Subtlety not strength

When you don’t have one, a forward finishing roll can seem like a huge mountain to climb. Retraining our bodies to rotate forward and not layback is a challenge for many. I learned the storm roll first. Alex taught me it in the pool a couple of winters ago. After the...

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Physical and Mental Therapy

This weekend I drove the family four hours north to Bemidji to visit the in-laws. A storm had come through recently and devastated their land, knocking down over one hundred trees (they have over 100 acres of pasture and woodland). We spent an exhausting Saturday...

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Why a shoulder-less Greenland Paddle?

Until earlier this year I have been religiously paddling with my 86b Novorca carbon fiber paddle. I recently placed an order with Ron at Novorca for a new paddle. I don’t know what its design number will be but it is going to be a remarkable paddle. It varies from my...

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Roll of the week, #13 – Rolling with hands crossed

Assuming you are successful at roll number 12, the Storm Roll, then rolling with your arms crossed becomes a very useful roll to practice. I find this roll useful not because your arms are crossed but because it decreases your dependency on heaving up on the paddle....

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40 thoughts on teaching rolling

Learning to roll was the first challenge. Learning to teach rolling is the second and current challenge. Every training session provides as many learning moments for me the trainer as it does the trainee. The following forty thoughts represent some of the things this...

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Roll of the week, #12 – Storm Roll

The Storm Roll is a great roll to have in your repertoire. It provides you a way of rolling while remaining forward, and leaves you in a position to keep on paddling the instant you recover. Many people find this especially useful when in surf, especially if hit by a...

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Tuning a static brace

A Static or Balance Brace is often the goal of people that come to our Greenland rolling sessions . For some people their body’s size, shape and flexibility make it impractical to achieve a Static Brace. But even for those that are flexible and buoyant enough it can...

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An evening of rolling

  During my family's vacation to the North Shore of Lake Superior last week, I was asked if I would help lead a rolling session for the Grand Marais Paddling Club. This video documents a few minutes of rolling at the end of a fun filled...

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Newton’s laws of rolling – a meditation on floating

"If you don't float you won't roll" is an oversimplification, but it does highlight an aspect of rolling that is frequently underestimated by many rollers and learners alike. Newton taught us three very useful laws that help us roll: 1. "Corpus omne perseverare in...

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Roll of the week , #11- Continuous storm roll

Last week we were working on the Chest scull. The Chest scull helps train our bodies to float face down and then recover facing forward. The next roll to work on is the Continuous Storm Roll. The benefit of using the Continuous Storm Roll is that a paddle float can...

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Nursing a painful shoulder blade.

For the past few years I have been suspicious that I may have a shoulder problem. After intense paddling or rolling sessions I was developing a sharp pain between my right shoulder blade and my spine. Two weeks ago after a particularly intense weekend of rolling I...

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Roll of the week, #10 – Chest Scull

Most of us spend so much time learning groovy looking lay-back rolls that by the time we start to learn forward finishing rolls our bodies have been trained to automatically go face up and slide onto the back deck. Training our bodies, and minds, that lying face down...

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