I spent a few hours in the pool today. Three and a half hours to be precise. SKOAC and then ISK both had a pool session and I took full advantage of them. I had decided to focus on a couple of things. First was getting my balance brace stronger. The second was the back deck roll.
I was suspicious that my balance brace with no paddle was being impacted by my current masik. I found that the angles had been forcing my legs towards the center line of the kayak. I hacked out a few inches of foam near the gunwales. The greater freedom of the reduced masik allowed my knee to be more engaged and my body mass to be lower in the kayak. I also experimented with various combinations of buoyancy using an inflatable PFD. With just a tiny amount of additional buoyancy I was able to comfortably hold the brace position. At first there was the occasional flailing hand, but with practice I was able to hold it statically. I was also able to hand roll into the brace position, which, was something I hand been missing for a year. Thanks to James for his video which enticed me to get my roll (brace) back.

The back deck roll was fun. I have found out what I was doing wrong (half the battle right?) but what it has exposed is a weakness in my forward finish. I have a very strong forward finish if I am chest down, but when I am chest forward it is not good. So I either have to finish the roll chest down or keep working on the chest forward recovery. Anyway, this roll is great when it is working. A totally smooth continuous motion that ends up rotating under the back deck and turns into a great forward finish (occasionally).
If it was all easy what would I do with myself all winter?

Paddle masterpiece
James Manke

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