Roll, roll, roll your yak

A few years ago while on a rafting trip in West Virginia, my son and I decided to give whitewater kayaking a try. We hired a guide and spent a day learning basic paddling skills. We both had over 25 years of flat water paddling experience but the kayak in 'lumpy' water is a different animal. We did catch the yakking bug and shortly afterwards I purchased a Pyranha Fusion cross-over kayak.

This past spring it became painfully clear to me that I was missing a key skill to enjoy actual whitewater - the kayak roll. The kayak roll is a maneuver to return your kayak right-side-up after tipping over in white water and not having to wet exit the kayak. We searched the internet for instruction videos on kayak rolls. After watching several of them we ventured out to a local lake to become proficient at this important white water skill. It looked a lot easier on the internet! We left the lake that day with sore shoulders and unable to successfully execute the roll.

An experienced white water paddler from my club recommended an the instruction video, "Grace Under Pressure - Learning the Kayak Roll", by Kathy Bolyn, Joe Halt and Tom DeCuir. This short video is my third practice session with the roll since watching the video. There is much more to learn in order to roll in fast moving water but I am off to a great start.

Practicing the kayak roll on Ralph Bice Lake in Algonquin Park, Ontario, August 2017.

Backcountry Firewood

A short video showing how I find and cut dry firewood in the backcountry.