Kayaking Technique Forum

Find advice on all aspects of kayaking and using small boats on big water

Rolling for the nearsighted, et. al.

I've been learning to roll this year and am pretty proficient in practice conditons. I wear contacts and in practice conditions use a diving mask to see and protect the sinuses.

I keep wondering, however, what I will do if I need to "roll for real" where I won't have the benefit of the diving mask. Opening one's eyes under water with contacts is usually considered a good way to loose them. I've spent a lot of time at the air/water interface (swimming, surfing, sailboarding, snorkling) with contacts and have never lost one, but I've never tried opening my eyes under water with contacts in. Have any of you? Do people roll with their eyes closed? Can't imagine that! Any other suggestions?

Another rolling question. I seem to have a pretty reliable PRACTICE roll on either side but when I do miss it, I have a hard time setting up again. I've got the air, the time and I'm not panicking, but I can't seem to acheive the same postion as when I setup before the capsize. My second (third, fourth) tries are far less reliable and seem to be characterized by a rapidly diving paddle and NO lift at all. If feel like the paddle angle is right, rather it seems to be related to my upper body position. It feels like I am "deeper" in the water on my second try and that I am coming up for further down. Any suggestions? Sorry for the lousy description, but I'd sure like to get this rolling thing down pat.