Sunday, April 22, 2012

This is The Roll

Having heard that Justine Curgenven's latest film was to be titled This is the Roll, I was looking forward to what I assumed was the first in a series of films about baked goods, and I eagerly thought of possible follow-ups: This is the Bun, This is the Croissant, This is the Baguette and, my personal favourite, This is the Gluten-Free Pizza Crust.
Culinary jokes aside, there is probably no one better at making sea kayaking films right now than Justine, and her first foray into the realm of kayak coaching DVDs features well-known Greenland-style paddlers Cheri Perry and Turner Wilson. There's almost three hours of material on the DVD, all of it well presented. The DVD focuses on three rolls: the standard Greenland roll, the reverse sweep and the storm roll. Cheri and Turner are excellent presenters and they cover the material in great depth. Having watched a few "how to roll" DVDs over the years, this is certainly the most in-depth one I've ever seen. Heck, it was more in-depth that most rolling lessons I've had. Of course, there is no substitute to having an instructor right there in the water telling you what you're doing right (and wrong), but this may be as close to that as one may come with a DVD. It's dense; there's a lot of material here and repeated viewings will be required. For instance, the number of rolls shown during the film must be in the hundreds, and I'd swear that none of them are repeated during the course of the film.
All the members of our little viewing party were impressed and think it's probably the best instructional video any of us have seen.
Will it make you a better roller? I imagine it will, along with lots of practice, of course. Despite an absence of breads and pastries, This is the Roll is an excellent DVD.

1 comment:

  1. Must say that I agree with John that this is an EXCELLENT instructional video. It's also a darned good "look at the pretty boats" video. And I caught myself at odd moments looking at the water and the skyline of trees and rocks and mountains and just sighing.
    Must say that I'm pleased with the physical shapes of the humans in This is the Roll. There are women as well as men, for one thing. For another, the fitness types vary. While the instructors and a couple of their students look very fit and active and healthy, I was pleased to note that they were not all from the sub-set of humans categorized as "large, with extremely bulgy muscles." Fit and active people include the lean and those of abundant flesh as well. The supple instructors demonstrated some yoga stretches to help those of us who need to increase flexibility -- that was a very thoughtful addition.
    How can I make it clear that this is the single most helpful instructional kayaking video that I've ever seen? Let's see... We all agreed to watch it again in the near future. I was rocking in my seat, miming the weight shift and leg movements of the kayakers on screen. I LOVED the red lines marked on some of the images, detailing the curve and arch of the kayaker's spine. Louise and I were making plans to put our kayaks on a grassy lawn and practise the moves shown for us, over and over, by the instructors. And we're setting up a time to practise our rolling skills again.
    But above all else, this video did NOT send my dizzy brain into a headspin. Hours of tipping, including plenty of mobile camera work, and I did not end up nauseated or with a headache as I often do after a kayaking video or action movie. Kudos to Justine Curgenven for the crisp and effective editing.