Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

Axel Schoevers (Photo: A. de Krook) Name:
Axel Schoevers
Rijswijk, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rock Solid Rolling with Helen Wilson

I just returned from a weekend Greenland rolling event with Helen Wilson. This event was organized by Greenland kayaking enthousiasts Freek and André. Generously sponsored by Tahe Marine and Arjen Bloem, a whole fleet of Greenland kayaks could be used for the classes. The question by a video news reporter "What makes (Greenland) rolling so difficult?" could not have been better answered by one of the participants with: "Well, in fact, it is not that difficult at all!"

Video courtesy of OmmenLeeft.NL

It is no secret that Greenland rolling is all about body movement. Seeing (and hearing!) participants arched backs wiggling themselves back on the back-deck show that even the arms (let alone a paddle) sometimes interfere with the understanding how rolling could be 'effortless'. Who to learn it better from than someone who thouroughly understands Greenland rolling? Helen introduces fresh and original ideas for Greenland rolling progressions.
I had not practiced Greenland rolling for a while. Just recently I hurt my back and the morning yoga session with Helen showed me how shockingly inflexible I am at the moment. The more surprise it was to me that all the rolls I ever managed to pull off in the past never felt more easy than this weekend. So for me there is still a lot of potential for improvement and it continuous to counter-act any 'aging factor'. So far my Greenland rolling gets easier and better year by year...

For the first time ever I managed a brick roll (and at the first go) and I was amazed how easy that went. The participants that did not own a Greenland paddle did a good deal at the event, so this is likely to spread in the Netherlands...

If Helen is near you, make sure you book your place! Check-out Helen's website for upcoming events. Currently she tours the world and she will be at this year's Storm Gathering in Anglesey this October.

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