DENVER — If you are looking for something new to try, how about log rolling?
The Carla Madison Recreation Center started the program in March and every Friday and Sunday from 1 to 3 p.m., people can try this water activity.
The first thing you need to get used to when it comes to log rolling is:
“Being comfortable with falling in the water. A lot of folks you will see jump off the log, dive off the log. So, I think a lot of it is comfort,” said aquatics coordinator Hunter Brill.
Since it’s in a pool it doesn’t involve a real tree log. It’s a plastic log that simulates a real one, just without the mess.
Then it’s all about your balance and your footwork, and of course a love of the water helps too.
“So, you will straddle it to start. You will stand up on your two feet. The trick is to always move your feet; you should never stop moving your feet. The trick is to keep moving while looking at the opposite side of the log to maintain that sense of balance,” Brill said.
The main objective of log rolling is to see how long you can move the log before falling in the water.
“Just doing it by yourself, you setting personal records, working on your footwork. You can try to get the log to roll in one direction and then challenge yourself to get it to roll in the opposite direction, and then eventually you want to transfer those skills to doing it with someone else on top of the log and see who can stay on the longest,” Brill said.
Hunter really enjoys the competitive side of log rolling, but he also loves introducing others to the sport too.
“The biggest thing for me being in the water is seeing other folks earn that sense of accomplishment, even if it’s just a split second they add on their time, their eyes light up and they smile. That’s what gets me to do it,” Brill said.
At this particular open session, log rolling is very popular with the kids but even the grandparents watching jumped in to try it. Like first-time log roller Linda Moraga, who’s an avid swimmer. She says it’s a great water sport for all ages, but it takes some time getting used to it.
“You have to have much better balance than I thought. It’s kind of like surfing; once you get up you’ve got resistance and it’s pretty tricky,” Moraga said.
And for Piper, Linda’s granddaughter, she thinks this sport is challenging but really cool.
“You get to have a lot of fun when you fall in the water, and roll on it,” Piper Clarke, first time log roller, said.
And believe it or not there is a United States Log Rolling Association that shows tournaments going on in the country. While most of the competitions seem to be mostly based in the Midwest, Hunter hopes to bring competitions to Colorado eventually.
“Maybe starting a club or some sort of program or teaming up with other municipalities or private programs and people can come in and have real tournaments or competitions in the water,” Brill said.