Conquering the Fear of Rolling
an interview with Dane Jackson, 10 years old.
"Hi everyone, I am Dane Jackson. I am 10 years old and
Iíve been paddling since 1995. Doing this sport has been the excitement of
EJ: What is you first kayaking memory?
Dane: Paddling back and forth to the island at the
Ottawa during the rodeo. (he was in his little puddle jumper, a small
fiberglass slalom type boat) I remember the day I did my first combat roll.
Dane: It felt the same as you pushing me backwards in
flatwater like a backender. So the same thing happened to me in the rapids,
I rolled up, and it felt the same.
EJ: What does rolling feel like to you now?
Dane: It feels like, when I tip over in rapids, that you are moving around a lot.
EJ: Is it hard to roll up?
EJ: Why wouldnít you let me teach you how to roll the first couple of years you paddled?
Dane: Because I was scared of tipping over and I was scared that I would get stuck there even though I knew I could pop my skirt. Pretty much because I was scared that you want to roll up every time you tip but if I missed my roll I might swim.
EJ: Why did you suddenly decide to let me teach you to roll?
Dane: I wanted to try more things and run more rivers. I wanted to learn to cartwheel and loop but could try it until I learned to roll.
EJ: What is you favorite part of kayaking?
Dane: When you tip over I like the feeling of rolling back up. Actually, what I like most about kayaking is that there is so many things you can do in a kayak, and you get wet, and I really like getting wet. It makes your muscles stronger, I like that.
EJ: What advice do you have for the other kids out there that want to learn to kayak?
Dane: That there is nothing to be afraid of other than tipping over and not knowing how to roll yet and having to swim, but that is not so bad. I think a lot of kids think they want to try it but wait to try it. You canít learn to kayak until you try it. I think the best place to learn to kayak is on the Ottawa because you have the middle channel and the main channel, pretty much everything you want
EJ: The Fun 1 is coming soon, what do you think of that?
Dane: The exciting thing about it is that the moves I canít do well in my boat now will be better like loops, keeping my balance, and cartwheels. It will have good footroom, outfitting, and looks cool. How long until the Fun 1 comes out?
EJ: Three weeks until you can paddle the prototype.
Dane: Exciting, it will be fun as soon as I have it.
EJ: Anything you want to tell the world out there?
Dane: Keep your excitement up and your afraidness down and you will have a lot of fun out there.
EJ: Thanks Dane, sounds like good advice to me.