Question: Do certain body types make the Balance Brace more difficult? Like my overweight midsection? Or a long, tall upper body? What about a boat with a high cockpit rim?
Answer: There are many factors that play into the success of a Balance Brace, and the things that you mentioned are some of them. A Balance Brace is essentially the “sweet spot” where your upper body floats flat on the water, while your lower body keeps the kayak upright. It is crucial to have your shoulders as flat as possible. Think of the position that your upper body is in when you float on your back in a swimming pool. The trick is to get your upper body in this position, while keeping your lower body engaged enough to keep the kayak upright. Flexibility certainly plays a part, more so in fact than body shape. A Balance Brace can be performed in any kayak, although some are more comfortable than others. The height of the coaming is a comfort factor, but so is the shape of the kayak. We’ll be releasing a new DVD in May called Yoga for Outdoor People. It will cover specific asanas to help with specific rolls, with the Balance Brace being one of them. Keep an eye out for it 🙂