Help! Can't Roll My Sirius!

Hipsnap practice
yeah, I was thinking about hanging off the dinghy dock and reviewing the basics. Thanks for the suggestion!

Vertical sides isn’t the same as hard chines. The Sirius has a V-shaped hull with soft chines.

The Sirius rolls effortless. In my mind, what sets the Sirius apart from many other boats is that the secondary stability is not as well defined unladen as with other kayaks. (In some boats you can really feel exactly when the secondary stability kicks in.) Hence my feeling is that the hip-snap isn’t as important (or efficient) when rolling a Sirius. Try a more continuous smoother lay back roll.

I don’t know anything about the Sirius but I understand it loves to edge like the Zephyr. When rolling the Zephyr I found I had to ‘knee up’ a bit harder and keep my head down a couple milliseconds longer. In essence… get the boat more upright with my thigh before I tried to sit up in it.

“…great secondary stability.”

– Last Updated: Aug-05-09 11:59 AM EST –

Hmmm... At GOMSKS in 2003 or 2004 there were a few of us sitting in the bay in boats (Nordkapps, Legends, Silhouettes, etc) discussing boats and no one then present felt the Sirius had any perceivable secondary.

I haven't been in a Sirius in years, but my recollection was I could not feel any hang point when heeling the boat on its secondary - it just went sploosh. Maybe now that I own a Nordkapp LV which took me over a year to be able to feel its hang point (more of a very slight pause than a hang)I would be able to sense it in a Sirius.

Also, I had never considered the Sirius a hard chined boat. But it seems it may be a soft edge hard chine boat - like a Romany.

Exactly. Sirius has soft-edged hard chines.

But low secondary stability??? The secondary stability on that boat has saved my butt from capsizing many times in rough water or rock gardens. Last fall got hit broadside by a sneaker wave from Kyle and swept onto the rocks in Bonnet Cove, Narragansett; if I’d gone over they’d still be putting my face back together.

Funny, from all the descriptions in this thread you’d think we were talking about several different kayaks.

soft-edged hard chines
The stuff gets too funny.

Overall section (and volume distribution) matters, Boxier or rounder is the real issue. The water could care less about the sharpness of the tiny little edge bit. A box with the edges knocked off is still a box. An egg with creases added is still an egg. Most kayaks are in between, and hard to really lump into either camp as far as what happens in the water anyway. People see things differently of course, and will lump accordingly…

What does any of this have to do with rolling?

What does any of this have to do with…

– Last Updated: Aug-05-09 7:15 PM EST –

"What does any of this have to do with rolling?"

Not a lot. Just an aside to the topic. The OP mentioned the hard chines as if it mattered. A subsequent poster noted the very strong secondary. A few of us were casually riffing on those as the real topic of the thread seems adequately covered ;-)

“Boxier or rounder is the real issue”

– Last Updated: Aug-05-09 7:17 PM EST –

"Boxier or rounder" does very much relate to the chine profile.

By definition, boxier hulls are harder chined than rounder hulls. The straighter sides (boxiness) is what makes a hull harder chined. Conversely...

Does it have much to do with how the boat rolls? Those I've spoken to who have rolled both a Pintail and an Anas Acuta have told me that they roll differently. Not that either is 'harder' to roll, just different. That is about as close as you get to the same hull but with hard and soft chines.

hey, you blew my cover!
Oh, sh**. I was looking for an excuse. does this mean I actually have to go back & work on my technique???

I guess we have to agree to disagree. I don’t perceive the Sirius to be a hard chined boat. Vertical sides don’t classify it as such. I’m very familiar with the boat and the deep v design hull, much different than many kayaks out there.

Plus, the “great secondary stability” I referred to has to agree with the ass sitting in the cockpit. The boat is known for being very capable in rough conditions. Secondary stability, whether defined as holding it on edge or putting the boat in compromising positions (rough seas, rock gardening, ,whatever) and checking that “secondary stability,” would have to coexist with the paddler and his/her own experience in the cockpit. Again, my wife has absolutely no problems with the boat and feels it performs incredibly in conditions. Especially loaded. Holding it on edge is very easy…it doesn’t just want to over immediately like others think.

The first time I paddled it, I actually thought it had terrible initial stability and good secondary…all in all, it’s our intrepretation, but I’ve never heard of the boat as being hard to roll. Go out and practice rolling a pungo, then go back to the Sirius.

you mean I have to do penance?

– Last Updated: Aug-05-09 10:52 PM EST –

I don't have a Pungo, can I use a canoe instead?

P.S. My ass likes the Sirius & vice versa. We are definitely soul-mates. I'm just having a hard time rolling the f(**&^r.

“The boat is known…”

– Last Updated: Aug-08-09 7:09 AM EST –

"The boat is known for being very capable in rough conditions."

So is a Nordkapp. And I would say my Nordkapp LV is impressive in conditions. It just doesn't particularly care whether it is upright or not and requires much more participation on the part of the paddler than an Explorer, Aquanaut, Romany, etc...

Many feel so differently about secondary that it is often wisest to "agree to disagree" ;-)

Wilsoj2- FWIW I agree with you. For the
most part, if the boat is not too tight or too large(contact), it is coming up regardless of the hull style. I think the discussion of hull design is not on point.

Trillium- get the boat out of your head (assuming the fit is proper) it really has little to do with it as you already know. A slow and deliberate application of the fundamentals will chase this nonsense away. Sometimes, for me, pausing awhile upside down and looking at my blade false sweeping (back and forth not iniating the roll and playing the roll in slow motion in your head, SLOW MOTION)up on the surface helps me to time,slow, and sequence my roll. Relax and enjoy the experience, be glad your there, enjoy the challenge, and know you DA MAN!!!(or woman as I did not check your profile) Bill

Minor detail: no problem w/other kayaks
My pride compells me to clarify that I do not have a problem rolling other kayaks, just this one.

I can roll the Sirius, but not consistently, and am seriously trying to identify and correct the reason(s). I appreciate everyone’s input and it’s given me a lot to go on. Thank you!

how far…
…do you lean back? The Sirius has a rather high back deck (like my vela), for me a C to C roll works better than a sweeping layback roll. Just an idea.

Trillium- I do not mean to imply
anything about your skills, I am simply thinking out loud as I would to myself if a certain boat were giving me some trouble. Just wanted to try and help. I would be delighted to take a lesson from you anytime. Bill

Been reading
this thread for quite a while now…

wasn’t going to post because seems like I get blasted everytime I come here…BUT

what You need is to find compentent instruction from some one that knows more than one roll…

someone that really understands the mechanics of ALL rolling.

There are several people not that far from You that can do many many differant types of roll with either a euro blade or a Greenland one…

Seek them out.

For You to be having trouble rolling any sea kayak, it means that You never really had a perfect roll in the first place. I would guess , only one style roll and only in a specific class.

Expand Your horizions…since You have already taken the first step to roll recovery…admitting a problem.

If You need names. start with people like Mark Schoon,

or Turner and Cheri

Just here to help…but there is much more to rolling a kayak than just comming up sometimes and only in certain kayaks

AND Jeff is right…this thread needs a rolling vidio

Best Wishes



– Last Updated: Aug-07-09 6:46 PM EST –

I am not nearly in your league re rolling. Heck, all it took was one suggested change to my roll in May and a new paddle to completely discombobulate my roll for the last couple of months. (and not being able to do pool sessions over the winter - doh)

Anyway, I am finding a diff in how quickly things are recovering between my two boats, one an Explorer LV and the other a P&H Vela. I know some of it is that the Explorer lets me get away with sloppiness that the Vela will happily point out, just about when I am almost up and try to fix it by doing something dumb.

Granted there may be a hidden purpose here, to get me to finally do porpoise breathing rather than gasp/splash on the failed tries. But it's probably just DAU (dumb ass user) moments.

Anyway, I have sussed out that the Vela is a smidge pickier about the timing of how much I have the boat moving from the hip snap and the paddle sweep or drop down thru the water (I tend to do a sweep to C). Maybe it's because the Vela has a higher front deck so I am actually starting from a bit more under the water than in the Explorer LV, or the diameter of the circle formed by the rolling boat at my thighs is a bit larger in the Vela, really not sure. The Vela's volume generally makes it a pretty nice roller. But when I am having a bad day it is decidedly messier in the Vela.

The other diff is that, with the Explorer/Romany, the boat will sit on that slab side by itself and wait for you to get your shit together. The Vela's side cuts in a bit, enough that I have to hold it from falling over on me more consciously in a scull than the Explorer. So the hip snap is working to rotate the boat a little earlier in the Vela than in the Explorer.

I suspect that these minor details make the timing of the parts of a roll a bit different between the boats, and I am compounding that by thinking about it too much. At the moment, I seem to be unable to stop and figure out the details as I do the roll - the ones that work are when I fire up the body memory and stop with the thinking. But I am pretty sure that it'll boil down to timing once I can get both slowed down and successful in the same package.

They Call it "Boxier"
Flatpick called it hamburger. Or was it pancake?

Hulls shaped like hot dogs roll easily.

Hulls shaped like thick, juicy hamburgers are a little trickier.

I have to use a little more thigh lift to right a hamburger hull then keep the head down a hair longer before trying to sit up. It works. Give it a try.

Definitely could use some instruction
Couldn’t we all? I’m still in the stage where my limbic brain (the ancient lizard bent on survival at all costs) goes into turbo mode as soon as I’m upside down: “Ho-kay, we’re upside down under water (!!), we can’t breathe (!!!), let’s get the f*** outta here and crawl back in our cave, OK???”

I can manage brief moments of consciousness depending on what I’m concentrating on (sweep, hip-snap, head down, etc.), but it’s still mostly a blur.

What I lack is the ability to quiet that primitive brain and calmly observe what’s going on. I love what I’ve seen of Greenland rolling, mind body boat in perfect harmony. Freestyle canoeing has the same feeling. Maybe after Labor Day…