the river through a rough steep track. Was I that much stronger when I did white water in my youth or the white water slalom kayak I used to use was lighter? I think a combination of both made the track a long and hard work:
Of course we made it to the water in the end and the start was just after a series of rapids that made the water a bit noisy.
The triple sit on top
The old camera used to get a lot of fog.
After the noisy start it was a cruise down river. I had expected the current to be more helpful and add a bit of fun but the river is a bit too wide for the speed of the water to be felt.
The spider was actually very syncronized
We planned to finish after another series of rapids between Penrith and Winsdor but we lost too much time hauling boats down to the river and we had to abort when we reached Penrith well into the night. I must admit we also started a bit too late.

Below is the video I managed from that paddle, not too exciting as others but worth to break the silence in the blog :-)