Today was the day. I simply tucked the norsaq and paddle away and rolled four times in a row with just my hands. It was my first time attempting to hand roll and I came up first time and three times afterwards. (I quit while I was ahead!)

I let out a yell that caused some of the neighbors to look out their back doors on the lake I was so excited. My face hurts from grinning so much!

sorry. I will calm down soon.


Good on ye!


Congratulations Brazil
It’s the milestones that count don’t they?

I’m going to learn handrolls this summer(hopefully) but my greatest milestone occured last summer when I did my first two honest to goodness combat rolls when I got worked over pretty good in some surf. The rolls occured about 30 seconds apart and the first one I came up on my offside.

Felt pretty good after years of practising.



maybe I should change my profile back to
beginner. Awesome!

You Da MAN!

norsaq vs hand
if you hold the norsaq in the middle, you have only extended your “blade” a couple of inches anyway. It is all mental. lose the norsaq and hold your hand the same way palm up and you get up.

I hold the norsaq with the thin part extending past my fingers and the fat side resting against the forearm so the extension is thin and only a couple of inches anyway so I did not lose much lift by not using it at all.

Now I have to work on slowing it way down and then working from a stationary position under the boat instead of using the “roll” to help.


I have not even thought of tring a hand roll, you are doing great!

Thought my roll was pretty good, until I started attempting surf launches and recoveries. Just starting, the count so far is one sucsessful combat roll and I have lost count of the missed ones.


What boat did you do that in?

The boat I am doing the hand rolls in is the SOF made by Peter Strand. Very low volume 19 foot 3 inches long and 19 inches wide.

I am working on a back deck roll also but for some reason am not able to finish on the forward deck. I can come up like a chest scull but am not able to quickly draw the paddle towards me while leaning over the front deck. (for that matter, I am having trouble just leaning way forward while in the boat).


tomorrow I am going to take the tempest out and start on norsaq rolls and balance braces…lot more boat to push under you.

Good luck
with the other, higher volume boats. I KNOW it’s got to be exciting to nail a hand roll (based on my experience with a paddle roll.) I think a hand roll is the ULTIMATE self-rescue skill–very good to know.

ultimate survival skill
In a perfect world, where all you did was lose your paddle but still had your spare on the deck, along with a norsaq, and the conditions which caused you to have to roll in the first place mysteriously disapeared, a hand roll would be good to have and I am not trying to belittle the gaining of the skill. I just wonder if it would be the first or even second choice. It is much easier to come up with a paddle. It is hard for me to imagine a situation where I would lose both my primary paddle and my spare, along with my norsaq. Additionally, if things were that bad, I guess I could come up to a balance brace and even partially inflate a paddle float and use it like a avataq to come up.

The other thing is that I have a very low volume rolling boat that allows me sufficient angles to be able to lean back and accomplish this. With my tempest, with the high back, this could be very tricky indeed. (not saying it can’t be done)but a hand roll where you end up on the front deck is probably the answer and I haven’t gotten there yet.

So far they are parlor tricks, like most of the rolls I am learning because as sure as God made little green apples, if I go over, you can be damned sure that I will use my good ol’ combat roll or greenland roll to get up. Now having said that…I will say that practicing all the different moves and paddle positions like behind the head or a back deck roll does allow you sufficient awareness under the water to set yourself back up so that you can use your combat roll or storm roll. In other words, if you go over in a following sea from the left quarter, it is not so daunting as you go over as you pretty much end up in the same position as one of the back deck rolls and can recover.

sorry for the ramble…its 5 am.



– Last Updated: Mar-11-06 5:24 AM EST –

you can't survive out in conditions without a paddle or suitable replacment implement. The beauty of a handroll and the other manuevers is that these reinforce your technique and mindset needed to get yourself back upright in your boat. However, if you truly lost your paddle and don't have a spare while out there in conditions, it's just a matter of time before you're dead in the water.


balance brace to hand roll

– Last Updated: Mar-12-06 8:54 AM EST –

Went out to George English Park with Greyak and Charlie this morning. Charlie in his 20 lb wonder, Greyak in his beautiful SOF, and me in the Strand boat. We all worked on a bunch of different rolls, and Greyak learned a butterfly roll! I kept working on my hand roll and was able to roll under, slowly float out to a balance brace, stay there for a while and then roll up. Felt definite twinge in shoulder neck so will have to stop for a few days which is a good thing so I can keep thinking these things through.
Doing hand rolls is much more physically tiring!


update Sun am: couldn't do 85% of the rolls I can do in the SOF with the Tempest 170. Ended up talking to fishes all morning. But this is exactly what I was expecting. Truth of the matter is that if I am going to become good at all this, the rolls that I am learning and developing in the cheater Strand rolling boat along with the braces and "beyond the cockpit" type moves need to transfer to the boat I am going to be most comfortable with in heavier seas. The Tempest is a great boat for this and hopefully with a bit of time, I can transfer some of the skills to the big honkin boat and be less of a risk to either myself or others out there.