Found: One Roll

Thanks kayak brothers and sisters, for your support. I had a roll for awhile and lost it. I whined about it and asked for advice. Someone said “you lost the roll 'cause it weren’t very good to begin with.” That is the truth.

Here’s what I did: Found Eric Jackson’s video; watched it about 4 times; went to the lake after work today and quickly acquired a good brace and an easy roll. Can’t wait to get back out and practice and play.

Thanks again.

(wonder why they didn’t teach me that in pool skool… maybe they did and I wasn’t paying attention)

Only one? :slight_smile:
Congrats. I like that video and the way he teaches - even if I don’t do that exact roll.

Someone recently pointed out to me that the “roll position” EJ says to go to from “home base” can be a bit out of “the box” and could put a shoulder at risk. I had never really noticed - but had to agree. EJ himself keeps a very good position, and his extended arm is crossing in front of him where it isn’t at risk, but his son and the other kid in the vid are a bit extended and have arms way up/out and even a bit back. Looks vulnerable to me, and also seems like an easy thing for someone learning to get into trouble with.

Maybe this is just a part of the C to C? Seems it could be done without an overly enthusiastic Arnold Horshack style hand raise position.

Think I’ll stick with the sweep/Greenland standard where I can keep arms in front and in closer - and sweep mostly with torso.

Congrats! I am way behind the curve on my roll. I ordered Kent Ford’s “The Kayak Roll” this past winter and watched it about 20 times and then went to my first pool session and nailed a few. I thought " hell, that was no big deal". Then my brain got involved and I completely lost it. I was told today by a very wise paddler that if I had FAITH and stopped using my head it will happen. Gotta Have Faith :-)(George Michael)

I had the honor of meeting and paddling with EJ this last weekend at the ACC Rendevous at Rockport in Arkansas. Very gracious guy. Crazy good paddler.

Again, Congrats.


Keep Working It…
you’ll find that you can practically “steal” a roll anytime, any place, upside down. :slight_smile:


Funny You Should Say That

– Last Updated: Sep-24-05 5:32 AM EST –

My buddy tried the EJ style and said it felt like it was stressing his upper arm/shoulder. Luckily it felt good to me.

(I DID have to tell him to quit putting the paddle behind him. Maybe that's when he stressed it.)

glad to hear it brother T’er. Now drop and give me fifty more…


Losing rolls
One reason people “lose” their rolls temporarily is simply fatigue or being over stressed as a result of late nights,workload,minor illness or some stressor not related to paddling.I don’t really lose my rolls anymore but sometimes they will get sloppy,timing starts to slip etc.

An example was last weekend I started out on the paddle a little tired from the 2 hour hike we had done first thing in the morning but the rolls were clicking OK till we stopped for a lunch break on shore and while eating some fruit a yellowjacket wasp got inside my mouth , stung my inner lip and my face swelled up. On the way back my rolls got really wonky and on one I didn’t get up until the third attempt so I packed up and went home but I’m not discouraged by that anymore,I know when I go out tomorrow my roll will be back in good form until maybe late in the day if I’ve really pushed myself.

You gotta just know when to say enough is enough,especially when you’re older.


side sculling and sculling rolls
The Greenland Inuit teach a side scull first (after working on becoming comfortable under water), and then how to roll up using a side scull. The technique is the same. Then a standard (high brace layback) roll is taught.

I think this is a very good progression. Once you learn a good scull you can roll up at your leisure. Rolling stops becoming an all or nothing move like a pole-vault and becomes something that is at your full control. It also becomes a technique that is very resistant to being “lost”.

That said, while you are learning, it is normal to have your skills come and go for a time. It is also normal to pass through periods of confusion and doubt. It is all part of the learning process so don’t beat yourself up when it happens.

Greg Stamer

I, too, learned how to roll . . .
with EJ’s video and become much better at my bracing as well. The video cleansed my mind of some confusing instruction I had received. It just makes sense to me that a high brace and roll should be esentially the same maneuver and the video presents the progression in a very intuitive and confidence inspiring style.

His “home base” demonstration that potentially takes you out of the “box” is seemingly exaggerated when he demonstrates it right side up. When you are curled up under the boat, it is simply sweeping the paddle out to a position perpendicular to the boat. If you allow your shoulders to rotate a bit as well so that you are looking up to the water’s surface, you are still in the box.

I have taken the advice of other more experienced kayakers at heart: practice your roll or lose it. I try to end all my paddling session with rolling; knowing that I can do it when I am tired inspires confidence and so much of rolling is mental.

I checked to make sure my roll
was still there. It was there, albeit, a bit stale and moldy, so I spent a few hours baking up a fresh batch!

yep. .
I just want to re-enforce what ga.familykayaker said. Practice often. I learned to roll about 4 years ago now and have moved into new rolls, GP stuff, and whatever looks fun. BUT, I still end my paddling sessions with by running my rolls. I go through every roll I know on and off side before I hit the beach. That way the stay with me. Like GS said, your rolls come and go when you are first learning so if you’re having an off day, just let it go and come back tomarrow. No big deal. But never stop practicing rolls even when you feel like you have them down or the can sneak away on you.

All the best!

Losing rolls…

I suspect that a common way rolls are “lost” is that people forget that there is very little force required for a good roll.

Part of the problem is that, with most physical acts, more force increases the likelyhood of success. This notion is deeply ingrained but completely opposite to what contributes to a good roll.

A good roll (especially a sweep) sort of “just happens”. It’s common for new rollers to express surprize at getting upright and how little effort it took.

People learning to roll and people who have forgot there roll focus too much on the “getting up” aspect and can pull down on the paddle.