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Camden Community Center

3369 Union Avenue

San Jose, CA 95124

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For whitewater kayakers, the Eskimo roll is an indispensable tool, but it’s also a useful skill for sea kayakers. As a self-rescue, the roll only takes a couple seconds compared to a minute or two of being in the water for other types of recoveries. In surf and rock gardens the roll becomes essential as traditional recoveries can sometimes be difficult or even dangerous depending on conditions. And even if you don’t imagine yourself being in conditions that require a roll, having one increases your confidence in the kayak, allowing you to edge and brace further than you thought possible.

Single roll lessons have a maximum 3:1 student-instructor ratio, ensuring plenty of individual attention. If you have never had roll instruction before, we'll start from the very beginning with the basic roll movements before putting it all together. If you have had instruction before or are looking for a tune-up, we'll see where you're at and pick up where you left off.

FAQs

Where are the rolling lessons held?

Rolling lessons are now held at the Camden Community Center pool, 3369 Union Ave, San Jose, CA 95124. As you're facing the main building of the community center, go to your left down the long outdoor corridor, following the signs to the pool.

What time does the roll lesson start?

We can be in the water from 8:00pm to 9:30pm. We recommend arriving 20-30 minutes early to get geared up so we can get in the water right at 8.

What facilities are available at the pool?

The pool has locker rooms with showers for changing in and out of gear. Bring your own lock if you wish to secure anything. Seating is available for observers.

Do I need previous kayaking experience to take a rolling lesson?

We recommend having had a basic class (whitewater or sea) that has covered wet exits from a sit-inside kayak (or equivalent experience). Beyond that, you don't need a ton of past experience to learn to roll!

I'm a bit nervous about hanging out upside-down in a kayak

Most people are hesistant or nervous about being underwater in a kayak. If you have not done a "wet exit" from a kayak recently or want to practice, we'll make sure you try one first with an instructor standing nearby. Then, as part of the roll progression, we'll teach you early on how to bring your boat back upright with the help of your instructor.

What should I wear during the lesson?

Water temperature in the pool is in the low-to-mid 80's and is outdoor. The evening air can sometimes make things a little chilly, so layering is recommended: swimsuit, synthetic fleece top and bottom, and a splash jacket. Some people opt for a lightweight wetsuit or a full dry top.

Personal floatation devices (PFDs) are optional. Some people find the floatation helps with getting into the set-up positino to roll, while others prefer the freedom of movement without one while learning (of course, always wear your PFD on open water!). Helmets are optional; contact us if you wish to borrow one.

What other gear should I have at the lesson?

Being able to see and being comfortable underwater are important while learning to roll. Seeing where your paddle and the surface of the water are helps keep you oriented while upside-down, so we recommend using goggles. If pool water bothers your sinuses, we also recommend nose plugs or a dive mask. We have some goggles and masks available.

But shouldn't I learn in real-life conditions, without goggles or a nose plug?

We find that students have more success first learning the basics when they are as comfortable as possible underwater, free from distractions. This way, the roll can be committed to muscle memory so they're there for you when you really need it.

What is the cancellation policy?

If you cancel more than 48 hours before the start of the class, you will receive a full refund. If you must cancel less than 48 hours before the start of class, we cannot offer a refund but will reschedule you for the next available class. No-shows will not be offered a refund or rescheduling.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

You do not need to bring your printed ticket; we will have a record of your registration.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You can contact us at classes@ggkayak.com.

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Camden Community Center

3369 Union Avenue

San Jose, CA 95124

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