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Lost my nerve......????

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  • 04-01-2011 11:28pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 63 ✭✭


    Hi all,

    This is prob a crazy post.....but would anyone have any advice when one loses their nerve with kayaking.

    I started last Summer.....and I really really enjoy it.
    I am not the most talented kayaker on the planet (total understatement!!) but I love the water, being on the river, the craic etc etc. I even love lugging the kayak around and the fact that it's all so unglamerous.

    However, every time I go near the water I fall in - and since I haven't mastered my roll yet, this means there's a big rescue drama each time!! :o
    Everybody else who started with me seems to have got the hang of it.....they can sit in their kayak and stay dry - I'm always the one a step away from hypothermia!!

    I'm with a club - and they are great - but I just feel like a total spare tool. We have an outing coming up soon - I'd love to go, but already I feel myself tensing up about weirs and rapids and even launching.....I thinking in my head where will I fall out.

    Don't get me wrong.....I'm not scared of injuring myself.....well, only my pride (what's left of it.......).

    Maybe I should take up trainspotting or bird-watching. :rolleyes:


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,323 ✭✭✭wet-paint


    Hey there,
    If it's only pride that's being hurt here (as in, you're still good and comfortable in the water when you fall in, it's just that you feel silly) then it's just time and practice that are going to make you better at staying upright and in the boat.

    If your constant falling was that constant, or that much of an issue, the instructors leading the session will step in before hand, and say you're not up to running the river, so if they haven't, then don't feel bad at all about always capsizing, it really is par for the course, even if you're slower than others at gettign the knack of things.

    Work on your T rescues, they're a great stepping stone towards gaining confidence on the water.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,298 ✭✭✭tom_ass19


    Okay this sounds a bit wierd but it actually worked for me, well it made me feel less worried about capsizing. When you get on the river, take off your helmet and scoop up some water and put it back on your head, get your head wet basically. Obviously this can be done by a t-rescue but if you don't feel like doing that then this could be another option ^^

    I just found that because i felt the water on my face I didnt really care and stopped worrying about capsizing. Maybe it'll help you :)

    On another note, does your club not offer any training sessions or maybe some people from the club could teach you? Also if your from the south let me know as I got rolling lessons and he's excellent. Never knew much about rolling or even tried, by the end of the session I was able to roll, job done :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,082 ✭✭✭Tobias Greeshman


    tom_ass19 wrote: »
    Okay this sounds a bit wierd but it actually worked for me, well it made me feel less worried about capsizing. When you get on the river, take off your helmet and scoop up some water and put it back on your head, get your head wet basically. Obviously this can be done by a t-rescue but if you don't feel like doing that then this could be another option ^^
    +1

    I'll second this it works for me as well. Nothing makes you question your choice of the sport more when you find your head under the water in a freezing January river with brain freeze, whether its from a roll, t-rescue or capsizing. :D Anything to dull that initial sensation is good.


  • Registered Users Posts: 482 ✭✭irishlostboy


    after over a decade of paddling i still splash my face before running a good rapid. works a treat. i think the main problem the OP has is not relaxing. if you are stiff, you will flip. you will be stiff if you are not relaxed. so.... try meditation? anything that gets you into a relaxed yet aware state. breathing exersises? apart from that, develop good posture and good mental attitude. sit up straight and try and be proactive, not reactive.
    apart from that, just stick with it, smile lots and have a good time. people learn at different rates with different things. the real winners are the people having fun. hope this helps.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,621 ✭✭✭yomchi


    Miss_Ellie wrote: »
    Hi all,

    This is prob a crazy post.....but would anyone have any advice when one loses their nerve with kayaking.

    I started last Summer.....and I really really enjoy it.
    I am not the most talented kayaker on the planet (total understatement!!) but I love the water, being on the river, the craic etc etc. I even love lugging the kayak around and the fact that it's all so unglamerous.

    However, every time I go near the water I fall in - and since I haven't mastered my roll yet, this means there's a big rescue drama each time!! :o
    Everybody else who started with me seems to have got the hang of it.....they can sit in their kayak and stay dry - I'm always the one a step away from hypothermia!!

    I'm with a club - and they are great - but I just feel like a total spare tool. We have an outing coming up soon - I'd love to go, but already I feel myself tensing up about weirs and rapids and even launching.....I thinking in my head where will I fall out.

    Don't get me wrong.....I'm not scared of injuring myself.....well, only my pride (what's left of it.......).

    Maybe I should take up trainspotting or bird-watching. :rolleyes:

    Hey there, I was in the same position as you not so long ago. I started last summer also. At one point I just thought I was never going to get the hang of Kayaking, it all accumulated one day on a river trip to the Boyne where I got what I believed to be 'hammered' (see the thread titled 'Bashed').
    I was packing it in that day. But after a good long chat with my instructor I stuck with it. He changed my perspective of kayaking. I too thought that I was being a pain in the hole having to be rescued all the time and I thought other kayakers would be rolling their eyes to heaven everytime I got my head wet, but the thing is other experienced kayakers love the job of rescue as it pushes their boundaries a bit and as I was told it keeps them sharp. Having to perform an X rescue or chase a boat/paddle is all part of the curriculum that they are assessed on in terms of their own river confidence. So by being rescued you are actually helping the training of other kayakers.

    On the river trip after the Boyne which was on the Liffey, my instructor told me my goal was to just have a blast and swim my arse of. Just enjoy being on and in the water. I was so much more relaxed about it and in fact didn't capsize once, even on the weirs.

    This renewed my enthusiasm for Kayaking. He helped suggest a boat for my size and I bought my first Pyrahna. We did many hours at the pool session and now I have a good roll in the pool and a potentially good one on the river. Tried rolling in fast water last weekend but that's a different ball game :o

    After he changed my perpspective of kayaking it has become much more fun, and no body genuinly cares how much you swim. After that I've ran on the Avonmore and made it through sluice for the first time last week. I'm ferry gliding on fast water and now catching eddies without them catching me first.
    All it took was patience, and as one of the instructors said patience and a heavy dose of fun.

    What club are you in if you don't mind me asking? Have you access to a pool through the club? Have you got your own boat? if not what boat are you paddling?
    I found chopping and changing boats when using club ones slowed down my understanding of edging etc, I went from a Karnali to a playboat which was like learning to ride a bike with stabiliers to trying to cycle a unicycle with obvious outcomes. Since I've gotten my own boat I've come to appreciate it, I know it's tipping point inside out so I'm more confident in it.

    Also have you considered asking one of the instructors for a private lesson, I had some one on ones at the start as the instructors are friends of mine and I have to say because of that my knowledge of rivers and features is ahead of where most beginners after four months would be.

    Sorry for the long post, but to sum up, I've been where you are right now. I stuck at it and progress is coming slowly but surely. :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,628 ✭✭✭Truley


    Some good advice from other posters. Just remember that we were all beginners at some stage, had our slow days, taken beatings and embarrassing swims. And believe me, absolutely everybody gets nervous, some people are just better at hiding it than others.

    I loved kayaking from the moment I took it up, the buzz, the banter, the early starts :P However I was always a very slow learner, was three years paddling before I even learned to roll! I've learned to accept that I always have and always will be a nervous paddler. It's not always a bad thing, It actually has it's advantages. I know my limits, my comfort zone, I have no problems saying 'no.' And despite having paddled some pretty gnarly rivers, I have had no major injuries or scary moments. None of the horror stories many of my friends have had.

    I hope your club are looking after you. An experienced instructor should have seen it all before and probably doesn't think twice about sorting out a swimming beginner. Keep at it, keep practicing, try and get to a pool and sort your roll out. That will make a huge difference in your confidence.

    Most importantly - enjoy! :pac:


  • Registered Users Posts: 21 BOOF IT STEVE


    pool sessions are the way to go with learning to roll, our club runs pool sessions every year which allows our new members to get used to being under water and rolling Trescuse s etc.. you will learn alot faster as you wont have to worry about the cold, emptying ur kayak is nt an issue and the comfort of knowing ur in a warm pool will bring u on alot with regards to staying in ur kayak. Then what our club see s that our new membersw turn over in the cold river and get their first whitewater roll :-)

    When this happens ur confidence will grow and grow


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,323 ✭✭✭wet-paint


    There's a big difference in rolling in the pool, and rolling out in the cold water.


    If you've perfected the roll in the pool, go out on to a lake or river, and practice rolling. Don't just depend on your pool roll to keep you up, you'll get a big shock if you do, and it won't work 100%.


  • Registered Users Posts: 21 BOOF IT STEVE


    wet paint you are 100% correct, i should have put that in too.. Sound


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,621 ✭✭✭yomchi


    wet-paint wrote: »
    There's a big difference in rolling in the pool, and rolling out in the cold water.


    If you've perfected the roll in the pool, go out on to a lake or river, and practice rolling. Don't just depend on your pool roll to keep you up, you'll get a big shock if you do, and it won't work 100%.

    Yeh I can vouch for that, my roll is pretty solid in the pool, but add to that cold water an intense flow, your BA/gear and the mental aspect of just being upside down in the river makes everything very much different. The pool is good for learning the technique safely but then you need to proof it in moving water soon after.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 63 ✭✭Miss_Ellie


    Hi all,

    Thanks a million for all the advice.
    I know I'm just being a little over-sensitive......and questioning my choice of hobby!!! :rolleyes:
    Bottom line is I love kayaking - and I'm not afraid to admit that I'm not brilliant at it.....but I will keep trucking along.

    I have done rolling sessions in the pool - and they went very well. Have it (almost) mastered and am pretty comfortable with it. But then on my next club trip I flipped over the weir and, I'm afraid to say, I didn't even think about the roll when I was underwater!!! It's a totally different concept from the controlled environment of the pool.

    The guys in the club have been brilliant and very patient. But I guess I'm just in a tizzy thinking that the last thing they want to be doing is fishing me out of the water time and time again!! But, like someone said here, they probably enjoy it. It's good practice for them!!!

    I will take all your advice on board...splashing the water on my face etc.....I'll try to get some river practice with my roll.....and I'm going to go for it.

    So, thanks again guys. There's a paddle at the weekend and I'll prob venture out......snow and ice permitting!! :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,621 ✭✭✭yomchi


    Great stuff have a blast! When you're out try and ask as many questions as possible. Like if you do take a tumble ask one of the instructors how it happened, chances are it's not down to general instability or clumsiness but more than likely something more technical like edge control or missing a stroke. It might just be down to you're not lifting a knee high enough! I found asking questions a great way of trying avoid problems in the future.

    Enjoy your day out! Let us know how it went :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 63 ✭✭Miss_Ellie


    Update......I wasn't able to go out paddling today.
    So, I didn't get a change to put all the good advice to good use!!

    But definately soon!! :)


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