Spring is officially here and the paddling season has already begun in many places. In just a couple of months, we will be taking our first whitewater trips of the year here at Sage Outdoor Adventures. We’re looking forward to a great rafting season, especially with the amount of snow that we’ve received in the Colorado high country this year.
As spring approaches, it’s time to begin preparing. If you’re planning on spending time in your kayak this season, now is the time to start practicing your kayak roll. This is an important skill for kayakers of any ability or experience level.
Early this spring, begin your practice in the pool. For some tips, we chatted with Sage Owner and Director of Operations, Cole Bangert. Here are Cole’s tips on getting started.
“Start by working on hip snaps, because that’s the most important part of the roll,” Cole told us. “With a good hip snap, you don’t even need a paddle. Use the side of the pool. Hold onto it with your hands, and hip snap until your abs feel like they’re going to fall off.
Some of your practice will depend on what style roll you are learning.
“The two primary rolls are a sweep roll and a C2C roll,” Cole continued. “I have found the sweep roll to be stronger in big, pushy whitewater. However, keep in mind that everybody will end up developing their own style of roll, depending on what works for them.”
When you’ve got your hip snaps down and you’re ready to use a paddle in the water, there’s one critical thing that you always need to remember.
“It is imperative that your head comes up last,” Cole emphasized. “The number one mistake that people make is to lead with their head and try to pull the rest of their body up. That makes a hip snap impossible. It pulls the heaviest part of your upper body out of the water and makes finishing the roll nearly impossible.”
Good luck with your early season practice and get out there and have some fun this season. For more information on rafting trips and other summer activities with Sage Outdoor Adventures, please check out our Summer Page or call us at 970-476-3700.