Travels with Paddles

a sea kayaking journal

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

Friday, April 20, 2012

This is the Roll

Euro rolling Greenland-style? Or is it Greenland rolling Euro-style? I am confused. Definitively not only Greenland rolling Greenland-style. The cover does not help either: "This is the Roll: Greenland rolling with expert instructors Cherri Perry and Turner Wilson" with a cranked euro paddle prominently on the cover...

This new DVD from Justine is sure to create some smooth ripples in the rolling community. Smooth? Yep, proper rolling (Greenland stick, euro paddle, whatever) hardly ever creates splashes :-)

My first close encounter with Greenland rolling was during my attendance of the DelMarVa Paddler's retreat in 2004 where I met Cheri, Turner and Dubside for the first time.

From that moment onwards as a sea kayaking coach I had my mind on how to 'introduce' Greenland rolling mindset into the Euro-style community without being alienated from either of them. This DVD bridges that 'gap' that I could never achieve other than in my personal approach to coaching rolling and still learning...

A rolling 'revolution' that for once won't have a chance of turning into a war.

As a coach my one and only 'worry' with this DVD is that viewers might by-pass the Greenland paddle altogether and then the main culprit of rolling (relying on the blade) won't be unlearned. The DVD stresses the 'body mantra' time and time again, however is the viewer who has never been (coached) rolling with a Greenland paddle (or even no paddle at all) ever able to feel where the 'secret' lies?

Back in 2004 my mouth fell open when I saw for the first time the straightjacket roll as performed by Pavia Lumholt. In this DVD there is a small bit of footage where that mouth fell open again; a brief glimpse from just the right camera angle; unveiling for me the secret of how the straightjacket roll can exist and 'physically' possible relying on body motion only.

P.S. The DVD does not cover the straightjacket roll, however that 'lay-back' roll's physics which IS covered, is exactly the same when one only scratches the surface with whatever is in hand.

Simon Willis wrote a comprehensive review of This is the Roll.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Good friends from careers past

Yesterday evening I enjoyed a wonderful reunion of former IT colleages of Westland-Utrecht Bank, my last employer. And with great joy I met Tineke again, my last 'boss'.

Looking at all, I could easily think that I left just yesterday and not in late 2002. The overall view was that the WU until around 2000 was just about the perfect size company. Small enough to really be creative and be productive, while big enough to be able to move around in jobs and varied projects. Now 'split-up' and 'ripped apart' beyond recognition with all scattered around ING Bank and beyond and some enjoying (early) retirement or even emigrated. No enjoyment in working in big corporate structures...

It's a small world as I learned that Tineke recently moved to Culemborg where her partner has just joined the local kayaking club where sea kayaking committee colleage Ad is also a member. I think I have an appointment to go paddling in Culemborg soon.

Thank you Harry for organising the reunion again and I am glad that this time I was in the country and able to join.