Most difficult boat to roll?

Ignoring the wide rec boats which may not even have thigh hooks, what well-known boats are considered difficult to roll or impossible to hand roll?

Can’t speak for sea kayaks, but no
whitewater boat builder would market a boat that was significantly hard to roll. With proper technique, WW boats roll. I notice some differences in mine, but if my technique is “on” it makes no difference.

One could design a kayak that was hard to roll, but one dassn’t put it on the market.

Mad River Outrage
That’s the hardest boat I have to roll.

USS Kitty Hawk

High volume new school boats
I find squarish hard chine planing hull ww boats harder to roll than old school or lower volume ww boats.

All three of my sea kayaks are easier to roll than my Inazone.

The old school ww boats I’ve rolled (Pirouette, Piedra, etc…) are much easier to roll than any of the planing hull boats I’ve rolled.

I think it is notable that ww manufacturers have started noting that their new designs are easier to roll than recent earlier models.

Southern Light by Sisson Kayaks
World (in)famous in New Zealand. Most kayak guides have a love hate relationship with this kayak. Hard to roll - absolutely.

older liquid logic playboats…
The Pocket Rocket/Space Cadet series were notoriously hard to roll as was the Prijon Alien.

I remember being unable to handroll a CLC 17 but I also had minimual contact with that kayak as well since it’s pretty big.

Never been able
to roll my Carolina 14.5…

and neither has anyone else…maybe if I remove the outriggers…hmmmm?

Klepper Aerius 2

Happy to hear you say that
I just bought a used MR Outrage and am having a devil of a time learning to roll it. The Dagger Impulse is also a rather difficult canoe to roll.

A Surge is quite difficult to roll…
… among serious sea kayaks. But the Surge is an odd duck in other ways too.


rroberts couldn’t roll a

you got to be kidding

because it lacks anything to drive the knee/thigh against. But once one adapts technique, it becomes as easy as anything else.

Short of a super wide rec boat, they are all rollable than not, with some requiring a slight adjustment in technique.

I think perception of rollability, in many cases, is mental rather than actual. kinda like half full, half empty thingie.


I can roll any boat - - - -
Roll it over - - didn’t say I could roll it back upright.

SOT without thigh straps? thx Sing NM

Anything really big

– Last Updated: Sep-13-07 10:58 PM EST –

Like really really so big can't find a contact point at all, or so voluminous that I'd dislocate something trying. At my average female size that's a lot more boats than for a 6'2" guy.

Ah, that’s where the money
is made! You can’t roll that!!! How much ya wanna bet?

Won $20 that way
At a pool session, one of the racers had a Thunderbolt that he was learning how to get back in. He didn’t think it could be rolled and bet me $20. Rolled it first try. The trick is finding a way to “fix” yourself in the boat and adapting your “normal” roll to match the boat.

Sometimes in really big boats, I will sit crosslegged in the seat and jam my legs across with the bottoms of my feet flat against eachother. It is harder to hip flick and you need the flexibility to do that with your legs but it isn’t impossible, just a logistical challenge.


Relative to
The only other OC1 I’ve tried to roll was an Esquif Detonator. That was slightly easier.

Both were considerably harder for me to roll than my Slasher, Atom or Foreplay C1’s. I have found the OC’s are easier to roll with no airbags. Of course then you have a lot more water in the boat when you get up.