Help! Can't Roll My Sirius!

Why do i have such a hard time rolling my P&H Sirius?? I TEACH rolling, fer crissakes! I can roll just about any other kayak in our fleet but that damn Sirius! My sweep’s good, my brace is fine, I keep my head down, but I end up on those hard chines and can’t get the rest of the way up. I love the kayak, but I can’t roll it consistently. I don’t feel safe taking it into edgy conditions, so how do I get better?

any suggestions?

you cannot be serious : > )
Seriously, a hard chine kayak does have a pressure point at the first 90 degrees of the roll. This mostly alters timing rather than total pressure to come around, but it can also increase total resistance to rolling up as well.

I look at it as a good opportunity to review ALL aspects of my rolling styles. Basically, a more difficult boat simply shows us what aspects of our technique are not ideal.

Try starting your boat rotating right from the start, crunch up to the boat like a spring ready to uncoil and then uncoil your torso as you sweep, keep the paddle on or close to the surface, and try some different tempos until you see where the point of most resistance in you boat is.

I have been rolling my new Tiderace Xcite and it has both a hard chine and large rocker which really alter the timing of the roll. It took a while but it actually taught me some things about myself and my offside roll!

Yep I am an instructor too, but the day you stop learning is the day you start getting worse!

Delay your peak energy expenditure
I do this by exhaling while I sweep. As you exhale, go:

woooooooooOOOFF. Coordinate that with slowwwwFASTER. WW boats with high flat sides present the same problem. Once you get the timing down it will become second nature and you can skip the exhaling.

Is the snap effort at the beggining of
roll, or at the end. As already mentioned you can uncoil immediately or or throw more effort into the finish. If you are starting with an aggressive uncoiling, try going to a scull and then finishing with a snap once you are sculling. If ths works, you may want to put more effort into the finish than the start when doing it continuously. I have trouble with my Nordkapp doing shotguns, butterfly’s, etc because I cannot come out of the boat enough to square up to the surface as I am more jammed into the Kapp (6’3" 245lb and bad back). Are you tight in the Sirius? Square up to the surface, extend the sweep, and slow down. My 2 cents. Bill

Have somebody watch you

– Last Updated: Aug-03-09 9:24 AM EST –

You might have developed a bad habit that just rears it's ugly face on that boat for some reason. Somebody who is good can often see things that you are not feeling and correct the problem. You can try lowering your self into the water on your roll up side and come back up. That can sometimes isolate out any sweep problems. Eventually you will have so much over-technique that you can roll anything.

Can you scull? Try lowering yourself into the water on your finish side and scull up and finish the roll. See if that isolates out the problem. Good luck. BTW: it's something you're doing. The Sirius is a pretty easy rolling boat, I had one, and when it came out everyone wanted it for a rolling boat especially the LV model.

When I first got my Sirius
I ran into the same thing. To me, the Sirius doesn’t have a secondary stability in the most commonly experienced sense, if I define that secondary stability as a feeling of a building resistance to capsize as I put the boat on edge up to a certain point, and part of that definition also being that the strongest resistance is before the point of capsize without using any sculling strokes. Of course secondary stability means different things to different people. So to clarify further, not using the paddle, I can lean into a secondary stability point in my Nigel Foster Legend without capsizing. I can lean into a point that gives a feeling of resistance to capsize in most kayaks. In the Sirius, I’m way beyond the capsize point before that feeling of resistance comes into play. It’s what makes it feel so natural for the Sirius to lie on it’s side in a sculling position. I imagine it somewhat contributes to the settled in feeling in steeper seas. It’s also what made me feel like my roll was finished when the kayak was really still lying on its side. A fine position to scull up from, but I was still beyond the capsize point.

So what I came to realize, was that I would work my roll to roll up just beyond that secondary stability point. That makes sense, because in almost every kayak, at that point, the hull provides a resistance to my going back over. I naturally would adjust the effort to match the boat, as too much effort sends me back over off balance on the other side. That effort coincided with a feeling of getting beyond that moment where secondary stability kicked in. My problem in the Sirius was that just beyond the moment where secondary stability kicks in, was not yet far enough up to be beyond the moment of capsize. It wasn’t that it was harder, meaning requiring more effort. It was that my developed feel for rolling told me to apply less effort than was necessary, and told me that I was done before I really was.

So what did I do? I rolled up with greater force than my developed instincts or “feel for the roll” told me were necessary. I kept going a bit beyond where my developed instinct told me I would be going too far and end up capsizing over again on the other side. I came to find that it is quite easy to roll, it just has its own feel. “Muscle memory” needed a bit of adjustment for this style of hull.

Of course, I do understand that these are the workings of my own mind. I don’t know if others can relate, but it made sense and worked for me. Hopefully it will help a little for you.

Great advice
I picked up a bad habit or 2, swam, then had some friends observe to work the bugs out. One thing for Sirius, don’t let it get into your head or you will doubt yourself when you need it.


Slow-FASTER: saved my behind
this weekend. Tipped over in a fairly gnarly spot, the inner voice chimed in, “It’s ok, just set up.” Bam!


Thanks for the feedback
Lot of valuable advice which I will digest and try to apply. Thank you!

I’m having similar problems
with my recently acquired NDK Greenlander. Oh I can roll it but it’s no Romany.

Some Advice That Helped Me:
Get your knee / thigh very involved in the snap. Right the boat with your thigh and not your hip.

When I first got the boat I installed some minicell strips on the underside of the coaming, which have come off over time. I do find myself coming out of the cockpit and having to reposition myself more & more. We’ll try fixing that.

Oh, that would do it!
Poor outfitting will make the easiest rolling boat hard to roll! :o)

Avid description
of the problem by Cape Fear,he obviously has a real feeling for the art of rolling.I experienced the same

glitch two months ago when I borrowed a friend’s

Anus Acuta for a couple of hours.It kept re-capsizing

on me when I was almost upright. On my boats I would have clicked into the upright position at that point but the Anus seemed to need more force near the end but not too much to cause a windowshade.

I was surprized as I thought the Anus was a primo rolling machine and it is but my timing just needed some adjustment.

I would suggest digesting his advice carefully and then get back into the saddle and give it a little more practise.


Duck roller vs. paddler…

– Last Updated: Aug-04-09 2:38 PM EST –

"Anus Acuta" - how do you roll a pintail duck?


how do you roll a pintail duck?
very carefully, but with conviction :wink:

My preferred method

Extra room in cockpit not a dealbreaker
My Jackson Sidekick has enough room both horizontal and vertical that I actually lift out of the seat a little while capsized. (I removed the hip pads because they were in the wrong position for my body.)

However, this does not hurt the roll! Make sure your whole leg is driving the business side upwards, and if the body lifts out a little more than you’d like, just let it arc out more (assuming you finish in a layback position). I actually think this can help, by giving the body more length (leverage) to crank the hull over.

See Dubside’s Greenland rolling DVD, where he talks about how to deal with less-than-perfect cockpit fit.

Also, it might be worth revisiting some hipsnap practice in the Sirius. Yesterday I practiced edging the Sidekick over till almost vertical, then hipsnapping it back flat (and don’t let the boat keep rocking–just hipsnap it solidly flat so you know the other leg is not getting involved). (Do this in a shallow area, without paddle in hands.) Even though I was conscious of the boat’s height, the hipsnap was still fast, solid, and effective. That flat hull made a resounding THWACK when it hit the water.

Please don’t take this as being harsh, but you have to be doing something wrong in your technique. Plus, I don’t believe that boat to be hard chined, definitely a unique hull design but not like other hard chine boats.

My wife is 5’3" 115lbs and rolls the Sirius consistently. She’s actually found the boat to be very capable in conditions with great secondary stability.

I’m 5’10, 175lbs and when I jumped in her boat, I felt a tad cramped, but had no problem rolling it.

I would just have to say to spend more time in it and practice a ton. It’s a great boat, no reason it for it play mind games on you and your roll.

Definition of Hard Chine
As I understand it, a hard chine is a vertical side (correct me if I’m wrong). My Sirius definitely has vertical sides, I can set it on edge on the ground and it will stay there.

The thing about technique is, I have NO trouble rolling other boats. None, even if the fit isn’t quite tight enough. That’s why I’m looking at the hard chines and the outfitting.

We will see. Rolling technique will definitely be better by the time I get this solved. Appreciate all the feedback, especially Kheyashunka’s directive to man up panty girl and have fun, to which I will devote serious attention and report back. :slight_smile: