Pool Rolling Kayak

I’m looking for a 10-12’ kayak that I can use to practice rolling in my backyard pool.

I have tried a white water boat but find it very uncomfortable.

Is there a hybrid or rec kayak that can be rolled?

Plenty of rollable kayaks
Hard to tell your criteria from this. The whitewater boat was uncomfortable because you didn’t fit, so any other of the multitude of whitewater kayaks that you would fit into well would be comfortable? Or the whitewater kayak was uncomfortable because you don’t like the way whitewater kayaks respond?

Try a different WW kayak
They come in different sizes and cockpit fits.

If you use a hybrid or rec boat, it might be rollable but you’re making things harder on yourself. Dubside’s video shows him rolling a double SOT. But that’s someone who already knew how to roll very well.

uncomfortable how?
Ill-fitting? Painful?

Or scary?

The second part will go away.

Old School ww boat
I would suggest you try an old school ww boat. They are often less confining than newer ww boats and much easier to roll. They can also be bought for very little money.

Depending on your size, a Pirouette, Piedra, Animas, RPM, Dancer, etc… could work. I’m 6’, 185 lbs and have found a Piedra the easiest I’ve rolled with a Pirouette S a close second. I owned a full size Pirouette for a bit and also found it an easy roller.

second the old school ww boat

I’m 5’10" 200lbs

I tried two ww boats and neither was comfortable and I felt that if I needed i would not be able to wet exit.

ah. in that case see wilsoj2’s post
I’d second that recommendation.

A few years back I was teaching a girlfriend how to wet exit. She had the same concerns, in her case really long legs. After a few wet exits she became convinced that not only will she come out, but that without a spray skirt, she wouldn’t be able to stay in the boat upside-down.

I was you two years ago
When I took a rolling class I really didn’t like the fit of the WW boats, but I would get out to drain the water and stretch the body after 45 minutes. I survived, Class was successful, managed a few rolls in third session, 30 in final session.

Later bought an old RPM for pool use. Learning to enjoy the fit - really like it in surf, the tight fit makes intended motions translate to boat motions with little loss of energy. Bulkhead is one spot further way than I thought it should be initially. Can fit legs flat on floor with feet flat vertical, balls of feet on bulkhead with knees out and engaged under deck. Not locked in relaxed, locked in with a little effort, easy enough to extract myself.

To get out, I reach just behind hip bones and push it off, just like taking off a pair of pants. Practice that in the pool, too, until the ‘I could get stuck’ idea goes away.

I had times when I thought I’d made a mistake buying the boat. It ‘wasn’t comfortable’ and ‘it didn’t roll as easily as the sea kayak’. I now realize that the boat is just different, and I can enjoy time in it and it will roll up reliably if I do the trained motions properly.

Are you trying this alone?

– Last Updated: Jan-21-11 2:54 PM EST –

If you are sincerely uncomfortable with the likelihood of being able to wet exit, you shouldn't be trying it without someone that can handle a problem.

How tight a skirt are you using? If you are uncomfortable, it should be one that will push off even if you don't properly lean forward and pull it. A lot of people, including the young men who ran my first rolling class, favor extremely tight WW skirts that will only come off if the roller-to-be does everything correctly. Baaad idea if the new paddler has any risk at all of panicking down under there... I got out but it wasn't pretty or a fortunate experience for enhancing my comfort under a boat.

As to fit, no matter what a WW boat is likely to feel tight if you are used to a more loose fitting transition type boat. The old school boats tend to be less "fitted" in their feeling, and are kinder to new roller type mistakes than some of the ones since then. The hybrids would also be looser, but they are newer boats and there is the issue of how much money you want to spend on even a used boat just for spinning in circles.

In the end though, tight is tight and you aren't going to change that. As much as it is best to learn to stay in the boat and patiently get that roll, you may be someone who needs to spend a lot of time getting comfy with wet exits before you can get a comfortable setup for a roll.

I am a sea kayaker that is used to having “wiggle room” around my cockpit.

I can roll (and wet exit) my sea kayak but wanted to practice in my 4’ deep above ground pool.

What WW boats have you tried?
Hearing what felt bad may help people with suggesting alternatives. What’s your long boat, to get a sense of how that fits?

I third this. People damn near fought over the Pirouette at pool skool.

I’ll bet you taught her that

At 5’10" and 200 lbs. the grand majority of the whitewater boats made will fit and unless you’re trying serious antiques have very large cockpits that are extremely easy to get out of, as mentioned darned hard to stay in without a skirt on.

Bill H.

thigh braces
Since you are learning to roll or self-teach yourself, make sure whatever you use, that is has good solid thigh braces. Without that you won’t roll. Unfortunately, shorter beginner boats are usually wider and flat and don’t roll as easily as longer 21" wide ones. But all kayaks are roll-able. As Celia said, make sure you practice your wet exit and wear a dive mask so you can see what your are doing. Good luck. If you have a friend who knows how to roll to help you, it will cut down your learning 90%.

So you already can roll your sea kayak
Just find a used WW boat whose cockpit outfitting feels reasonably similar to that of your sea kayak.

This should be very easy to do. The WW boats I’ve rolled have been as easy to roll as my sea kayaks.

as easy to roll
I’ve watched folk accustomed to rolling sea kayaks struggle rolling contemporary (boxlike) ww boats. Old school ww boats roll as easy as sea kayaks while many newer planing hull ww boats are so boxy that they take notably more umph. I find all 4 of my sea kayaks roll easier than my I3.

Reverse is also true
I’ve seen posts and heard people say they find the sea kayak harder to roll than their WW kayak.

she would say differently!

– Last Updated: Jan-26-11 2:55 PM EST –

She let's me think I'm doing the teaching. But I'm probably the more pavlovian...