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art of letting go

Posted Apr 10 2008 12:00am

JB of Milwaukee shows off a draw

This always cracks me up.  The first time I ever rolled because I actually HAD to roll was the result of being silly. I was doing a simple draw or as I like to say, “pulling my boat sideways”, and I brought my paddle in right next to my hull and SPLOOOSH!  I didn’t know the solution to that little predicament was the simple art of letting go!

When we are first learning to paddle we soon discover that there are mermaids hiding under our boats waiting to pull us over.  It’s always when we bring our paddle right up next to our hull and suddenly their mischievous side appears.  Of course, what’s really going on is opposite forces are working against the boat and the paddle.  When moving our boat sideways the boat is going in one direction and are paddle the other.  Suddenly it comes to the side of our boat and stops.  The force of the moving kayak has to go somewhere.  If we just leave our paddle there, we’re going swimming. We essentially “trip”.  In time of course we learn to keep the blade out a bit and we become adept at slicing it out of the water before that force takes over.  Sometimes though we can still find ourselves wrestling with the mermaids.  The solution is simple. So simple that you feel like a fool when you learn it; Let go.  Yup, just release your top hand from the paddle and let it go its own way for a moment.  When you release the top hand the paddle will then pivot on your lower hand  and take the pressure off.  You are then free to sign a refrain of, “How Dry I am!”.

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