Rolling at Canoecopia

Why is it that when you drive to an exciting event the drive there is shorter than the drive back? I find the same phenomena when I fly somewhere for a vacation. I drove home on Sunday evening, by the end of the four and a half hour drive I was dragging, yesterday was spent catching up on emails so today I have some energy to put into describing the past weekend.
WP_20130308_002The anticipation was high this year for Canoecopia, I had prepared in advance for a visually impactful display with flags, posters, banners, large screen video, giveaways, and of course a few copies of my book and DVD to sell.
The response at the show exceeding expectations in two ways, first sales where greater than I had predicted, and second the people I met where more plentiful and passionate than I had imagined.
When you sell a product to a niche market and it sells for $30 there is no way to cover the full cost of renting a booth at a trade show so this year I shared one with Novorca paddles. They too had a good show with many custom carbon fiber paddles being displayed.
For me though the show was not just about selling, it was more about promoting Greenland rolling to fellow paddlers. I had asked if I could take part in the pool demonstrations and was granted two time slots one on Saturday and one on Sunday to introduce people to Greenland Rolling.
I had twenty minutes in which to complete the demonstration. I decided to show the approach that I use for teaching layback and forward finishing recoveries to new rollers. It was a lot to fit into twenty minutes, I just fitted in the salient points, having to skip over many details but hopefully people walked away with their appetites wetted with a desire to learn.
On Saturday Alec Bloyd-Peshkin and his wife Sharon were demonstrating in the pool after me and took the opportunity to shoot a few photographs of my demonstration:


Alec and Sharon have a great kayaking blog: Have kayaks, will travel
On Sunday Ron from Novorca volunteered to come and take pictures and video of the demonstration and he captured many on the salient moments.


One of the challenges with such a short demonstration is knowing what to cover. For layback rolls I decided upon this progression:

1. Sit up from a prone position.
2. Slide off the back deck and recover with a float.
3. Let the kayak collapse and then bring the kayak up into a balance brace.
4. Scull for support.
5. Scull down in a half roll and back up.
6. Hold the paddle against the kayak during the first half of the roll.
7. Relax and adjust the paddle position underwater.
8. Put it all together.

For the forward finish I demonstrated the pry recovery reverse sweep:

1. Head up head down sweep forward with just a float.
2. Repeat with a paddle.
3. Tag stern then pry recovery
4. Lie flat for set up
5. Sit up for set up.
6. Then learn to use the sweep phase.

A lot of information in a short space. A lot more information about these rolls and teaching methods is available via these pages: Standard Greenland Roll and the Reverse Sweep Roll.

Everyone has their own preferred learning style, some like to read, some like video, some like hands on instruction. In an effort to provide the best possible learning tools, I am going to start changing the products available on this website. I will be providing a low cost bundle of the book and the DVD, additionally I plan to make even more of the content available for free download, stay tuned for updates.

There were many great conversations that took place throughout the weekend. My personal favorite was with Justine Curgenven, the videographer and paddler behind the This is the Sea series of videos. She stopped by my booth and we spent considerable time discussing DVD marketing, the scale of the market place and trends in consumer buying habits, all highly pertinent when you are trying to make a nickel selling video content to paddlers. She used Canoecopia to launch the US distribution of This is the Sea 5 her latest and greatest kayaking video. You should stop by her website and get a copy here. If you have never met Justine I would recommend you do, she is a wonderful lady, full of life and experiences to share.

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