I hit my first legitimate handroll last night. I'm headed to the coast for some kayak surfing Thurs/Fri/Sat and since it was a nice blustery night, I thought I'd get out and do some rolling practice in the wind and chop. The surfboat is very low volume but has very exagerated rails, a flat planing hull and a totally flat stern that sits a bit underwater so it's not the easiest thing in the world to roll - on par with my Sirius but harder than my Romany.
For the past week I'd been practicing with a set of small hand paddles made by Wilderness System (IIRC) that are perfect for the purpose. They velcro around the wrist and have loops in the back for a 'Mr Spock' hand position. If you bend your hand, your fingers pop out so you can pull the skirt, etc.
I started out using the 'paddle brace' a couple posts down (too easy). Tried a block of minicell (too easy). Tried both of the hand paddles (very fun but too easy). Finally I switched to one hand paddle. This was still pretty easy but one side was always a bit less solid that the other. However which is the weak side changes from day to day;-> Finally, I tried the handroll, and swam, and swam again...
So what I did was shove one of the hand paddles up the front of my PFD where I could still pull it out easily. I'd miss my first couple attempts at the handroll, pull out the hand paddle and roll up. Finally last night something clicked (the 20 combat rolls I did running my first classIII+ river had something to do with it??) and I nailed the handroll from the start. I did five on one side then three on the other before needing to pull the hand paddle. I went home wet and smiling.
A large portion of the credit goes to the members of this list who posted in earlier threads, THANKS!
Sorry for the epistle,