DVD Suggestions

Since there’s a sale in the pnet store and I’m kinda bored this winter, I thought I’d add a few DVDs to my library. Which ones would you all recommend as far as basic skills go? (and yeah, I know they aren’t a substitute for an actual class or practice).

since you have no profile
I will assume this is Brent, trying to pump business up (nice try, Brent!). In the off-chance that I am wrong, here are my pics. If I don’t address it, I haven’t seen it. The views expressed here reflect those of anyone in their right mind.


• Sea Kayak Safety

• Prepared to Survive

• Ultimate Guide to Sea Kayaking

• This is the Sea & This is the Sea Two

• EJ’s Rolling & Bracing

• Brent Reitz Forward Stroke Clinic

• Nigel Foster’s Sea Kayaking: #3 Directional Control

• Seamanship for Kayakers: Navigation, Getting There & Back

• Performance Sea Kayaking


• Practical Kayaking

• ABCs Of The Surf Zone

• Nigel Foster’s Sea Kayaking: #6 Rolling & Bracing


• Forgotten Skills

• Nigel Foster’s Sea Kayaking: #4 Rescues

• Seamanship For Kayakers: Getting Started

• The Kayak Roll

I can only hope you are kidding…


He must be kidding, Brent: I know for a fact that he hasn’t even seen half of those DVDs

Yep, credibility is lacking.
For example, bo freely admits that he ripped the views off from someone in their right mind.

Paul S.

not Brent…
No, I’m not Brent… i guess I don’t have my profile turned on… I’ll have to change that. Thanks for the suggestions, though.

Could you compare EJ’s rolling to Nigel Foster’s rolling DVD?

On paper, they look the same:

• EJ teaches a back deck roll, Nigel teaches a back deck roll

• EJ teaches through a progression of steps; Nigel teaches through a progression of steps

But the “feel” of the two DVDs is very different overall. For starters, Nigel’s is shot “in the third person”: the camera is at some distance, and Nigel is talking to a group of paddlers, not you. EJ’s, by contrast is in the “second person”: right in front of the camera and looking at and talking to you. Nigel lectures his pupils, while EJ employs a kind of “Socratic” method, asking you the viewer why such-and-such might be the case. That’s one palpable difference. A second involves editing. Nigel’s DVD plays at the speed of real life. The camera starts rolling and doesn’t stop. EJ’s DVD, by contrast, is highly edited: lots of short shots and a voiceover. The only long shots are for the introduction of a subject or reviews (EJ sitting on a rock). Neither DVD is in a vacuum. We view both in the context of our other viewing habits. In a post-MTV world, Nigel’s DVD feels very slow, while time in EJ’s is compressed. You definitely see far more rolls in more settings (rivers, pools, jacuzis) in the same amount of time. The EJ- DVD held my attention better as a result.

Content-wise, the two would appear to cover the same material. Nigel’s covers 1) the low brace, 2) rolling, 3) sculling, and 4) greenland rolls. EJ’s covers 1) bracing, 2) rolling, 3) sculling. Each goes through a step-by-step progression. But even here, EJ’s seem simpler (on the one hand), while being more in depth, which I attribute to his technique of “cycling” material: returning to a skill again and again and building on it in incremental stages. On the “in-depth” side, EJ goes to great pains to explain why it is your head has to come up last (even giving you the physics formula!); On the “cycling” side, I particularly enjoyed shots of him THROWING his son Dane (in boat) around in a pool to develop a combat roll! EJ concludes that the brace and roll are one and the same, apparent differences being merely epiphenomenal (above water instead of below; my word, not his).

I haven’t even mentioned sound tracks, but will leave it at that and hope I have given enough to tell the two DVDs apart. You can probably guess which I prefer. On a final note, EJ’s focuses exclusively on WW boats, Nigel’s exclusively on sea kayaks. I sea kayak and have written EJ a dirty letter on that score.

Specifically for rolling? Answer:

EJ’s roll is not a backdeck roll…
I believe Ken Whiting’s video is the one that teaches a true backdeck roll. EJ’s roll is a modified C-to-C (C-to-C with a layback). Excellent video although The Kayak Roll is still my favorite rolling video by far.

Also, why would you write a letter to EJ about not including sea kayaks? He’s a world champion whitewater boater and his DVD was made mostly for whitewater paddlers. Also, almost every roll that people teach can be done in most all kayaks so the technique matters more than the type of boat.

schizopak is right

– Last Updated: Feb-09-07 10:39 AM EST –

Have a look at http://www.exchile.com/KayakSchoolRollIdentifier.htm
and check out the rodeo roll video. Not only does it show someone doing a back deck roll but it also shows the movements with the paddler supporting himself on the hands of Chris Spelius.

While I like EJ's video it does have one mistake. The "cock up" position he shows people learning (the 90 degree position before the hip snap) is wrong. If you tip over from that position without changing the paddle position the paddle will be pointing down in the water at about 45 degrees. What Spelius shows is correct.

getting back on topic…
Sorry wet_dog for getting your thread off track. Here’s my favorite DVDs.

Performance Sea Kayaking

USK Capsize Recoveries

Brent Reitz Forward Stroke Clinic

The Kayak Roll

EJ’s Rolling and Bracing

and for fun… This is the Sea 1 and 2 (and soon to be 3). :slight_smile:

Ken Whiting’s Sea Yak DVD
Ken Whiting’s Ultimate Guide to Sea Kayaking DVD is awesome. I loved it when he surfed a huge tidal wave.

that’s one I’d love to check out…
I have a great respect for Ken Whiting and his abilities as a teacher from whitewater and I’d love to see how he approached sea kayaking.

Some suggestions
I haven’t seen all the DVDs available from p.net but of the ones I’ve seen I would recommend:

“Beyond the Cockpit”

“Capsize Recoveries and Rescue Procedures”

“EJ’s Rolling and Bracing”

(though not available through p.net, I also think Jay Babina’s “First Roll” is a great instructional video.)

And for entertainment:

This is the Sea 1&2 and I imagine 3 is also great.

TITS videos are particularly good to show whitewater friends who think that sea kayaking is killingly boring :wink:

i also wrote EJ
after getting the DVD. i told him that it’s a great roll program and that it helped me tremendously, in both ww and sea boating. i also told him that he has good cred in the sea kayak world whether he knows it or not (he claimed he didn’t- he doesn’t pay attention to sea kayaking but does/has to ww canoeing) and that should he consider getting into it, his spirit would be a welcome addition!

he rocks.

Staying on topic.

– Last Updated: Feb-09-07 9:00 PM EST –

I respect your thghts about EJs DVD, schizopak and bohemia.

I wish, and I think this is a true statement, that it had more bracing. He literally braces on the grass in his ww boa for about 8 minutes of the film. There are so many more braces, but EJ--the great teacher that he is, and I think he is very good and remember, this is my favorite rolling DVD--sure teaches only enough bracing to get to "If you can do this brace, you already havea roll whther you know it or not", as he states. I would like more bracing from a short 40 minute DVD that is called Bracing and Rolling. Sure, he has other DVDs, but there is plenty of digital storage space on this DVD for at least another hour of footage... let's see some bracing.

Rolling DVDs for whatidnottaken

– Last Updated: Feb-10-07 3:35 AM EST –

I've viewed 4 DVDs extensivly; NF, EJ, Babina, Dubside. I've just received Ford (thanks Bohemia!) and viewed it once.

Following is from memory, without reviewing the DVDs to ensure I remember it right. Corrections welcomed.

Looking back now, I tend to value the DVDs according to how many unique gems they had. I'm looking at it from the point of view of a beginner long boater; therefore valuing the sweep roll over the C-C. I know there's some long boaters who prefer the C-C as first roll, but I think most prefer the sweep.

EJ has the idea of laying back on the deck to learn a little bit of side scull, and progressing to dipping your head in the water and recovering. Also explains the high brace very well, and brings it to the point where you can fall right in the water and high brace back up. These are the two gems in my opinion, especially the high brace. If I remember right, EJ teaches the C-C in the DVD. I don't find that so valuable for a beginner long boater. YMMV. There's also sections on comon mistakes, tuning your roll, and on teaching. I didn't think the tuning info was that memorable. The common mistakes and teaching sections were more so.

Babina teaches the Eskimo roll using extended paddle. The gems IMO are very good treatment of using a euro paddle extended; very good demonstration of a wide slow sweep on the surface of the water, and how easy a roll can be if you get this right. Shows the same with GP also. All done in long boats, if that matters to you.

For long boats I think EJ with Babina is ideal.

If GP, then Dubside is great for the side scull, and demonstrations of the array of back finishing and forward finishing Greenland style rolls, with the main points of form for completing the rolls.

Regarding Foster, I thought it was a good DVD at the time, but I can't think of any gems that stand out that aren't covered in the DVDs listed above. He does have the idea of looking down when finishing the roll rather than head dink sideways while looking forward. Claims it's more comfortable. I prefer to look forward, myself. I like the rest of NF's series, quite a bit, just don't think the #6 roll has much unique to offer. Stamer does some instruction with the GP which is good, but if you get Dubside later then that will more than cover it.

Ford looks good. Demonstrates the leg lift very well. Shows how lifting the head pulls the boat over on you. Very good section on tune up and common mistakes. Good teaching section. I got by without it however, as I'm just viewing it now.

For learning to roll your Chatham 16, I'd buy EJ and Babina. Ford too if you want to be thorough in your roll DVD library. Dubside if you want to continue on with GP.

Paul S.

thanks again everyone NM

Thank you
Thanks for the rolling dvd comparisons!