Lay-back roll without paddle

Until I can pursue formal instruction, I’d like to start practicing rolling my OI without a paddle. Not sure whether to call this a hand-roll as I’m not sure what to do with my arms and hands. In addition to doing a roll with GP, I can easily do a sculling brace and more recently a balance-brace. With my GP usually in an extended position, I’m getting the benefit of paddle flotation so not sure how to make this work without a paddle. Any learning suggestions, web links, web videos, etc. would be much appreciated.

Use a progression, starting with
the shotgun roll with the GP, then use a single blade (short canoe paddle)for the shotgun, then learn the layback norsaq roll, then shorten-up on the norsaq and finally do the layback hand roll.

I am no instructor/pro
but managed one myself with help from someone good at it. (thanks Joy) She had me use my norsaq first and had my lay/reach forward and once i went over to reach even further and use the back of my hand/norsaq while staying low with head coming up last. Did 3 norsaq rolls successfully so then she hand me do the exact same thing without it - and then did 3 hand rolls in a row.

…and that is the last time I ever did them!!! LOL


Basic hand roll
What Zerbe said is usually how most people go about it. You don’t need special Greenland apparatus, you can use a ping pong paddle, slightly deflated paddle float, a piece of wood etc. Usually the degree you can plaster yourself on the back deck is a determining factor. If you grabbed on the edge of a pool and lowered your self under water, you would lay back and use one arm to help counter balance your self up and over. Many people can do one from a set up using momentum to carry you around and up and if theyÊfail they cannot do it from a settled position. I notice when people fail, they are leaning way back yet their head and neck are bent forward anticipating coming up. Be cautious of that. Not only lay back, but try to relax the neck and head back so you are looking up at the sky when coming up. Like all rolling, eventually you will develop good hip control and will be able to cheat all over the place.

There’s some videos on YouTube but not very good

Hand Roll
Get really good at the balance brace, then let go of the paddle and balance without it. To do the balance brace, keep your head back with your face just out of the water, keep your back arched with heart to the sky, and both shoulders flat on the water. Once you can float like this with no paddle, try the following: Get into that balancing position without the paddle and close your body to capsize. Once capsized fully, open back up into the balance brace position. You will slowly float to the surface into the balance brace (give it a couple of seconds, it will work). Then once you’re in the balance brace, drive your on-water knee up, throw your off water hand and shoulder over the back deck, use abs to slide onto the back deck as low as possible with the head out of the water last.

Try it like this, so you’re not relying on momentum. It helps to have a spotter standing in the water and noseplugs when you’re learning.

So you float to the surface in a balance brace position while the kayak is upside-down, then fling the arm over etc? Or is the kayak sort of tilted as if starting to roll up already?