Eskimo Roll – Fail

Today, I went kayaking again. After the roll I had last weekend, I thought I should learn how to do an Eskimo roll so that I don’t have to get out of the kayak if I were to roll over.

So I pulled up every video I could find on the internet. However, I found it very confusing. I tried to mime the motions while watching the video, but I just couldn’t quite figure out the motion in three dimensions (and while the perspective rotates with the kayak).

After an hour of watching videos and practicing in my basement, I loaded up my kayak drove over to the Rideau River and went for a paddle. This time, I also brought my GoPro Motorsports Hero HD camera, formerly used for our Team00 in-car racing footage. It came with a suction cup that allowed me to mount it on the front of the kayak, pointing back at myself. I wanted to see what kind of footage I could get and also to record the roll I would attempt later.

I wanted to try the roll at the end of the tour, as the water was cold and I didn’t want to get wet and cold in the strong wind – that is a recipe for hypothermia. I paddled downstream for a little while, then returned back upstream to the dock where I departed.

It was windy and the water was cold. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to try this. I also didn’t want to freak out any bystanders, so I waited until there was no one standing on the dock.

After about 30 minutes of thinking about it and working up the courage, I gave it a try.

My first (and only) attempt was a complete failure. I rolled the kayak then, while upside down, I leaned forward, and quickly rotated myself and the paddle to try to flip the kayak back upright.┬áThis didn’t work so I exited the kayak instead of trying again. My day was done.

Kayak-Eskimo roll from Richard Muise on Vimeo.

The water wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be, but I immediately got out of the water and brought the kayak and all my gear back to the car to dry off and get warm.

I will have to take a more advanced kayak course to see how to do this, because I cannot figure it out by myself.

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