It’s at this time of year the the rivers begin to become relatively unusable due to large amounts of ice. Unless you really like the cold, kayaking becomes an uphill battle against icicles and frozen fingers.
That’s why I like to take out the bathing suit and rash guards again and head to the pool. If you’ve never taken your kayak to the pool, it’s really a lot of fun, and a great way to work on your skills. To start, the water is as warm as your bath tub. Secondly, you’re in water that you’re comfortable in and you can see the bottom. There’s no rocks or river monsters to speak of. Its the perfect atmosphere to learn any flat water skills because there’s zero consequences.
The pool is where I learned how to roll. There’s always someone there who is more than happy to teach you, and its judgement free. Meaning if you swim, there’s no bootie drinks. When I was learning how to roll, I wore goggles to help me see what I was doing each step of the way. It’s something that you can’t do in a river, but is super helpful when you’re just starting out. They also help eliminate whatever disorientation you may have been feeling while practicing in the river.
It’s also a great time to try out new kayaks. People are more likely to swap with you when its warm and you’re not putting in on a steep river bank. Organizations like the AMC rent out pools in Bridgeport and Middletown, CT. Zoar also offers rolling sessions in February, March, and April. They will also bring a variety of boats for you to try out at each of them. Check out the websites for specific dates.
I hope to see you in the pool this winter!