Prijon Calabria OK for a rolling class?

Is a Prijon Calabria too wide for a rolling class? My lovely wife graciously gave me a gift registration for a 3 session rolling class for Christmas (Yes I know she is a gem). We have to provide our own equipment. I wonder if my boat, a 25" wide Prijon Calabria will work okay or if it is too beamy and would make it difficult or next to impossible to learn to roll. It does have thigh braces and I have velcroed in hip pads to try to snug the boats large cockpit a bit for my bony hips. (I am about 5’-11" and 170-175 lbs. if that helps) I am going to talk to the kayak shop and ask them what they think or recommend but I also wanted to see if anyone here has experience with learning to roll a Calabria or similar sized boat.

extended paddle…
is what I have to use with my new prijon Capri, a boat that I highly recomend for a all around 12 footer it paddles and surfs straight and is very stable and fun in heavy chop ( w/onshore wind of course)the only bad trait is that it’s hard to roll with its high rear deck?combing

I own a Prijon Calabria and a Valley
Avocet. The Avocet is VERY much easier to roll than the Calabria, which, by the way, I have fully mincelled and outfitted. I have anothr roller friend PJumper who owns a Kodiak, samecockpit as a Calabria, and it was exceedingly difficult to roll.

Sure, all boats CAN be rolled, Dubside shows us that. But they are not all equal The Prijon Calabria is not an easy boat to roll The Valley Avocet, and my Valley Nordkapp RM, are significantly easier to roll. Significantly.

Old school WW boat?
The Prijon can be rolled, but is probably not the best boat to learn on. I learned on a very loose fitting 23.5" wide boat and consequently now can roll most any boat with little or no outfitting, but I don’t really recommend this - I just got lucky. Do you have any friends that are into whitewater? An old school boat like a Dagger RPM is great for learning to roll in a pool. Maybe you can borrow something like this. Once learned the skill will transfer to a sea kayak in a heartbeat.


One man’s ceiling is another mans floor
Kodiak is very easy to roll.

I have a wavemaster waveski you should try to roll.

The good thing is it will force you to learn a pretty solid roll, and since it is your boat you might as well go for it. Many people learn on an easy-rolling boat and then struggle to figure out how to reliably roll a more difficult boat.

As usual, I agree with wetzool.

– Last Updated: Jan-03-08 3:32 AM EST –

If you subscribe to the Jay Babina school of learning to roll--which is, the layback roll rather than the C-to-C roll, and I wholeheartedly agree with his well-posted previously on Pnet methodology--then the low back deck of a boat like an Avocet becomes particularly helpful. The Calabria, as w-zool mentions, has a very open cockpit and high back deck on coaming, making a roll more difficult. Not impossible, just significantly more difficult.

You do not mention what your other options are--do not take the class? But another boat? Borrow a friend's "boat x" brand? Perhaps this is just an academic conversation, unless you have unmentioned options.

Suppose the one thing you could do, since my instinct tells me that you will be taking the class and using the Prijon (unless you own other boats), is that you should be quicker to try someone elses boat knowing what you know from the replies (some replies) to your thread.

davejjj: "Many people learn on an easy-rolling boat and then struggle to figure out how to reliably roll a more difficult boat." I would prefer to learn on an easier boat, who wouldn't? Sure, I could learn to drive a car in a 18 wheel semi tractor trailer rig, too, but why would I?

Most learn with an instructor or great videos (which is how I learned), and first with a paddle float, and first with an extended paddle Pawlatta style as someone mentions above, and then gradually gets to tougher and tougher situations--eventually off side roll, and in soupy textured water rather than pool, et cetera. The progression is the key, and your question is a good one--make it easier on yourself early on.

Well… wouldn’t it be pretty silly to learn a layback roll with the instructor and then go home to a boat which won’t allow a layback roll? Might as well start down an appropriate path, such as a C-to-C Pawlatta.

Other options
I would definitely not cancel the class even if all replies said forget it with that boat. In that case I would look into renting or borrowing another boat for the class. Buying a new or new to me kayak before the class isn’t feasible due to family budget constraints right now, but I certainly don’t plan on paddling the Calabria forever. It’s funny, I bought it because it is so stable and I can’t wait to replace it because it is so stable. As far as the high back deck it shouldn’t be an issue. The course description states they teach the Sweep, Twisting Sweep, C-to-C, and Hand rolls. They only teach the Back Deck Rolls for those “who cannot achieve more protected rolls because of special limitations.” I’m going to try with the Calabria unless the instructor is adamantly against it. However, if any of you with 5 or more kayaks are running out of rack space I am willing to store a boat for you at no cost to you and I will even wash it (for the pool sessions of course). Thanks, Steve

outfit that kayak
I tried (unsuccessfully) to learn my roll in my first boat which I had way too much room in the cockpit and it was a miserable and demoralizing failure. Others in the class were quickly popping rolls in little whitewater boats or skinny sea kayaks. But my thoughts were I needed to roll MY boat, not someone else’s. Well I eventually got a boat that fit me snug and learned to roll so my advice is to combine two things: make sure your boat is outfitted to fit you snug and use your own boat if that’s what you are going to paddle all the time. I know two paddlers that learned in pool sessions with ww boats but “lost” their roll in their own bigger boats. My instructor says it’s easy to cheat in a short boat and not necessarily nail the timing and feel your own boat requires. I’m sure as heck no expert but from what I see if you start sliding around in the cockpit once you go under it really makes it hard to roll. Sure…experts can roll anything but what’s that got to do with the rest of us?