Now that you have mastered your roll you can spend some time on safety at the pool. I know I feel I have had more than enough wet exit but there are a few additional wet exits I like to practice. You have probably heard and repeated to others, “Always have your grab loop out!” Well, what happens if it is inside your cockpit or out of your reach?
You can grab the material in the middle of the skirt and pull to the side (if you have an implosion bar you can grasp it), punch out with your knee and hand, peel the back edge up, or wiggle out.
Wiggling out is a great technique to teach young and old alike. I like to have a tunnel that is loose on kids so if they forget the steps to a wet exit it is easy for them to use the wiggle out method. This turns a likely intense moment to laughter as they pop up with the skirt still on their boat.
Practice all of these with your grab loop out and upright on the side of the pool. Once you are comfortable try them upside down. It is important that you are not practicing this skill for the first time in the river.
Please feel free to ask me questions. I can be reached at devobarker at yahoo dot com. Hope to see you in the pool and on the river.
Wishing you a pool to whitewater roll,
Photos courtesy Will Stauffer-Norris
Special thanks to Zims hotsprings for the use of the pool.