Sea Kayak Rolling Clinic
- Location &
Rolling a sea kayak demands technique and finesse in equal measure but once mastered it is a skill that will increase your confidence as a paddler, making your journeys on the sea far more rewarding. This unique weekend clinic focuses on the specific skills required to roll a sea kayak.
Using our indoor heated rolling pool and our private lake, our coaches will teach you how to roll these large, elegant boats with style. Starting with the absolute basics, you'll progress to confidently rolling a sea kayak in our pool and then fine tune your skills outside on the lake, always with our coaches guiding you towards perfect technique.
Confident to capsize wearing a spraydeck
With MEALS & Accommodation:
NO MEALS OR Accommodation: £175
Black = Open for booking
Green = Guaranteed to run (additional places are limited please email to enquire)
Red = Course fully booked
17 - 18 Apr 2017
20 - 21 May 2017
30 Sep - 01 Oct 2017
21 - 22 Oct 2017
Detailed Course Notes
You should be 18 years old to attend this course.
Who is it for?This course is for anyone who would like to reliably roll a sea kayak. All you need is to be reasonably fit, flexible and confident to capsize and exit a sea kayak with a spray deck.
Course ContentWe will identify your needs and coach you individually. There will be a mixture of practical sessions; physical and mental preparation and reviewing video footage of your progress. The sessions will start with a series of exercises to increase your flexibility and warm you up before starting work in our heated pool and progressing outdoors as and when we decide that this progression will be of benefit to you.
After an induction session, students may use the training pool without staff supervision for extra practice during any spare time.
What's Included In The Price?
Whether you choose to stay with us or you have alternative accommodation nearby, the following items are included in the total cost.
If you choose to stay with us, these items are also included in the total cost:
Accommodation For This Course
Plas y Brenin Main House
Your course is based at Plas y Brenin, The National Mountain Sports Centre in Capel Curig, North Wales, LL24 0ET.
If you are staying with us,
If you have chosen to add accommodation onto this course or holiday it is usually in the main house in a comfy en-suite room (normally shared with another guest). Each room has tea and coffee making facilities and all bed linen and towels are provided.
This includes accommodation the night before your first day. Your room will be available from 6pm. On your last day you will need to vacate your room by 10am. It is sometimes possible to arrange to stay an extra night please phone 01690 720214 for availability and cost.
Secure storage facilities, showers and toilets are available for you to use on your departure day once you have checked out of your room should you need them, please ask at reception.
Also included if you chosen to add accommodation are all your meals - breakfast, packed lunch, afternoon tea and freshly baked cakes and a three course evening meal. Please bear in mind an evening meal is not provided on the night before your course or on the last day of your course but our bar will be serving meals from 7.00pm until 8.45pm.
If you are are not staying with us but coming in each day,
If you choose to come in daily for your course or holiday you will need to arrive ready for a 9am welcome talk on the first day. For the rest of your course or holiday you will need to be here for 9.15am. We return from a full day of activity, usually in time for tea and cakes at 5pm (included).
There are more activities from 5.30 - 6.30 on some days of your course or holiday, please check on the first day.
For most of our awards and qualification courses there will be further evening sessions on some days which you need to attend, please check on the first day.
There is an 8pm adventure talk by one of our coaches on Saturday, Monday and Wednesday evenings which you are welcome to come to.
On the final day you will be finished by 5pm.
For courses based on-site our bar will be serving lunches from 12pm until 2pm or you are welcome to bring a packed lunch.
If your course is based away from the centre then you will need to bring a packed lunch with you. Each evening our bar serves evening meals from 7pm until 8.45pm if you wish to eat here.
You can arrange to have any of the following meals - breakfast, packed lunch and a three course centre dinner, by contacting our customer services team on 01690 720214 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Equipment Do You Need To Bring?
- Personal paddling clothing
- Footwear to cope with bank and boat
- Swimming costume/trunks
- Warm clothes for when you get off the water
- Warm hat, gloves, neck gaiter/buff, sun hat
- Waterproof jacket and trousers
- Bouyancy aid
- Drinks bottle
- Lunch bag/box
- Personal first aid kit
- High factor sun screen
- Midge repellant
- Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)
- Notebook and pen
- Dry bag
- Boat (it must be very clean both inside and out if you wish to use it in our pool)
- Noseclip/ear plugs if you use them
The following items are available for you to borrow from our equipment stores free of charge so you don't need to rush out and buy them.
- Paddling cag
- Buoyancy aid
- Dry bag
- Large kit bag (for wet paddling kit)
Our equipment stores stock wetsuits socks, noseclips and ear plugs which you can purchase if you find you need them during your course
Customer Reviews For This Course
Excellent course, highly recommended.
Can't fault the accommodation and (especially) the food at PYB, excellent value for money. Chris, our instructor, was excellent, upbeat and enthusiastic throughout.
The weather was a bit grim, so we spent all of our paddling time in the pool. The pool was warmer than other reviews had led me to believe, but worth wearing a longjohn wetsuit anyway (provided by PyB if required). If you're at all bothered by chlorinated water, it's well worth having a nose clip and swimming goggles.
I did find two days focussed entirely on rolling a bit intense though. It's a bit of a dilemma - on the one hand you're keen to practice practice practice, to make the most of the coaching and the time in the pool. On the other hand it gets very repetitive and fatigue sets in pretty quickly, which in itself creates problems with technique. By the time I'd driven home my shoulders (on the 'preferred' side in particular) were pretty stiff!
Given the choice I'd have preferred to do a slightly longer course, 3, 4 or even 5 days, and have the time to take a break from rolling, mix it up with some other paddle strokes or just a bit of general paddling, and then come back to the roll again fresh.
Nevertheless, the 2-day course was well worthwhile for me. I went in having rolled once or twice before on flat water, but with no real idea how to improve. Came out with a much more reliable flat water roll which is still not 100% reliable but crucially I now have a much better idea of how to go about practicing to improve it further.
Although the course I did was the Sea Kayak Rolling Clinic, we spent most of our time in white water boats. It seems odd that there are nominally separate white water and sea kayak courses. As far as I can tell the skills are 100% transferable so a sea kayaker should not be put off doing the white water rolling course or vice versa if the dates are a better fit.
Sea Kayak Rolling Clinic 8th 9th march
For me a very good weekend food and accommodation very good.
The coaching was excellent. Very methodical from stretching and going through the motions on the side of the pool through to joining all the dots in the water. I managed a roll on the first afternoon. Although we didn't manage to progress to the lake because the others needed more work in the pool. Andy kept pushing me until I was completing Re-entry and rolls which I was amazed to be doing at the end of a 2 day course before which I had never done a roll.
A very successful weekend for me.
Great course - and I managed to roll!
I was a complete beginner, so started with no knowledge at all. Andy was an excellent tutor who made the whole process of learning to roll very simple indeed. Of the five of us on the course, all starting from a different level of knowledge, we all rolled by the end of the weekend.
I was there in February, and we were only in the pool, all equipment was provided by Plas y Brenin, and was excellent. I would certainly recommend this course to anyone struggling with their roll.
Hard graft rewarded by a necessary skill
Two days of standing in cool water dispersed with frantic disorientating physical activity is rewarded with the warm feeling of eventual success when you complete your first kayak roll.
This is a well presented self paced course that delivers a necessary skill and the confidence to return and progress further.
What to wear :)
To get the most out of this course you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time in the water, either upside down or helping someone else upside down. Whilst the pool is heated it's still gets cold after an hour or so unless you wear a wet suit. I had a full length triathlon wet suit and was both toasty warm and fully mobile - perfect. Others had poor fitting short john wetsuits and sometime got cold which really can hamper your ability to keep learning.
I also had swim googles and a noseclip - not what you would wear normally but the chlorine and repeated dunkings takes its toll without. The only problem is you can get a bit dependant on them so its a good idea to attempt your rolls without every now and again.
Almost all of the practise takes place in smaller white water kayaks but you do get a go in a sea kayaking and it's really no different - you get more space in the rather small pool if people are using the smaller kayaks.
It can be hard going at times, especially if you are a bit of a beginner (like me) or not particularly keen immersion or a bit unfit. I didn't come away with a roll but do know how it should be done and have good advice on how to progress. I'm also far more confident in a kayak than ever before and more than happy to continue trying - that I think is testiment to instruction and teaching methods. One star short of 5 because the pool is a bit crammed for 3 kayaks & calling it a sea kayaking rolling course when it really can be any type.
Learn to Roll in Two Days!
The kayak rolling clinic is an excellent course, which I would strongly recommend to any kayaker looking to progress their skills and learn how to roll. Whilst the course had 'sea kayak' in the title, we started learning in shorter river boats with the flexibility to try different boats as and when you felt ready. This makes the course suitable for any discipline of kayaker who wants to learn to roll.
Over the course of two days I went from nothing to consistently rolling on my stronger side side and almost mastering rolling on my weaker side. I left the course not only being able to roll but with the confidence and knowledge to go away and practice in my own time in order to fine tune my rolling skills.
With four people on the course we had the luxury of one-on-one instruction when required as well as some like minded individuals to share our achievements and frustrations with. The way that we were taught by our instructor Pete, gave us a firm grounding on the basics of rolling, with practice exercises at each stage of developing the roll, and slowly building up to putting it all together and rolling! Pete's relaxed instructional style and enthusiasm (despite his injured shoulder) added to the enjoyment of course and his his ability to adjust exercises and tips to suit each individual's strengths and weaknesses meant that we all developed at a good rate.
The facilities as Plas y Brenin are excellent, both in terms of the accommodation and catering side, and also the on-site rolling pool, boats and training equipment. This created a fantastic environment for learning which helped us to achieve a lot in short space of time. The comedy night at the centre on the Saturday evening instead of the usual general interest talk was highly entertaining and a pleasant surprise!
Overall this was a fantastic course that I would strongly recommend to any kayaker. The instructors and facilities at Plas y Brenin are first rate and I would recommend the wide range of courses run at the centre to anyone whatever their interests.
I found this clinic really useful. I now know what I should be doing - and with a little more practice during club pool sessions I'm sure I'll have cracked it! The course included valuable 1-2-1 feedback. Videoing each of us, followed by review/feedback was really useful. I'd certainly recommend the course - but don't expect to be a proficient roller at the end of it - it takes a lot more practice.
I was really pleased with the course. The tutor, Chris, was very patient, clear and consistent. Due to severe back pain I thought that I would never be able to learn to roll. Chris proved me wrong. Although I wasn't able to manage a roll completely without the magic yellow (deflated) paddle float, I now have absolute confidence that I will be rolling very soon. An extremely helpful and supportive course in relaxing surroundings. All the staff were friendly and efficient. Food was very good, and lots of it!
Suggestion: How about a three day course; two days in the pool learning rolling and the other major sea kayaking support strokes, with the middle day for a sea paddle to "download" learning and break up the pool work? This would be a fuller and more consolidated learning experience, and, frankly, more enjoyable than just plodding away in the pool for two days. It would also facilitate group bonding, contributing to better peer support. This would be particularly useful in a larger group of six (we were particularly lucky on our course that only three participants attended).
Please pass on my thanks to Chris for rebuilding my confidence.
I'll certainly be back to Plas Y Brenin and will recommend your courses to friends and fellow paddlers.
Sea Kayak Rolling Clinic
I turned up with intermittent kayaking experience over the years, was not a regular kayaker, and had no previous rolling experience. I was, however, keen to learn how to roll and this course looked the best way to achieve this. Having completed the weekend, and finally managing to produce a fairly consistent roll, I would agree that this is a great way of learning to roll and would certainly recommend it to any other beginner or intermediate kayaker. My only warning is that it is an 'intensive' and learning to roll, like learning to ski, is a physical process. If like me, it took a lot of practice to integrate everything I had been taught, then learning can be a very tiring experience. Being reasonably fit , I would suggest, is a minimum and come prepared for two physical and active days. Like one of the other reviews said, it can also get cold stood around in a pool pulling someone else's kayak back over. Despite that it is a great weekend and an excellent way of learning to roll - highly experienced instruction and great to have someone who can quickly identify what you need to be doing differently, video feedback was very helpful, very good teamwork working in small groups with everyone else on the course made a big difference (there was a lot of support, feedback and encouragement which helped), location and facilities excellent, very good quantity and quality of food, easy access to pool and lake, and sea not far either. Top tips - bring full wet suit if you feel the cold, nose clip makes a big difference, and many people used swimming goggles as well. Highly rewarding when it does start to come together and an enjoyable weekend. Much quicker learning through an intensive like this than taking weeks using club evenings in a local pool. Recommended.
Let it roll!
Managed to roll my own sea kayak twice from three attempts last night!!! And thats all down to the expert tuition provided by Chris on the Sea Kayak Rolling Clinic. His professional tuition giving each student instruction on how to put the whole rolling technique together starting from just rolling and bailing out, to rolling with a paddle float, progressing from playboat to seaboat, has given me some idea of the techniques and confidence to try rolling myself and its obviously worked. Don't underestimate how tiring spending 2 days trying to roll can be and don't believe the brochure when it says the water is 28 deg C - it was only just warmer than the icemelt off the mountains in the lake (ok bit of an exageration but it wasn't too warm)!. Now if you could solve how to stop the person you are sharing the room with from snoring - it would be perfect.
The course was taken by Dave Simpson. A young chap with a sunny disposition and a calm, helpful and friendly style of teaching. The course made me realise how hard this skill can be to master but Dave gave me plenty to be going on with and increased my confidence no end - thanks Dave, hope mother and baby are doing well! The accomodation was clean and airy and the staff were more than helpful (Despite my 'room mate' being very rude to the young lady on the desk and storming off never to be seen again!). The food was hale and hearty and in plentiful supply and the surroundings were simply breathtaking. All in all a geat weekend - as Arnie said 'I'll be back!'
Great introduction - got all the right things into your head for rolling if a bit intense!
A two day course is perhaps not the best way to learn to roll as it is a bit intense, but the two days were well utilised. The approach following Loel Collins method was good with the lead up exercises a fine way of introducing rolling - especially the half paddle wit the paddle float that you suddenly ended up the right way up. Having a series of ways to improve your rolling to take away was very good and have been practising them since along with my roll. The numbers on the course were good and we were able to help each other.< Video was a good way of showing your mistakes. It may be an idea to include the book in the prices of the course, or include a handout of all the different excercises that we went through - would help when trying to improve later (did buy the book later, but doesn't have all the exercises in it that we did on the course). Can I have a copy of the course notes please?
This is an excellent course at an amazing place. Everything was as it should be, first rate food, comfortable accommodation, everyone doing their job very well, and surely the best view from a bar anywhere. The course was hard work, but Karl kept the pace reasonable and stopped us overdoing it, so it was fun too. I don't think many people could go on a course without a roll and get one seaworthy in 2 days, but I feel confident that I know how to roll and just have to practice, and I did manage a roll in my own sea kayak in the pool. Most of the practice is done in playboats, but by the end of Sunday we had 3 sea kayaks in there! Thankfully there was never any question of going outside to the lake. I'm trying to find an excuse to go back. I have only one niggle, the bedroom was too hot, and the radiator wouldn't turn down, that's it.
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You can enjoy one to one coaching for that cost or if you get together as a group, depending on the activity, you can split that cost between up to 6 of you. If you are a group we can run any of our courses on a date that suits you and your friends. Or you could just write your own agenda for a week or weekend and we'll price it up for you - with or without accommodation. What's more, just like out normal course fees, our private instructor hire charge covers all your equipment too. Click on the link below to fill in a request form and one of our coaches will call you back (or e-mail if you'd prefer) to discuss things in detail with you.