Book Review: Kayak Rolling - The Black Art Demystified

Saturday, 25 November 2006
Kayak Rolling - The Black Art Demystified Ask 10 paddlers which skill they would say is the most difficult to master and the vast majority of the group would say learning how to roll ranks up there at the top of the pile. The same is true for teaching somebody else how to roll. It is more difficult compared to say, teaching how the low brace.
One of the reasons why teaching the roll is difficult is because, as an instructor, you need to be able to watch your student critically and notice the subtle mistakes causing their roll to fail. You also need to have resources and ideas in the back of your head to overcome those mistakes so they can be successful and not get discouraged. No easy task for sure.

From books to Youtube, there is no shortage of people wanting to help out with rolling. Always searching for new resources, we recently came upon, Kayak Rolling - The Black Art Demystified by Loel Collins published by Pesda Press.

One of the things that makes this book different from many of the other rolling resources out there is the overall approach that the author has taken. Rather then building the roll up to be the pinnacle of your paddling skills, he takes the opposite approach and sets up the roll as a skill that is attainable by anybody; if they follow a few key principles outlined in the book. To us, that is a nice change in attitude.

It is very clear that Collins is an instructor first and an author second as he has taken the complex skill of rolling and broken it down into a very manageable and logical process. For the visual learners, you will find lots of color photographs clearly depicting the key elements of rolling. There is a great area dedicated specifically to troubleshooting the common errors that students make along with tips and ideas on how to correct the problem.

As an instructor this book will be very helpful. All you need to do is take the key concepts and ideas outlined and you have a simple and concise lesson plan for teaching others how to roll. There is a flow chart at the beginning of the book that breaks down the roll along with the common errors and solutions. As an instructor, use it to help you process the complexness nature of teaching your students.

Kayak Rolling - The Black Art Demystified is written by Loel Collins published by Pesda Press.

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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