Rolling into January

Hello Everyone! Hope you guys enjoyed the holidays!

For the past 3 years during the month of January, Cullman City Parks and Recreation has hosted a roll clinic/ open pool session for paddlers of all skill levels. What started as a group of 4-5 paddlers a week, has grown to a full pool of 30 plus paddlers a week! This clinic has provided a great learning environment for North Alabama paddlers to master a roll in warm water, and an opportunity to meet other paddlers to go on future paddling trips! So what are some of the fun things that happen at our roll clinics?

1. First off, we have a full-size pool to play in! Unless we have 100 boaters show up, there is usually plenty of room to move around to roll, practice t- rescues, and to help your friends outrsz_15724779_10208024683637001_5342943753332602742_o
2. Kayak polo. If you have never played kayak polo you are missing out on one of the greatest games of all time. Kayak polo is basically the same thing as water polo, but just add kayaks in the midst. A typical game consists of half the field swimming, at least 2 people with paddles slapped on their head, and tons of fun.

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3. One of the other great things about roll clinics, are the wide variety of skills and experience that show up. If you need help outfitting your boat, wondering how you should hold your paddle, need advice on boat selection, or just honestly have no clue what white water kayaking is all about, there will always be someone there to help you out, and steer you in the right direction. If I cannot answer your question, I will either research it or find someone that can!

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4. You can bring a friend! Do you have friends at work that wonder what you do on the weekends, and would like to give kayaking a shot? We have several fully outfitted Zens for people to try out! Also, most people have some extra gear lying around and are usually more than willing to help a beginner out for a night.

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5. Already have a roll? Great! You are now ready to learn your off side and hand roll or even learn some flatwater tricks. Even paddlers with solid rolls can learn 1 or 2 things at a roll clinic. If you feel like you have mastered everything, then feel free to help out the people that are struggling to get their rolls down.

Whether you are skilled paddler or sitting in a boat for the first time, participating in a local roll clinic can be tons of fun for everyone! Most of your local boating clubs will have some sort of clinic going on throughout the year. If not, maybe you should try to start one!

Hope everyone has had a great start to 2017, and as always SYOTR

Matt Huddleston

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