The Lefty Day

I was right above this scary big rapid last month and was trying to get out. The water was surging and pushing me violently onto the rocks on my left side. There was no room to turn around- I would probably get swept into the rapid if I tried. And something in my mind just kept wanting me to spin 180 and get out on my right side.

 
I’m right handed, like you (most likely). And every single time I go kayak I carry my boat on my right shoulder, I roll on my right side and I exit my kayak on the right. There’s very few situations when I need to use my left, gladly, cause I end up in trouble.
 
I recently realized every single time I exit my kayak I do it the exact same way- come up to shore on my right side, pull my skirt, put my right foot on shore, shift my weight onto it as I stand up, then grab my boat. And the same thing applies to me carrying my boat. It actually hurts when I carry it on my left. And when I look at myself in the mirror, my right side muscles are no different than my left side. Every single time I roll is on my right, unless i end up on my left and just do it, or against a wall or getting beatdown sideways. 
 
So recently I tried something cool. I went to paddle my local run, the exact same I always do, but did everything I could on my off-side. I did an all-lefty day. I practiced some lefty rolls even. And it was very weird. But the cool thing was- by the end of the day, I felt a little less awkward on my off-side. You should try it too. I’m gonna implement an off-side day every other time I go paddle. Hopefully next time I end up getting pushed violently against the rocks on my left side, I can exit comfortably.
 
Rafa Ortiz
@rafaortizkayak

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