OK, so I am catching up on these blog entries. This one is only about a month old now….
I went to my first WCSKS back in 2004, at the end of my first year working as a kayak guide. I took a few classes that year, including a couple of classes that introduced me to the Greenland paddle, which I have been using almost every paddling day since then.
The next year, I thought I wasn’t going to be able to afford to go, until I was invited to teach a few beginner’s classes at WCSKS by Ginni, who was doing the instructor organizing back then. I have been coaching at WCSKS every year since. This year I actually had several repeat students who had taken other classes from me in previous years.
WCSKS is a large event, sponsored by TAPS, the Trade Association of Paddlesports, and includes a beach full of demo kayaks from many manufacturers, on water instruction, retail spaces and awesome evening programs including pieces of the Reel Paddling Film Festival.
I didn’t take many pictures while I was there, but I did get some shots of the rolling demo, and the cardboard kayak race, and I got a bunch of short video clips of the rolling demo, too.
Dubside is famous for making rolling look easy and fun. In the past he has rolled giant sit on tops, rolled with lit incense in one hand and a brick in the other, and rolled up with his trademark “air sculling” roll. This year, he climbed into this giant rubber raft, and attempted to roll it. It didn’t work out so well…
One of the rolls in the Greenland tradition is a hand roll with a brick in the rolling hand. Leon Somme, from Body Boat Blade does all the rolls with the dreaded “Euro” paddle, rather than a Greenland stick. They set Leon up with a giant chunk of cinder block for the brick roll, but it didn’t slow him down a bit.
Mckinley Rodriguez made herself famous last year for rolling with a bowling ball, and for rolling the cardboard kayak she was racing.
This year the cardboard kayak race had five entries, and the SSTIKS crew built a very sleek looking craft, which was easily paddled to victory by Mckinley. It wasn’t even close!
And of course, egged on by the crowd, she proceeded to roll her craft several times until it starting getting soggy and not holding it’s shape anymore. Marna, of the Humboldt Honeys team also rolled her cardboard craft several times, but the paddler who was paddling what was essentially a square cardboard raft had quite a bit more trouble pulling off a roll. In fact, it took some work to get it capsized in the first place.