Historically I was a canoe guy. I liked the freedom of movement in a canoe and I could haul lots of gear.
One day, though, we were paddling on the Missouri River and it was windy. I was on one side of the river getting blown around and my kayaking friend was hardly impacted by the wind. At that point I decided I needed a kayak so I bought a Prijon Yukon.
Concerned that I would paddle a kayak the way I paddled a canoe I took a couple of kayak classes and even started working on a roll. On a good day I could roll maybe 50% of the time.
In the summer of 2014 Zack and I took a whitewater kayaking class at NOC. After that I wanted a whitewater kayak, so I sold the Prijon and bought a Jackson Zen in early 2015.
Zack and I attended the Missouri Whitewater Association whitewater clinic in April of 2015, but by the summer of 2015 I had completely lost the ability to roll at all. In the fall of 2015 I was in Charlotte for AASA meetings. After we wrapped up I went out to the US National Whitewater Center for a couple of lessons. By the end of the day I was doing only slightly better on the roll, but at least had a good understanding of where I was messing up.
So in the winter of 2016 it seemed appropriate to join in some pool kayaking to work on the roll. I started out at 50% success or less. You can see in the video below that I was bringing my head up too early.
After some practice I was getting the roll about 80% of the time, but if I brought my head up too early it was an epic fail. Thankfully we caught a successful roll on video.
I had watched folks roll and some would bring their head up over the back deck of their boats. That seemed awkward to me. After a guy watched me a few times he mentioned that given my height and torso length I needed to bring my head up over the back deck.
With the help of Zack doing T-rescues I started to get the hang of this method. After 8 weeks of being in the pool I finally think I've got it. The last two weeks I didn't have any wet exits and my high brace is better.
On the last night of pool time I was even rolling twice in a row.