This semester at U of M, part of my teaching duties is to supervise several student interns. One of them happens to be a badass sponsored Kayaker who is doing her internship at a local community center where she and her boyfriend (also a badass) teach a kayaking class. So, as part of my supervisory duties, I participated in a class.
I’m sure I made a wonderful first impression- she gave me her spray skirt to use, couldn’t get it on over my butt, and had to have help to pull it on over my head. Then, when I went to sit in the boat (also hers), we had to remove the padding from the hip area.
Once I was in the water, the first thing I learned was how to bail out if I got turned upside down and couldn’t right myself. I thought it was pretty easy, though I can see how it’d freak some people out. Next, I started learning the basic roll- tipping upside down then using my paddle/hips to roll rightside-up.
After a little practice and a couple of failed attempts at doing it on my own, one of the instructors noticed that I wasn’t actually getting my paddle out of the water once I was upside-down, so I wasn’t really getting the “push” from it that I needed. So, next attempt, I fixed that, and BAM! Up I went! (which also elicited few cheers from some of the other people in the pool)
I managed a couple more successful rolls before moving on to how to paddle and turn. By the end of the class, I was actually a bit worn out. It was a lot of fun, and a useful skill to add to my repertoire.