Minimalism and Paddling
Minimalism, the art of doing more with less may have a lot to do with paddling.
Rolling in particular has the minimalist bent to it. First you learn to hip snap, sweep and brace with the paddle in order to get oxygen. That’s pretty simple, (relatively speaking). If you decide to get more into this, getting your “offside” roll comes next. This comes next, the ability to roll on both sides, is fairly important as I see it.
If you progress past this you’re off into new territory that is fairly esoteric, but still plainly within reason. There are steyr rolls, reverse low brace rolls, storm rolls, deep paddle rolls, behind the back rolls, and behind the head rolls. See the Rolling Videos at: “Qajaq USA. “:http://qajaqusa.org/Movies/movies.html
Over the last year I’ve been working on trying to get onside/offisde hand rolls, forward and aft recovery. The forward recovery rolls are still touch and go, but I think I have the technique. I just have to try and train my muscles to do it over and over until it is ingrained like the aft recovery hand roll. I’ve got it to the point now where the kids and I can play the tip daddy over game in the pool with
no paddle. I’ve had to push some kids out of the way to get a good sweep and hip flick, but I haven’t had to swim yet!
It occurred to me one afternoon this winter while I was doing a static brace in 34 degree water that there is something sick and wrong with minimalism.
We have all sorts of advantages even within paddling, levers and fulcrums so to speak that allow us to lift the pyramid blocks a little easier, and I try to go back to the deadlift method. Is there a self-destructive bent in this sport.
Why isn’t it enough to be able to roll with a paddle, must I really learn how to roll with my elbow?
I know the answer for me is yes, but why? Is it learning something new? Is it doing the rolls with a Norsaq? (rolling stick). Or is it doing the rolls with a 2 kilo brick that will be the final achievement. I don’t know. I think maybe there is something in human DNA that makes people a little coo-coo. If you learned to fly in an aeroplane would the natural progression be to move to an aerolight, then a glider, then a parachute, and then the acme batsuit Wile E. Coyote uses?