foot position during C to C roll

specifically the C to C variation as shown on

EJ’s Rolling & Bracing. Obviously the foot

positions cannot be seen during the roll sequence.

When starting the roll (or the brace for that matter)while laying back and twisting to the side, do both feet stay firmly on the pegs? Or does the left foot come off a bit (when the paddler goes back and over to the right)?

On the hip snap, because the driving knee (let’s say the right knee) is going up and shortening the leg, I’m guessing the right foot must come off the peg momentarily, while the left foot stays firmly planted to keep the left side of the body pushing down.

Assume the kayak is narrow (20") fits the paddler closely, and that the back deck is low (8.5 " in my case)& the Snapdragon neoskirt fits snugly.

I have good flexibility but don’t want to visualize incorrectly. I haven’t had any pool sessions yet to experiment.


With A Straight C2C… .

– Last Updated: Feb-19-07 9:26 AM EST –

(with no sweep component) both legs get used at certain times. For example, if you were coming up on the right (paddle on the right), then your left knee is engaged into the thigh braces to allow to coil into a "C" position. As you brace up on the paddle, the left knee relaxes and the right knees drives up as your body uncoils and then coils (towards the right) into an opposing "C" position. You finish with your head, bent down and looking at the water and paddle.

If you use a sweep to a 90 degree and then brace, depending how tight fit into your kayak, you actually may not have to focus much on the left knee. Rather, it's rather relaxed as the sweeping motion will begin to bring your body up anyway. Once at 90 degrees, the right knee drives up powerfully again to assume the finishing "C" position.

If you kayak is narrow and you fit it well, don't even bother with a C2C, or sweep to C2C, just relax your left leg and feel constant pressure on the right knee/thigh as your sweep from fore to aft. As you get past, 90 degrees focus on arching your back and keeping you head in the water (which actually engages your right knee and hip more) and you'll find yourself laying on the back deck.


excellent description
thanks Sing.

Don’t worry
Over analyizing will only frustrate you.

As you sit in your chair reading this, lift you right hip. Your thigh and knee are forced up along with it, yet you can keep your foot on the floor. When you sit in the kayak, you can rock the boat violently from side to side using your hips and thighs. That’s a hip snap. That’s why it’s call a hip snap not a knee snap. The term “driving the knee up” is really not acurrate of what’s happening but it’s often used.

Bottom line is your feet will stay on the pegs and actually, pressing on them will help you drive up your thighs and hip. If you sit in a kayak and try lifting your knee alone, nothing will happen.

worry about the feet, or applying pressure with them. In fact, it’s very easy to roll a boat without footbraces at all.

I can remember students having difficulty with rolls and carrying a very stiff posture, killing their form. It was a result of them being “too locked in” with their feet and knees on both sides of their thigh braces. When we told them to drop their feet out of the pegs and relax their knees, they rolled up effortlessly


– Last Updated: Feb-19-07 9:44 AM EST –

I think what I am now saying is consistent with what Sing suggests. It also seems inconsistent with what Jay wrote - I suspect it is mostly about the timing and one's ability to keep body parts at the right tension when.

Re the feet, I am a bit spoiled because we have bulkhead blocks in most of our boats rather than dratted little pegs. I would suggest it as a great idea for rolling because it takes one concern out of the equation right off the rip, the need to hold any tension that is just about preserving contact with the peg. So all of your leg muscle work can be about the rolling motion itself.

As to thinking of pushing down, it may work for you but I have found that when I have to really get back to ground on a roll I need to drop the not-lifting leg loosely out of thigh braces and off the bulkhead so it isn't in contact with anything. (After having pulled up into any setup.) That's what I've been doing on my left side in pool sessions lately, which lost more on the Christmas season layoff than the right did because I got it later. If I am thinking about holding tension on that opposite leg at all, it greatly increases the odds that I'll inadverdently engage the wrong thigh halfway up and dawhup.

I don't ever have this issue with my right - others but not this one. I think it is because I am very confident of my right side roll, so avoiding undue tension is easier body-wide on the right. I've been noticing that I even have to knock more tension out of my hands on the left than the right, where I am comfy with just a millisecond and one finger of contact.

that’s encouraging jay :smiley:
Last summer (my first one kayaking) I would regularly warm up by pushing up slightly on the thigh braces and rocking side to side as fast as I could, rocking my 23.5" wide kayak really fast, repeatedly, for a minute or more - it was fun! N one told me to do it, it was just my way of checking the fit.

It’s even easier w. the 20"Fuego.

I hope to be poolside this weekend or next to see how good my hipsnap is. Not really worried about it, looking forward to it!

Thank you for the tips.

hip moves , like in a latin dance…salsa, I believe…don’t need your feet at all if the boat is snug around the thighs and hip area

Best Wishes


I’m pretty tight in my kayaks, so
pulling one of my size 14+ feet off the pegs or bulkheads is not really an option. I think sea kayakers must be a little bit less tightly packed in. My only little sea/touring kayak is set up kind of tight because that’s what I’m used to.

ooooh yeah…:smiley:
Lo puedo bailar la salsa :smiley:

Roy thanks for the mental image I will be laughing & rocking while I try it out!

Twisting the kayak up
The EJ roll is not a straight C-2-C. It is a C to layback. From the right side in the 90 degree paddle position (holding yourself in place with your left knee, just as in a straight C-2-C) you move your body down and back while lifting your right hip/thigh/knee and pushing the left side of the boat away from you with your left butt cheek. You will find that your left leg naturally straightens out and may push against the foot peg. That is fine but not required. The image of a latin dance move above is almost perfect. The extended paddle roll that Jay teaches is almost exactly the same as the EJ roll except for the extended paddle.

Additional note. EJ sometimes, in his demos, slips into a sweep to C to layback. But the hip snap is the same.

Just Do It !
Go to the side of the pool and work on snapping the boat around under you like EJ teaches, like he says make it snappier and snappier, your legs will find out what they need to do.

Also don’t get too fixated on where your feet, knees ect end up, when you get capsized violently, you may be out of position, work more on the feel of rolling the boat under you and keeping your head down and back as you come up.

If you the do steps EJ teaches you will roll on your own in about 15 minutes, don’t over analyze and over visualize.

just doin’ it…
I get what you mean completely.

The way I learn athletic moves best is to get the visualizations down, in a sequence, so that when it’s go time I don’t think it, just let the body take over… believe me I’ll go for it.

It’s not gonna take me two years plus to roll and brace and I’m not gonna freak over every nuance. I’m competitive, not wired to hang back or back down.

That’s what I like so much about EJ’s DVD. He teaches for my style, building step to step. He also advises to keep brain RAM available so that doing the roll is a natural progression.

He is preaching to my choir. That is how, when I was in HS, I learned competitive gymnastics. My best event was the vault. Talk about committing and exploding into a move… that’s it.

The answers from all the posters resonate w. my own conclusions to the question I asked. So to all those peeps, thanks!

torso matters more than feet,hands
I like to imagine (for right hand roll/left side set-up) crunch abdominals to the left/twist torso to the left for set-up, relax and crunch abdominals to the right twist torso to the right to come up. You could roll without footbraces if need be, some beginners have problems by pushing symmetrically on both feet and pressing back into back band thinking that sitting up after leaning forward is the roll.

don’t realize that the roll is done when they sit up…That means whenever they sit up…soooo…if they sit up before the boat has rotated up…the roll is done, only they are still breathing water and not air

Best Wishes