Sunday, May 06, 2007

Rolling Rolling Rolling

Can't believe I forgot my camera when I went to the lake today. With winds 20-25 mph and 30+ mph gusts, it was completely white capped. The Carolina Sailing Club was partying in the parking lot and with the strong winds, most had opted to keep their boats on shore.

I was on the lake with Eric Bannan, an old paddling friend who had offered to help me with roll practice in one of my old white water kayaks (used primarily for pool rolling and shore surfing), using a feathered WW paddle that Eric was lending me. I'm actually a pretty good roller, but, wanting to try something different, I'd signed up for a WW clinic with the Carolina Canoe Club up in Nantahala, and after having spent the last 8 years or so primarily using a Greenland Paddle with my sea kayak, I figured I might need some help/practice with this Euro blade.

Eric and I go back well over 10 years. We took our first formal sea kayaking class together, and have had many kayaking weekend adventures over the years. It was Eric who spent a winter many years ago going to the pool teaching me my first rolls. And it was Eric who I first went out to Bogue Inlet with to learn to surf in my sea kayak.

Eric on right, me second from left, photo taken at least 8 years ago on the lake.

We put in on a fairly protected cove on the lake, Eric in his NDK Explorer, and I in a Dagger Redline. And I didn't have any trouble with the rolling, on side or off. Then we paddling out into the wind and waves and I practiced some rolls without set-up. We paddled out into the waves a few more times, enjoying surfing the waves back into shore. Actually Eric managed some pretty good rides, I was too busy spinning circles and working hard trying to keep my planing WW boat going straight. More than rolling, I think I just need more practice paddling this short kayak.

Eric doesn't get out on the water as much these days, he and his wife Luanne have an 18 month old son Zane who keeps them pretty busy, and Eric's been more into mountain biking lately, and on free evenings, Eric can be seen and heard around town playing his music (songwriter, lead guitar, and lead singer), .

Thanks Eric, for the lend and the hand.

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