Monday, August 07, 2006

Rope gymnastics at the Woerdense Singeldagen

“The rope gymnastics are useful for practicing and exercising in all seasons of the year. These techniques are excellent exercise for working and strengthening your muscles and tendons. If you want to be an excellent kayak roller and strong paddler you should practice rope gymnastics! Practicing rope gymnastics will make your body strong and flexible”.
Quote: Maligiaq Padilla, Greenland National Kayaking Champion

My first acquaintance with kayak rope gymnastics was at the Anglesey Seakayak Symposium in 2003. Between the cars parking at Nigel Dennis' Outdoor Centre Maligiaq Padilla gave a demonstration of his skills. There was a rope setup improvised between the roofracks of two vans. Very basic scenery, but the show of Maligiaq was so impressive (and such a pity I missed his rolling session at the pool that year).

Afterwards I learned rope gymnastics are a regular activity at meetings of Greenlandkayak-enthusiasts. Earlier this year Freya and Bonnie published photo's and posts of rope sessions on Greenland symposia in the States and Greenland. Greg Stamer has written an extensive article on the art of rope gymnastics in Sea Kayaker Magazine february 2003 (published online with pictures and video on

And now the ropes come to Woerden. There was a nice rope setup, next to the spot where Kayakclub Wyrda rented out the canoes and I did my rolling yesterday. Not quite a setup conform the rules of the Greenland National Kayaking Championship, but in Dutch style: crossing the Singel from one side to the other. Dutch are great in building bridges.
Lieke first assisted me whith the rolling demonstrations. When she finished, she did her own act on the ropes. Wow, I am so proud of my daughter!

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