Do you Rec And Roll?

OK. I just turned 50 today and I’ve settled on my first Kayak. It’s the WS Pungo 140. I know you can get a half skirt for it, but can you do a roll in it? And do you want to???

Sing could I bet
Seriously, any boat including most canoes (with flotation bags) can be rolled by someone, under some conditions. However, for most of us rolling a Pungo is an extremely difficult task because of the large cockpit and fairly significant width. If you want to learn to roll, it would be most effective to do so in another boat. Something like a like a low decked WW boat or a narrower sea kayak is a better place to start for most.

Rec boats
roll just fine. The key is getting a grip with your knees in some of those huge cockpits. Also, due to boat girth, it’s beneficial to focus on a good sweep to generate lift. You end up with a short powerful sweep and quick flick. High backrests make lay-backs hard, but with the above mentioned technique, laying back isn’t required. In a way I’m describing what some would call a C to C, only I’m saying sweep the paddle into position Vs just passively placing it at 90.

I’m Curious
I am totally baffled as to why you would want to roll a recreational class yak. The Pungo 140 is a fine boat but it is not designed for rolling. If rolling is your goal then you should be looking into something in the touring/sea yak arena.

Pardon the analogy but the vast assortment of yaks available are just like shoes. Tevas and Chotas are great for water sports but would be pretty sucky for a formal wedding or black tie affair. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to wear your good Cole-Haans or Weejuns out to paddle. All are the best shoes in their class but each is designed for a specific purpose.

About the only way that a Pungo 140 would disappoint you is in it’s inability to roll. I hope that you have located a good and honest independent dealer in your area who is working with you to find the best yak for your planned usage and budget. He (or she) should also have demo yaks available and allow you ample time for testing.

Good luck in your search.

I don’t WANT
to roll. I’m new at all this. I was wondering if this was a part of rec kayaking.

…for newbies is an “optional” safety thing…

There are some here who roll in extremely cold water just for the fun of it, some who learn how to do it “just in case,” & some who never aspire to learn. I guess some here would say you should learn it no matter what type of paddling you will be doing, but in a really stable boat (like yours) in protected waters, I might not take any abuse by telling you it is not a prerequisite skill.

And then again, maybe I will be “corrected!”

Yeah, Maybe…
if I outfitted like crazy so the cockpit is nice and snug. But that would defeat the attraction and perhaps the purpose of the boat which to have a nice, loose fit to sit in, take photos, fish, read a book, paddle leisurely… :slight_smile:

I think if someone were to look at rolling as something desireable but still want some of the features of a rec boat, there is a whole class of light tour/rec boats that fit the bill, e.g Castine, Walden Vista, Easky, Manitou, etc. But, these aren’t easiest boat to start learning to roll in though I did learn in a Capelookout which straddles the light tour/tour line at 15’x23.5". I outfitted that thing pretty snuggly to get it to roll.



Happy Birthday!
I think a Pungo would be pure hell to roll.

I don’t in my Pungo Classic 12.
Not only would it be difficult, but the past few days USGS Front Royal South Fork of the Shenandoah gage has showing water levels of 1.25ft. If you rolled in most of my neighborhood, you’d be banging you head on hard rocky bottom or cobbles. My head has had enough abuse as it is—bounced off old metal dashboard when I was a year or 2 old, hit with everything from a Louisville Slugger, a 5 iron, baseball, I took a windshield with my head, and have had a number of nasty impacted wisdom teeth chiselled out.


One doesn’t roll
in a Pungo. With the 55" long cockpit one simply falls out if it capsizes. Hopefully the dunkee is close to shore and can drag the yak to dry land to dump the water. Pungos are great for flat water. Leave the other venues and yaks to the “hot doggers”.

Remember I’m new to this
So, if you dont’t roll and you’re not that close to shore, can you get back in the boat and bail out the water?


Hey, Kudzu
That was a real positive “yes”. Have you had the capsize and remount experience with a Pungo? I have not but I guess I should experiment. As I understand it, the Pungo sealed hatch area offers the only buoyancy when swamped. In the case of the Pungo 120 and the Pungo 120 Duralite this means that the craft will float stern high when swamped.

Thanks for the sage advice
So I take it that if I ditch in the middle of a large lake and can’t “walk home” the boat will float and I can climb back in.

I’ve added (and secured) front and
rear floatation bags from NRS in my Pungo 12 Classic which will greatly reduce the volume of water the large cockpit cam swallow.

You can learn to shoot well

– Last Updated: Jul-04-05 3:40 PM EST –

with a derringer but you will learn a lot faster with a browing medalist (specialized target pistol). Of course you will have to develop the muscle strength to hold the medalist steady but that's all part of learning to shoot well anyway. And at 50 yards the derringer will be a joke compared with the medalist in the hands of a competant marksman. Is ther anyone out there who would really suggest learning to roll in a 28 inch wide boat is anywhere close to optimum??? I really doubt it. A guaranteed way to frustration and bad habits at best; more likely the road to eternal frustration at worst.

Living in the south you can get an old, used, ww boat for cheap, and learn to roll in it. Then try to roll your pungo By the time you have the skills to roll you will probably want a boat with greater performance capability than your pungo, except if you need it for fishing or for tight turns.

secured maximum floatation front and rear!

not arguing with you, peter k,
…in fact, I agree with you, but if you can learn to roll a Pungo, you would probably be able to roll just about any yak with ease.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear
My question really wasn’t about wanting to roll my boat but how do I re-enter it if I take a spill. I had heard about rolling and hadn’t read about wet re-entries yet.

Forgive me for being vague but it’s hard to ask a question when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Perhaps I wasn’t clear
My question really wasn’t about wanting to roll my boat but how do I re-enter it if I take a spill. I had heard about rolling and hadn’t read about wet exits yet.

Forgive me for being vague but it’s hard to ask a question when you don’t know what you’re talking about.