Does a hand roll

with a paddle float count?

Today I did a hand roll with a paddle float. Ok, so it is not that impressive to some but I was impressed. I rolled over and swung out with the arm and leaned waaay back over the back deck and threw my other arm over and I came up…yes I depended on the paddle float but this is exactly how I taught myself to roll with a paddle the first time too so it is just a matter of time! I did it three more times to prove that I really did it. then I deflated one half of the float and it wasn’t so easy anymore…got up one and the rest failed…progress! Now if I can just find someone to teach me properly before I develop all horrible habits…

yeah Kudzu I know…it’s the Tempest.

If There Were No Witnesses…
We must be friends, eh?

Seriously, check out EJs Rolling and Bracing. Or is it Bracing and Rolling?

He does lots of hand rolls in his video. I haven’t tried it yet. Water is too cold here to try any fancy stuff.

it counts…
as a paddle float roll! Greenlanders do a similar roll with a hunting float. As for the boat, don’t sell yourself short. That is definitely you doing those rolls. The Tempest rolls nice but it is by no means a “cheater” boat. Keep focusing on a powerful hipsnap, skimming your body across the surface of the water, and laying back as quickly as possible while driving up on the rolling knee. Also try using a foam masik to lock you into place and scoot forward in the cockpit as far as you can go to help the layback. A tuilik also helps as freedom of motion is extremely helpful when hand rolling. Obviously it’s easier to work with someone in person though to ensure your form is correct.

Eventually you’ll get the hand roll and you’ll wonder how it was ever hard. It’s definitely an “aha!” moment.

hey Kudzu
Do the wife and kids count?


Aren’t you at Jordan Lake or nearby? Water temperature there is 63 degrees. that’s bathwater temperature!


sorry mate, doesn’t count!
i have started trying hand rolls (winter pool sessions have begun here in Winter-peg) and nailing them right off. my secret is watching the EJ video a hundred times for fine details, visuallizing them then practicing in the pool. it has helped my confidence and learn the real balance point and exactly what it takes to roll. my skulling high brace is smoothing out as well with this practice and it’s harder to do in my river boat, sans pfd in the pool.

anyhow this thread is about you not me, but i thought i would share some small accomplishment stories as encouragement. i have no special physical prowess or strength, just a desire to get better and watching good old EJ, that video is the shit!

Just ordered EJ’s DVD
Figured I would support Brent a bit and bought the EJ Rolling and Bracing video.

Just as importantly, I am very worried about developing skill sets and laying down neuron paths that are inefficient or just bad form.

Funny that I even mentioned “form”. The biggest part of me is interested in being able to roll up for the same reasons that the inuit and aleutian people wanted to roll up…to not have to exit the boat using whatever resource was available to them, i.e., norsaq, storm paddle, skin float, or just hands. Form didn’t matter as much as survival.

However, there is that small part of me that wants to make it “purty” too.


Family Counts
I went Sunday and tested out my dry jacket. I think it’s gonna work out fine. I did some of EJs ‘failed brace’ rolls only. I’m not absolutely comfortable yet rolling alone or in COLD water. It’s coming along, though.

I’m with ya, Brazil. I want to do purty, too.

awaiting EJ’s video
From what everyone is telling me I should have gotten this video some time ago. I am really looking forward to it.

I paddle alone 99% of the time and like to practice lots of stuff.


there are cheater boats???
And I am doing all this work for???

Hell give me a cheater boat!


From the avataq roll
Well, that’s what the paddle float roll is called in Greenland…

But seriously, get that one down, and then go to either a throwing stick roll (Another Greenland thing, very cool), or try handrolling with a set of webbed-fingered gloves (I think one brand is called “Otter Paws”), and then go to bare-handed.

The progression reinforces success, and maintains confidence. Rolling is a mental trick as much as it is physical. If the mind believes and the body knows how, you’ll do great.


So who is EJ?
and what is the videos name? Sorry to be so ignorant but I can do the conventional Greenland , broken arm and shoulder roll. Working on the throwing stick but no success yet.Maybe seeing one done would help?

paddle float
is almost the same as the avataq.

So it’s a good trick to know, and certainly a stepping stone to a handroll.

avataq roll
how is it done? do you hold a skin bag by a handle? The paddle float roll I did was done by me sticking my hand in the inflatable float. It would be far different if I had to hold a handle or something.

Schizo, thanks for the words about scooting up in the cockpit and skimming across…will work on that tonight if I get out of work at a decent hour.


Hand Roll/ Gloves
I’ve seen gloves that fit over the hand in general sports stores in the swim section. The are essentially like a oven mitt with finger slots, usually in neoprene type material. They’d be a great tool for hand rolls.

Hasven’t used them yet. I figure to be picking up a set for over the winter, when I want to start moving on a hand roll on my better side after I get my other side a little more fucntional than it is now. But I think I’ve seen others with exactly these on their hands.

EJ = Eric Jackson

– Last Updated: Nov-09-05 10:53 AM EST –

He is the current freestyle world champion for whitewater playboating and owner of Jackson Kayaks. His video is called EJ's Rolling and Bracing. Although it doesn't necessarily fit with a Greenland paddle as it is a modified C-to-C, his instruction technique is awesome and it definitely can help develop a combat roll. It helped me a lot when I was initially learning the hand roll and a few trick rolls.

As for videos of the various rolls, check out the qajaqusa videos at Cheri Perry's website and the Walden Qajaq Society (Pond Scum) website also have more video clips of various rolls.

Fellow Pnetter Derrick Mayoleth maintains some clips on his website as well at You can see kwikle rolling in the "Lumberjack Roll" click and I'm doing what I learned from the EJ video in the "EJ Roll" file.

cheater boats…
so called cheater boats are the Outer Island, SOF rolling qajaqs, the NDK Romany, and for whitewater, the Dagger RPM. They make rolling ridiculously easy and for some people these boats sometimes lead to poor form as they are extremely forgiving. Of course I LOVE cheater boats!

another tip…
If you can get to some winter pool sessions, learn to hand roll in a whitewater kayak. Due to the low volume and short length, a whitewater kayak such as the Dagger RPM would be the easiest thing to learn to hand roll (aside from a true rolling qajaq). You can then dial in your form and transfer it to the Tempest.

(The Tempest hand rolls well but only with good form.)

I think white water kayaks are actually

– Last Updated: Nov-09-05 11:28 AM EST –

a little harder, your hipsnap has to be dead on. A sea kayak with narrow beam will come up easier I find.

As with most things it depends on what you're used to.

I can handroll my surf kayak, but it is a more violent hipsnap and hand sweep.

avataq roll I believe

– Last Updated: Nov-09-05 11:27 AM EST –

is done with both hands on the outside of the float. As there was no inside of an avataq to hold onto really. Essentially you tuck down to the foredeck holding on to the float, capize and then reach out and away from the kayak keeping your torso at the surface and then hipsnap while using the float to support your body as it comes over the back deck.

You might post that question to the qajaqusa forum where you'll most likely find a wealth of opinions.

The avataq was used a float to tire out the sea mammal after harpooning it, (think jaws with the barrels). So it's a very cool authentic skill to have!