PFD types and rolling

Decked Canoes, Open Canoes, as long as they're canoes!

Moderators: adamin, kenneth, sbroam, TheKrikkitWars, Mike W., Sir Adam, KNeal, PAC

User avatar
Pea Pod
C Guru
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:43 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

PFD types and rolling

Post by Pea Pod » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:39 am

I wore an Astral Green Jacket for the first time over the weekend and I reckon it made me miss all my rolls. I paddle almost exclusively with K1s and many rave about the Astral Green. So when it was time to replace mine, I bought one. The fit is great and so is the storage. But I don’t think it’s going to work for me.

This PFD has a big clam-shell pocket on the front which I think puts too much bulk on the front of my torso. It prevents me from getting close over my front deck, making my CoG too high. So when I set up to roll at 90 degrees to the boat, I’m not as close to the surface as I need to be (first weakness). Then when I go to finish with a low brace over the front deck, I scrape the PFD over the deck but I’m up too high (second weakness). It also meant that regular low braces weren’t as stable as normal.

Anyone else have this problem with similar PFDs? What are good PFDs for Cboat river runners?

Pierre LaPaddelle
CBoats Addict
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:21 am
Location: Vancouver Island, BC

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Mon Jun 13, 2016 3:52 am

Great question, Pea Pod. From much practice in the pool, with some video feedback, I agree that bulky panels on the front of PFDs do prevent a low tuck to the front deck on the finish of the roll.

Part of the issue is the configuration of foam on the front of bulkhead saddles. I've had minor success in carving down that section of the saddle.

I went shopping for a new PFD last year, and settled for a Kokatat Maximus Prime. I like it -- not only are the front panels slimmer, but they are articulated, allowing for easier twisting of the torso.

Can I add another 'gear' factor to the discussion: wondering if anyone's found helmet weight to be a factor in rollability? I have a FNA helmet, which is bomb-proof, but twice the weight of an old plastic hat I've worn for years.

Lastly, THANKS, Pea Pod for raising this issue. I've always found it expedient to blame my equipment for my lack of success. Now, when my friends scoff, and rudely suggest I practice my skills, I can refer to this thread, and point out that "Pea Pod said. . ." :D

Rick
C'est l'aviron. . . !

NZ C1er
C Boater
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:02 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by NZ C1er » Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:20 am

Very topical Pea Pod, I have just made a big gripe on the topic Need a new PFD.
I've put a lot of work and thought into rolling. I paddle a lot about 100 days a year, this year I aim for 150. In the past eight years I have had eight swims, two from loosing my paddle and six stuck in holes and having to swimm out, I never swim in the open river, I always roll....
And that is my first point rolling is 90% in the head. But as I said in the previous topic I don't think the PFDs on offer (and I understand why they are required to have frontal buoyancy) help in C rolling with the need in a good C roll to come in low over the front deck in the finishing stage of the roll, as I said go to the pool slow the roll down, work with and without the PFD, empty the front pocket, remove some of the frontal buoyancy if possible. Bulk in front is not conducive with the C roll.
I have rejected the Green jacket from my buying list on frontal bulk looks.
The best tip I have had on rolling came from Kelvin of Silverbirch. As soon as you go under crunch the offside knee towards the abdomen, this brings you to the surface against the boat for the sweep and winds up for the flick back with that knee/hip but it sounds like you are doing this Pea Pod as your PFD is no allowing you to get up as close to the deck in the setup as you would like.
The answer for me is if I am unable to buy a new PFD that suits is to try and get new buoyancy for my old one and for when they wear out (soon) keep a look out for second hand vests of the same (old style) model.

User avatar
Pea Pod
C Guru
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:43 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by Pea Pod » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:13 am

Oops...I don't know how I missed that recent thread that is VERY similar to this one. Apologies. If the mods see fit, combine the threads.

User avatar
Pea Pod
C Guru
Posts: 191
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 3:43 am
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by Pea Pod » Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:22 am

Rick, like you, I was reluctant to blame my gear. In fact, during the three days of paddling--my first in cold water clothing for a year--I blamed the brisk water and associated shock and brain freeze. But by the end of the last day I also realised that my low brace was poor. I just couldn't get low enough over the front deck.

I woke this morning with the added realisation that when I crunch under the boat (when upside down), I'm not tucked as tight as with my old PFD. I think this explains why I could get my paddle to the surface often enough before I initiated the roll.

Matt: Yes, pool sessions would be a good idea to confirm all these ideas in a more comfortable and controlled setting. We had a big dump of rain recently, associated with an East Coast Low here in Australia, so lots of us have hits the rivers big time this last week or so! Thanks for passing on Kelvin's tip--I'll give it a try.

ian123
CBoats Addict
Posts: 573
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:16 am
Location: Guelph, Canada

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by ian123 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 12:01 pm

I have had the green jacket for years. It's great and I ll buy another. As long as you re don't pack the front pocket, it's not that bulkly. I hear what you re saying, a lower profile front panel might make it a little easier but come on... If it's making the difference between rolling and missing rolls, it means that your roll was barely there to begin with
...

NZ C1er
C Boater
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:02 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by NZ C1er » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:09 pm

No Ian123 I will differ, I'm 65 which means I fall over more than I did at one time, and I paddle a lot, like I'm in Europe for four months over the NZ winter and I will paddle almost every day alone on very continual rivers together this translates into a lot of rolls, I don't swim, I just do not swim, I come up almost always on the first shot. I still pool train to iron out the sloppy ways that creep in.
I think my roll of OK.
The difference between a low profile jacket and a bulkie one comes in the situation where things are not going your way, the first attempt fail, you drop into a hole oops wrong side, sweep flush, roll against a Rock, down again, a few more problems by this time my butt is well lost contact with the seat fifth attempt, tired, really focus on the pool training, crunch, sweep well short of 90 degrees, flip and flick head low surface jacket scraping the deck. This is when the bulkie front makes the difference to getting up and not.
I realise that large fronted PFDs are here to stay. I am happy for people that can use them.
I'll leave it at that.

ian123
CBoats Addict
Posts: 573
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:16 am
Location: Guelph, Canada

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by ian123 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 8:50 pm

So, you re saying that when you re exhausted on your 5th roll attempt, it's not your rolling ability, rather it's small differences in the bulk of your PFD that determines your success? :lol:
...

NZ C1er
C Boater
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:02 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by NZ C1er » Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:11 pm

I'm really enjoying our exchange Ian.
Sometimes when I want to take some money off the yakers I get them to bet me that I can't roll my boat with the T grip end of my paddle instead of the blade. Of course I can but in order to win I have to remove my PFD.... It makes that much difference
Once I had an Aftershock, I carried a big metal vacuum flask and soggie throw bag on my onside the "logic" being that it was the bracing side. Then one night in the pool I had a eureka moment, if yachts could self rite how about canoes? So from then on I stowed the heavy gear on the offside and rolling got a whole lot easier. Did I cheat? Sometimes you got to take all the advantage you can.
Mick Hopkinson the kayak legend who runs a kayak school in NZ really beat good rolling technique into his students. He is 68 has great rolling technique and boasts fifteen swims for his entire fifty years in a boat and he has done a lot of stuff and still does reasonable water. He told me once his secret, great though his technique is and for all the practice he does.... If his first roll fails he moves his grip rite along the shaft until he has the end of one blade in one hand then makes the roll with a whole two metres of shaft, it's stood him well over his career. Does he cheat? Little things... Big difference.

Paddle Power
C Maven
Posts: 1012
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2002 2:18 am
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Contact:

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by Paddle Power » Tue Jun 14, 2016 5:30 pm

I find there is difference rolling with or without a lifejacket (i.e. river vs pool).

I also find that bulky front lifejackets make it more difficult for swimmers to reentry their canoes.
Brian
http://www.JohnstonPursuits.ca" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

drrpm
C Guru
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:40 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by drrpm » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:06 pm

Bulk in the front of a PFD can make it hard to roll both kayaks and canoes, especially for those of us with extra bulk to start with. Galasport (Sandiline) makes some low profile PFD's. A C boating friend got one and its made a big difference in his rolling ability.

ian123
CBoats Addict
Posts: 573
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:16 am
Location: Guelph, Canada

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by ian123 » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:48 pm

Little things may help but how can you ever be confident in your skills knowing that a new PFD or helmet is going to keep you from rolling? What if your nose plugs fall out or you forget to burp your drysuit? It's worth mentioning that the PFD in question is the green jacket.... Here's the furtrapper hand rolling an option with one on. https://vimeo.com/29663245" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
...

Pierre LaPaddelle
CBoats Addict
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:21 am
Location: Vancouver Island, BC

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by Pierre LaPaddelle » Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:48 pm

ian123 wrote: . . .Here's the furtrapper hand rolling an option . . .
Ha! I'm guessing I speak for the rest of us mere mortals when I suggest that, when trying to master the elusive roll, we need all the help we can get -- from equipment and otherwise!

(Has anyone tried fastening helium balloons to their. . . ?)

And as for the fur trapper's abilities, they are the stuff of which dreams are fashioned! (Look for me in the pool, with the fur trapper's videos on my mobile. . .) :wink: :P

Rick
C'est l'aviron. . . !

NZ C1er
C Boater
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:02 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by NZ C1er » Wed Jun 15, 2016 5:06 pm

Great footage Ian, can't argue with that. What was it about a picture and a thousand words?

JimW
C Guru
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:07 am
Location: Scotland, UK

Re: PFD types and rolling

Post by JimW » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:01 pm

Out of interest, did you try lengthening the front straps on the Green Jacket to spread the foam right down your torso?
Of all the designs I could find and try in the UK it had the least bulk of foam up front when adjusted that way, with pocket empty.
I do use my Sandiline most of the time though.

When I retrofitted a bulkhead to my Ocoee, bearing in mind I went bulkhead well forward for just knees + straps for thighs, the first few times out in it I missed my roll and realised that I was literally bouncing off the bulkhead as I tried to get low over the front. I had been switching between OC1 and kayak and had the bottom slib adjusted up behind the top slab which made it worse, when I re-adjusted with the lower slab down it was better, but that slab does sometimes ride up (might be the shape of my middle). I think I brush the thwart in the Sandline, but I don't bounce off the same.

I mostly paddle the option now and I still haven't nailed the roll in that, too much time in the C1 instead (which I can roll, but the skirt doesn't always stay on - I sank in a race the other week!)

Post Reply