Saturday, 10 November 2007
Now here's a thing, Dubsides new •≈Ice Kap≈• ...phwooooaar. Nearly as sexy as my Anas Acuta. I like what they did in lowering the coaming as well for technical layback rolls, but how is he ever gonnea get that on a bus or over his shoulder on a bicycle? Also, his Ice Kap is an unprecedented ¼" wider than my composite Acuta. It'll be like trying to roll a sheiks yacht, I'm telling ya. -People will tell you my bottom lip usually comes out quickly if I have to play in anything wider than a pencil- The Acuta is also 11.5" deep... thus 1"shallower than the LV Ice Kap & its 12½". The Ice Kap beats the Acuta on weight by a few pounds but that said, I've never strapped either to my head in readiness for hoofing it in a road race, so any relevancy there, falls away when it comes to acrobatic dances across the skin of the ocean. At the moment I can perform 85% of roll sets in my Acuta composite without faltering, compared to 100% repertoire in the Sgian Dubh SoF. I'm sure I'll keep a quiet eye on how the black brother does in his transition. Great looking qajariaq though Dubs. All this has somehow reminded me to practise more bizzare rolls. Broomstick, done it...deckchair, done it...juggling clubs, 4, 2 in each hand resembling a double Norsaq roll, done it.....frying pan, of course! Now if I managed it with a pigs leg would that be a bacon roll or a ham roll? Don't even think about it. Just pass the ketchup.

Now for comedy, how about a rolling set performed on a •≈sit-on-top≈• . The excellent Leon Somme along with the black brother have a roll-off using a variety of bath tubs...Beyond the technical rolls, what is great about this movie is that it is also, & moreover, a display of community, fun & togetherness, integrity & humility, it is overrun with mischievous humour - ergo, it is a place where the ego & the willy waver have no place. This is how the world should always be, & this, to my mind, goes some way in helping to explain, why we do what we do..

Well, this morning when I peaked out the window, there was a dusting of snow in the Cuillin & the leaves were all but gone from the trees. I'm away to teach a roll or three in some near Baltic conditions. Sadly, no beautiful brilliant Maylee to share this one with since she's away to scare fish in Jersey...but hey, now I have digital camera waterproofing, I'll try to get some shots, maybe some film, of how it all goes. Stay safe out there ladles & jellyspoons. Now... where did I put that frying pan...

-you have to read the One On One post below to make sense of the frying pan aye-


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posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 19:47:00 | 2 Retorts
•≈ One on One
Friday, 9 November 2007

Well. Go home, pay bills, chase the collie around a wee bit, fight a rubber chicken & then think. What am I doing here, I need the sea. It takes hours rather days for a fix need to start attacking my senses. Sometimes, often, those fixes lean selflessly towards others. When teaching it's two-step. I get to get wet & pass on knowledge. What is knowledge but stale bread unless you share it amongst a community. It's almost payment in itself, a complete contract by default that enhances the days of those who satellite through my life. Next week I will set off in the sea taxi -that's the Calmac ferry to you lot- back up through winding Harris roads & onto the streaking Northern Lewissian tip to teach a long standing pal, the art of the hand roll. GASP! Wee arty farty •≈Helen≈• is a classic novice...full of expectation, questions excitement & trepidation.

We will use a thin black knife to roll her & I will use the harbour at Port. It's a perfect place, high walled from a raging ocean 30ft away, it provides gentle rolling swell as well as stillness & security. She has never made a complete unassisted roll...ever, so these issues are important to address. Towards the back of the harbour, freed of fishing vessels & towing tractors over winter, a peat burn cascades out of long grass into the clear seas, turning the whole arena into dark brown bathwater.

She says: Oooh, I love waterfalls.

I say: I'm sorry...but I'm seeing a cows ass here.

Either way the resultant waters will do wonders for her spacial awarness. When you invert, you can taste the transition from fresh to saline water. You can feel the temperature barrier. It's one of those things you never mind doing, standing chest deep, building confidence in someone who generally, hides from maruading waves. I'm confident I will be able to get her to balance brace quickly...hand roll as well. Bendy females aye. She did well on her first session at the Stornoway pool - Tim & Murdies local haunt. The lads allowed her to focus on play, which is excellent. Play & familiarization with a strange enviroment is an underrated teaching device. One on one clinics are special, in that they allow you to direct so much more focus & input toward the novice. You can gesture to them directly, & indeed, some of them gesture back. It allows them to focus their frustration directly at you when they can't grapple a sequence directly into submission. Maybe that's a downside but minimalst workshops allow you to address brilliant questions like:

What will happen to my nose when I roll?

With a greater presence & clarity. We'll move onto using a paddle maybe one day soon. In contrast, the things others find awesome, my ability to perform straight jacket rolls & solos out to far flung dangerous & pelagic rocks are almost day-to-day for me. I have my own celebrations in life which they find humorous, like buying a frying pan. I will happily stalk people in the village for 3 days until they fully understand that I have indeed, bought my own frying pan. We each have steps in life that make us feel as though we are progressing, & none of them are wrong. Well ok, maybe the stalking bit....So these rolling clinics with friends...what do I get out of it besides getting wet? Chicken dinners & floors by wood burners normally. Payment in full aye.

One silent arc, swept through one spineflow,
thread me, torn complete along a knife edge.
& I have displaced the priest within.
My body is born of stone mountains, my blood is run over with sea.
An avalanche of a million green boulders,
Tumbling in my ears, the suspension of state,
Rotating over existance surfacing into silence.
Now I am become death & Shiva, destroyer of worlds, my anthem immigrant,
a soul harbourered just offshore - & I can no longer speak, carrying a mouthful of stars.
Follow...or walk away.

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posted by •≈ Sgian Dubh at 18:50:00 | 0 Retorts